ATARC Federal Mobile Computing Summit

The ATARC Federal Mobile Computing Summit was held on October 4, 2016 at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C. The Summit featured members of the Mobile Services Category Team (pictured above, from left to right: Mike Vande Woude, DOJ; Jon Johnson, GSA; and Rob Palmer, DHS)


A governmentwide team of mobility experts is poised to soon release its ideas for a more efficient and workable enterprise-wide mobile services strategy.

The goal of the Mobile Services Category Team (MSCT) is to give agencies better tools to cut back on the 1,200 mobile agreements and 200 unique services plans that cost the government about $1 billion annually — and put them on a path to reinvest those dollars in tighter security measures or other initiatives.

“If I save in A, then I can put it toward B and C. All we’re trying to do in the Mobile Services Category Team is begin framing what B and C mean,” said Jon Johnson, manager for enterprise mobility programs at the General Services Administration, during an Oct. 4 panel discussion at the Advanced Technology Academic Research Center’s Federal Mobile Computing Summit in Washington. “There’re many agencies who want to reinvest, but they don’t know what to reinvest in. They don’t know what to prioritize. It’s easy to get lost in this space, particularly with the security components alone.” (Full Story)


Agency mobility leaders are working to establish a governmentwide strategy for buying and managing mobile devices and services but say they need more accurate usage data to do so.

To simplify the federal government’s over 1,200 separate mobile agreements for more than 200 unique service plans for voice, data, and text capability, the Office of Management and Budget in August issued a memorandum on improving the acquisition and management of mobile devices and services.  It requires agencies to report mobility service usage, remove unneeded inventory on a quarterly basis, reduce the number of contracts for mobile devices and services and improve plan pricing and device refresh schedules.

To move the effort forward, OMB established a Mobile Services Category Team, or MSCT, led by the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the General Services Administration and OMB. As Jon Johnson, program manager for GSA’s Enterprise Mobility Programs, explained, this team of mobile device and service subject matter experts works across government to address the memo’s requirements and push federal mobility usage forward.

In the memo, the MSCT is responsible for creating a strategic plan by Oct. 31, for at least one next-generation governmentwide acquisition solution to be awarded before May 31, 2018.  “We’ve actually completed that. It’s in review right now,” Johnson said at the Advanced Technology Academic Research Center’s Oct. 4 Federal Mobile Computing Summit. “We’re expected to release that very, very soon.” (Full Story)