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GCN : October and November 2016
48 GCN OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2016 • GCN.COM directorate’s Cyber Security Division. “The mobile app software assurance program has managed to address a real and pressing problem, has transitioned the technology into the hands of agencies... and has also helped make the technology available through the [General Services Admin- istration’s] IT Schedule 70 to get it into the hands of those that need it much faster,” he said. “We started with a real need and delivered a technol- ogy that is commercially viable and best in class.” The project has quickly matured, with DHS head- quarters, the department’s “Mobile Carwash” effort, Customs and Border Protec- tion and the Federal Emer- gency Management Agency all working together to share evaluations of mobile ap- plications. Ultimately, DHS officials want to make con- tinuous mobile application vetting an automated process for all government agencies. — Karen Epper Hoffman SSA BRINGS METHOD TO THE MOBILE MADNESS The Social Security Administration paired a blanket purchase agreement with a managed service to coordinate ordering and support for mobile devices No one doubts the power of a mobile-enabled workforce, but delivering and managing mobile devices and services for an entire federal agency is far easier said than done. The Social Security Administration used to rely on a wide range of ad hoc procurement and assignment methods for mobile devices — until the agency ’s Office of Hardware Engi- neering created a one-stop shop for all things mobile, including devices, apps and services. The Enterprise Mobile Provisioning Service (EMPS) pairs blanket purchase agreements for phones from Verizon and AT&T with a managed service developed and run by Accenture Federal Services. It includes ServiceNow, a front-end portal that handles catalog, approval and ordering processes; NetPlus, an expense management tool; and AirWatch, a mobile device management solution that handles configuration and security settings. SSA has consolidated 94 percent of its mobile service contracts into one of the BPAs, decreasing the agency’s annual mobile spending by more than half since the beginning of fiscal 2015 and saving SSA about $2.7 million a year. Once EMPS is fully deployed, agency employees will use the intranet portal to select a service plan, carrier and device model. Requests then go through the management ap- proval process before the order is placed with the carrier. “Our goal is to ensure Social Security employees have the technology tools they need, but providing the ‘latest and greatest’ device models is not a priority,” Mark O’Donnell, senior adviser at SSA’s Office of Telecommunications and Systems Operations, told GCN. SSA is also able to better manage the contracts, analyze service plans, monitor us- age and maintain inventories through its new mobile expense management system, and the agency can extend EMPS into other areas, such as provisioning of desktops, laptops, tablets and printers. — Stephanie Kanowitz 1116gcn_032-055.indd 48 10/6/16 10:25 AM
August and September 2016
January and February 2017