There are many good reasons for federal agencies to use the NETCENTS-2 contract. While mandatory for the Air Force, other agencies can use it to acquire network-centric products from several categories, including Application Services, Net-Centric Products and Network Operations and Infrastructure.
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Through the NETCENTS-2 contract vehicle, the Air Force and defense agencies can acquire technology products such as networking equipment, servers and storage, multimedia, packaged software, identity management and biometrics, and a variety of peripherals. It is not intended for desktop or laptop computers, mobile phones or printers, which are still best purchased through commodity buys.
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One of the most important technology categories under NETCENTS-2 is biometrics and identity management, including physiological biometrics such as fingerprint, iris palm and facial recognition; and behavioral biometrics such as signature, keystroke, voice, and gait recognition. These are already widely employed throughout the Air Force to verify personal identity.
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The next logical step in the technological evolution of forward-looking government agencies is the converged network. This type of network configuration combines multiple communications technologies into a single network, which improves manageability, reduces costs and simplifies operations.
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As the NETCENTS-2 contract vehicle moves forward, it will undoubtedly continue to evolve to meet changing Air Force requirements and shifts in technological development. Research is already underway as to how the next version might be structured. The results will be announced when the time is right.
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