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How To Make the Federal Workforce More Productive, Inclusive, Sustainable, and Resilient

Although federal agencies have made tremendous progress in reversing a sustained decline in telework participation, the objective of creating a more productive, inclusive, sustainable, and resilient federal workforce remains a work in progress.

The U.S. Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 dramatically improved the odds of success by creating Telework Managing Officers (TMOs) responsible for telework policy development and implementation in every agency. The first cadre of TMOs faces an exciting-and daunting-opportunity to create lasting impact in their agencies. They should interpret their roles broadly, to include not only the promotion of traditional telework arrangements, but also the development of mobility strategies that contribute meaningfully to agency business objectives such as productivity, inclusion, resilience, and sustainability.

Doing so will require engaging agency leadership on a range of different topics to develop an integrated plan.

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Telepresence Could Help Lure Young Talent into the Government Workforce

August 3, 2011 at 10:24 am PST

How do the kids in your life spend their time after school? Do their activities involve video—either watching it, playing with it, or creating it?

For Cisco Consulting System Engineer Mike Harttree’s son, Tommy, after school time means gathering his Legos and those belonging to his neighborhood buddies, arranging them in elaborate constructions—like recreations of movie scenes— taking digital pictures of the arrangements, digitally gluing these photos together on a Mac, and uploading the glued photos in video format to YouTube.

Tommy is seven years old. His oldest friend/collaborator is 12. Check out their impressive work here. Read More »

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Common Criteria Certificate awarded for the ASR 1000 Family

July 14, 2011 at 4:25 pm PST

We are very pleased to announce that the ASR 1000 family of routers has been evaluated using the Common Methodology for IT Security Evaluation (Version 3.1) for conformance to the Common Criteria for IT Security Evaluation (Version 3.1) and was awarded a Common Criteria Certificate by NIAP (National Information Assurance Partnership). The evaluation assurance level (EAL) for the product is EAL4 augmented with ALC_FLR.2.

The ASR 1000 is functionally compliant with three Protection Profiles:

  1. Router: U.S. Government Router Protection Profile For Medium Robustness Environments, version 1.1
  2. VPN: U.S. Government Virtual Private Network (VPN) Boundary Gateway Protection Profile For Medium Robustness Environments, version 1.2
  3. Firewall: U.S. Government Protection Profile for Traffic Filter Firewall For Medium Robustness Environments, version 1.1

In fact, the ASR 1000 is the only product in the market that is certified as a router, firewall and VPN device!

The following ASR 1000 platforms have been certified:

  • ASR 1002-F
  • ASR 1002 with ESP5 or ESP10
  • ASR 1004 with RP1 or RP2 and ESP10 or ESP20
  • ASR 1006 with dual RP1 or RP2 and dual ESP10 or ESP20

For more information about the certification, and for the security target document, validation report and actual certificate, please refer to the NIAP/CCEVS web site at http://www.niap-ccevs.org/st/vid10361.

For further information on Global Government Certifications, please visit here: http://www.cisco.com/web/strategy/government/sec_cert.html

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CleanAir: “Open for Government Business”

Inclusion in some government lists may not be such a good thing… for example, the government “no fly list” could be a bummer as you board your flight on your next family vacation. Yet, other government lists can make or break you when it comes to doing business with the Federal Government. Last week, the award winning Cisco CleanAir technology was placed on the all important DoD Unified Capabilities APPROVED PRODUCT LIST (DoD UC/APL). The DoD APL happens to be the official product list that DoD agencies are required to work from when making new acquisitions for network equipment such as routers, switches, WLAN, voice, video etc. With the latest Cisco DoD APL certification, the Cisco CleanAir 3500 Series Access Point becomes the first DoD approved product that supports “built-in” system level spectrum intelligence in support of mission critical wireless networks.

In some ways, the DoD APL is like an exclusive club for a select group of IT vendors –either you are a club member or you stand outside the gate. The process to get products listed on the APL is no cakewalk. First, even before products can be considered for the APL process, the products must meet a series of stringent DoD requirements and certifications such as DISA STIGS, FIPS & Common Criteria. Next, a DoD sponsor must agree to represent the vendor’s products throughout the APL certification process. The actual certification process itself involves several months of rigorous interoperability and Information Assurance compliance testing.

Read More »

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Telework: Why the Federal Workforce Could Be Efficient and Green

The federal government is a perennial target, always subject to accusations of waste and inefficiency, among other allegations. But recent developments in technology and new legislation hold out hope for a more efficient, effective, and greener federal workforce. The U.S. Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 generated tremendous momentum toward increasing workforce mobility options for federal employees. The act paves the way for the federal government to unlock significant benefits, including greater productivity, resilience, environmental sustainability, and employee inclusion. It creates accountability for achieving these objectives in the form of telework managing officers (TMOs), senior officials responsible for telework policy development and implementation.

Realizing these objectives will require a significant departure from current practice. To date, agencies have focused on increasing telework participation rates through advertising, employee training, and resolution of technological barriers. Meaningful progress toward the act’s other goals-including emergency readiness, energy use, recruitment and retention, performance, and productivity-will require moving past first-generation strategies aimed at increasing telework participation rates and, instead, pursuing integrated mobility strategies explicitly linked to agency business objectives.

TMOs should not view the act as just another administrative burden that requires compliance. As the first TMOs assume their roles, they have a unique opportunity to use workforce mobility-including telework and a broader range of tools and systems to enable productivity anywhere, anytime, and on any device-as a catalyst to create a more flexible, productive, and inspiring federal workplace.

Achieving this vision requires a sober assessment of the current situation, an ambitious, goal-driven strategy linked to agency business objectives, and a new management posture aimed at transforming mindsets and behaviors rather than resolving technological challenges.

For perspectives on these issues, read the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) white paper, “Telework: Achieving Higher Levels of Federal Employee Productivity, Inclusion, and Environmental Sustainability.”

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