GEMSS: The Army's Accelerator for Modernization
The Army is one of the largest information technology customers in the world but has rarely been able to take full advantage of its massive scale and buying power. Because the Army's information architecture developed locally over decades, and because of the way that technology developed over time, the Army viewed IT largely as a matter under local control.
Now that's changing. Enterprise Agreements are a major step forward in enabling the Army to leverage Army-wide buying power, lowering costs, and improving mission support. The Global Enterprise Modernization Software and Services (GEMSS) contract is one of the most far-reaching of these agreements, a single contract encompassing support for legacy hardware, a path forward for modernization, and the training and support to make it all work.
WWT is the Army's partner on GEMSS, providing the operating-level expertise and advice to help organization's embrace all the possibilities GEMSS enables.
GEMSS covers hardware and software from global networking leader Cisco Systems. It provides a direct and overarching solution for managing and supporting legacy hardware, modernizing to a software-defined network, implementing the collaboration and video conferencing support your mission users require, and building in the security the Army demands. GEMSS does all that at guaranteed prices and without the hassle and waste associated with typical IT contracts.
GEMSS not only eases network management, it's like an accelerator for modernization. Instead of installing new hardware on a cyclical basis, GEMSS will help you keep your command on the cutting edge, enabling a continuous modernization strategy built on industry-leading Cisco software. That means new capabilities, services and innovations can be rolled out almost as fast as they become available.
As a trusted partner of both Cisco and the Army, WWT provides the centralized means for managing licenses, accessing Cisco software, and acquiring support services, training, and education. All are built into this enterprise deal. That means you have access to more than Cisco technology—you also get the advanced integration expertise of WWT, the native product knowledge Cisco, and the training you need to get your staff trained to manage the networks of the future.
GEMSS covers millions of licenses for the Army and will empower network engineers and managers by freeing them of mundane contractual details so they can focus their talents on the mission: providing the best possible network services and security to their commands. With GEMSS, WWT takes on much of that workload, making it as easy as possible for engineers in the field to access the software and options they want, and the support they need to make it all work seamlessly.
We can help you adopt new capabilities, deploy new technologies, and perhaps more importantly, plan and manage the divestiture of legacy switches and architectures that no longer match mission needs. What can you turn off today? What's the best way to deploy a new service? How fast can that be executed? These are the kinds of problems we are solving every day under GEMSS.
Unfortunately, there are still network operators out there who don't know that GEMSS can help upskill your workforce through Cisco's Networking Academy—at no cost to your command. Nor do they realize that with GEMSS, we can help you efficiently reimagine your network in software, accelerating your modernization and the introduction of new services and improved security. Doing so can actually save your command expense such that instead of replacing switches every three years or so, you can get perhaps eight years of service out of your network hardware while implementing new software almost as soon as it's available. That's continuous modernization for less cost than managing your legacy switches.
A few years back I was the senior engineer on a network in Iraq. We had 300 people running that network and 7,700 Cisco devices. When you run something that large and complex, you're going to need expert help. With GEMSS, we're making it easier than ever to access engineers and expertise. We can help you adopt the capabilities you need, deploy the new technologies necessary to enable new mission needs. And to develop a plan for divesting of old technology while deploying more modern replacements. No one else is better able to help Army commands work through the challenges of adopting new services, deploying them globally, and make the most of the investment. That's true even if that means integrating with non-Cisco equipment. That's part of GEMSS, too.
In addition, we're providing a level of threat intelligence support through GEMSS that was not previously included in prior contracts. That's a significant enhancement that adds value and contributes directly to network operations.
Here's the bottom line:
The Army is modernizing its networks, consolidating on a primary technology provider (Cisco) and a primary integrator (WWT) to help achieve that objective. The Army has likewise consolidated the overarching contracts and is poised to drive toward a unified network architecture defined in software and incorporating the most advanced security available, at the lowest possible cost, and enabling the greatest possible access.
That's a tall order. But it's within reach. GEMSS delivers on that promise.
To learn more and to sign up for training, licenses, or other access, go to the Army Digital Modernization Community Page.