Doors to new Cyber Center open in just two months
Can that be right? Only two months until the Hull McKnight Georgia Cyber Center for Innovation and Training opens its doors? That's the marker Gov. Nathan Deal established when he first announced plans for the center early last year. That's the aggressive target we confirmed when we broke ground in Augusta in June 2017. And yes, that's the path we're blazing toward the Georgia Cyber Center's debut, planned for July 10.
That evening, the Governor will host a ribbon cutting for the first of two buildings, followed by festivities on the adjacent riverfront. It's to be a culmination and celebration of the fast-paced campaign to bring the center to life. And, it will also serve as a kickoff for the critical work to be achieved there.
As you know by now, GTA is coordinating the center's construction and creation of its programs. We're privileged to do so. The progress made over the last 16 or so months has been possible only on the strength of partnerships with so many outstanding federal, state and local entities working with us. July 10 will be a celebration of how much those combined teams, focused on a common goal, can achieve.
We're shy of rolling out the welcome mats just yet, but the progress to date is remarkable. Building one of the two-building center is now fully formed, with build-out of its 167,000 square feet well advanced. A steel skeleton is rising for a similarly sized second building at the same riverfront site. You might remember, we broke ground on that second building at the start of this year. It's charging toward a December opening.
Take a look at the construction photos, and I think you'll agree -- remarkable. The site was bare ground as recently as August last year. My compliments to the team making things happen. Equally impressive, the planned programs and facilities that hold so much potential benefit for the state and beyond. We're confident the center, which establishes Georgia as leader in investing in cybersecurity, will pay dividends near-term and long-term. It will serve critical ongoing needs for strengthening Georgia's cyber defenses, including developing the highly skilled workforce needed to maintain those defenses.
As the opening nears, excitement is growing among the many partners working with GTA on the center, including the U.S. Army Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon, Augusta University, Augusta Technical College, the state's broader university and technical college systems, the City of Augusta, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia National Guard, local school systems and private entities. On their behalf, I invite you to share in the buzz of anticipation. The Georgia Cyber Center is soon to turn from prospective to present tense.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
State Chief Information Officer
GTA Executive Director
GTA-hosted summit to key on building state's cyber defenses
Increasingly it's clear, cybersecurity is everyone's concern. And banding together can help bolster cyber protection. Those themes of active engagement and collaboration will be explored July 11 at the seventh annual
GTA Technology Summit
. With a theme of
Strengthening Georgia's Cyber Defenses
, the 2018 summit will be held in Augusta, Georgia, at the state's Hull McKnight Georgia Cyber Center for Innovation and Training.
Session topics will include the dark web, cybercrime, cybersecurity workforce development, cyber ranges, encouraging innovative defenses, and security policy. Experts from across the cybersecurity field will speak, including representatives from the many entities that have partnered with GTA in creating the Georgia Cyber Center.
The center is the right setting for this discussion. Signaling leadership in the critical cybersecurity discipline, the state of Georgia is investing $100 million to create the Georgia Cyber Center. It will become a focal point for building Georgia's cyber defense capabilities, from a skilled workforce to innovative tools, to tested and proven processes. At the summit we will dig into the cybersecurity landscape and its pervasive risks, as well as state efforts to stay ahead of them - efforts that will soon be woven into the programs of the new center.
The Technology Summit is once again directed toward business leaders as well as technology professionals from Georgia's state and local entities. Agencies' information security specialists, and business leaders partnering with them, will all find the subject matter particularly relevant. There is no registration fee to attend the summit, and lunch is included. Summit seating is limited, and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Summit participants are also cordially invited to the center's grand opening celebration the evening prior, Tuesday, July 10, beginning at 8 p.m. Gov. Nathan Deal will lead a ribbon cutting followed by festivities along the Augusta riverfront.
From print to pre-sort to mail, all under a single roof
Xerox is a familiar face in the GETS community. They've been providing print services since the beginning of the state's shared IT services program in 2009. Now with a new contract recently awarded them by GTA, Xerox will stretch its reach to serve even more customers, in new and enhanced ways.
