Fulfilling the Promise of Deployable Solutions
MOVING BEYOND THE BACK OFFICE
The men and women of today’s military, government and public sector agencies require extreme flexibility. Far from being constrained to a traditional brick-and-mortar office space, these individuals and teams are in the field, moving freely within the communities they serve, and oftentimes, spread across the globe as they deliver essential services during disasters, terrorist and high-stress events or even manage day-to-day tasks like crowd control, police actions, fires and weather-related incidents. To do their jobs effectively, they have an expectation and even demand a rich IT environment, regardless of their location. This requires IT groups to deliver new solutions that enable global connections, media-rich capabilities and secure collaboration wherever teams are working, be it on the battlefield, in emergency-response scenarios or community-based events.
THE PROMISE OF DEPLOYABLE SOLUTIONS
Deployable solutions are designed to extend enterprise IT capabilities to remote users. While highly-customizable, they typically pack a combination of integrated data center, network, unified communications, wireless and security solutions into a compact ruggedized container or case. Done right, deployable solutions deliver the same level or better functionality in the field as on-site IT, are fast and easy to set up, and allow first responders to easily communicate and collaborate using the very best methods for incident management and command and control.
These self-contained, high-performance, high-capacity solutions deliver enterprise-level voice, video, networking, data services and more to remote uses even when infrastructure is sparse, damaged or non-existent. They can enable communications, connectivity and the ability to securely access applications and data from anywhere. Moreover, they empower remote monitoring and management through easy-to-use dashboards, so IT can be extended to the field without a loss of visibility or control.
Warfighters and first-responders rely on deployable solutions to connect with critical data in real-time for strategic decision-making. They leverage 4GLTE, cellular, satellite, wireless and broadband technology for tactical communications. They can be deployed quickly and engineered to interoperate with other agencies during disasters and high-stress events. They also withstand the harshest environments, optimize connectivity in emergencies, and are not limited to communications functionality. Today’s deployable solutions can even strengthen security with pop-up VoIP cameras for video surveillance along with advanced information management and analytics capabilities.
ENABLING IT WITHOUT BORDERS: BALANCING ARCHITECTURE & POLICY CONSIDERATIONS
In order to fulfill the great promise of deployable solutions, and enable truly borderless IT, organizations must work with partners who understand, not only how to engineer and integrate technology from an array of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), they must also be able to balance architecture with policy demands.
From an architectural standpoint, deployable solutions must deliver high performance within a small footprint. That requires careful considerations for size, weight and power demands. To empower ease of movement and maximum flexibility, deployable solutions should be encased in small, yet sturdy containers or cases that are lightweight and compact, yet ruggedized to withstand harsh environmental, shock and vibration extremes. They also must be engineered to meet an array of power and performance demands, often requiring self-contained, uninterruptable power sources with backup functionality. Most organizations start small, empowering functional mobility for end-users leveraging mobile devices to log into their network remotely, then expand upon that by extending true enterprise IT capabilities to remote facilities and into the field.
Policy is just as important as architecture when extending a network outside of a brick-and-mortar office. Policy simply can’t be overlooked by government agencies and highly-regulated industries like healthcare. To ensure compliance when using deployable solutions, you must establish and adhere to policies regarding how you will protect the data that is being transferred back and forth to remote locations and end-users. For example, in a disaster situation where you are enabling remote units at an in-field medical facility, you would likely be creating medical records as well as sharing and transferring patient data, all of which must be protected in compliance with HIPAA regulations, as it travels along with the patient from the field into a hospital or medical facility.
Choosing a partner that will work with you to create and adhere to policy while engineering solutions is vital. No one wants to spend valuable time or resources designing deployable solutions that undermine compliance. To ensure compliance with stringent Federal security mandates, your deployable solutions may require data encryption capabilities, particularly when you are holding and transferring protected data, such as personnel or medical records. In addition, you’ll want to ensure visibility and control over the computers and mobile devices connecting to your network, which may require identity-based access and management tools to automate and enforce secure access to network resources. With consistent identity management and security policy enforcement across the network, administrators can identify end-users accessing their network regardless of location or device, protect even the most sensitive data assets – and empower those delivering essential services during a natural disaster, terrorist attack, or even managing day-to-day tasks like crowd control, to make the most of their IT infrastructure via deployable solutions.
About The Author
Wade Van Guilder is a seasoned technologist, organizational leader and engineering champion focused on innovation and aligning technology solutions to business impact. He currently leads Red River’s pre-sales engineering organization, is responsible for the company’s technology portfolio and associated go-to-market strategy, and oversees Red River’s technical certification programs. Van Guilder sits on various technical advisory councils for large technology manufacturers and is passionate about driving mission impact through the use of technology. Over the past three years his team has architected more than 40 solutions with a focus on improving the ability and effectiveness of government and enterprises’ to serve their customers.
Prior to joining Red River in 2013, Van Guilder spent over 14 years with Cisco Systems leading a worldwide team which drove significant technical solution sales within the Federal Healthcare, Department of Defense and Service Provider markets. Early in his career, Van Guilder served as a telecommunications professional and network engineer at Minnesota Power, NordicTrack and SUPERVALU. Van Guilder graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Computer Engineering degree, holds an MBA from the University of St. Thomas and maintains his Professional Engineering (PE) License in the state of Minnesota for electrical engineering.