The new agreement with Xerox, a product of the ongoing GETS infrastructure services re-procurement, takes effect June 1. When it does, Xerox will deliver not only enhanced print services, but also mailroom and courier services from the Capitol Hill Mailroom in Atlanta's Twin Towers building. That allows customers to print, package and mail, all via a single provider. Here's a summary of services:
- High-speed digital print: color, and black & white
- Offset two/color and four/color (commercial static printing, large volume capable)
- Mail services - inserting, metering and presorting
- Envelope manufacturing and printing
- Courier service available
from Capitol Hill Mailroom (Twin Towers bldg., Atlanta)
- Inbound mail sort and delivery
- Outbound mail pickup, postmarking, presorting
- Courier delivery available outside of Capitol walking routes
The new GTA-awarded contract with Xerox replaces existing DOAS statewide contracts with both Dependable Mail Services, Inc. (DMS) (99999-SPD0000051-0003) for presort mail and fulfillment services, as well as with Ricoh Americas (99999-215-DAS0000048-0001) for mailroom and courier services out of the Capitol Hill Mailroom. Xerox and GTA have conducted transition from these providers in recent months.
Invoicing for services under the new Xerox contract will be issued monthly by GTA
. Existing Ricoh and DMS customers under the contracts expiring May 31 can expect billing from those providers to cease following conclusion of their services.
Existing customers and prospective customers may direct questions to Xerox:
- Print to mail
EUC services re-procurement -- this time, it's personal
With things like data encryption or firewalls or server backups, most "regular folks" do appreciate their importance. And, they expect someone else (i.e., the IT team) will take care of it. But end user computing (EUC) services are something altogether different. When it comes to the PCs on people's desks, their laptops or tablets, it quickly gets personal.
So there's a lot riding on the recent re-procurement of EUC services for the state's GETS shared IT services program. And when incoming EUC provider NTT DATA begins service provision July 1, they will take on a personal relationship with 40,000 GETS PC users, each of them with a very visible stake in the game.
NTT DATA doesn't shy from the challenge. First as Dell and more recently under their newer name, they've been the hands behind EUC services in GETS since the program's introduction in 2009. They send the deskside technicians to fix computer problems. They coordinate the refresh cycle to swap out aging PCs. They know the community and the needs.
But NTT DATA won't just be carrying on the status quo. Come July 1, in coordination with GTA and GETS services integrator Capgemini, they will usher in enhanced EUC services. And once their new offerings are fully in place, you'll see some brand new services as well.
One of those planned enhancements is an expanded EUC hardware depot to be managed by NTT DATA. The depot will house a ready supply of EUC hardware and devices, allowing quicker deployment of equipment like laptops when GETS agencies request additional computers or replacements.
Also envisioned is a new offering called tech bars -- a sort of micro EUC support center that can be ordered and situated right on the premises of an agency's office space. Some of the particulars are still to be fine-tuned, but the NTT DATA-operated tech bars will be another option for agencies that see this as a good way to meet EUC support needs of their staff. Additional information will be shared in the lead-up to the July 1 commencement of EUC services by NTT DATA.
IT leadership and innovation in Georgia earned national recognition again as our state placed among the winners of the 2018 StateScoop 50 Awards announced in April. Georgia Gateway, the largest IT project in the state's history,
was one of 12 projects recognized as a State IT Innovation of the Year award winner. Georgia Gateway
provides a single entry point for assistance programs (e.g., Medicaid, Peachcare for Kids, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) spanning multiple state agencies. It provides self-service access, a streamlined application process, enhanced fraud detection and prevention measures, and more.
Also in the winner's circle were GTA's Nikhil Deshpande (Chief Digital Officer for Georgia) and Walter Tong (Cyber Intelligence Director). Nikhil was among eight people nationwide to receive the State Leadership of the Year award, while Walter was one of seven winners in the State Cybersecurity Leader category.
GTA, in coordination with mainframe service provider Atos and integrator Capgemini, performed a GETS mainframe upgrade on Sunday, May 6. The new central processing unit (CPU) aligns mainframe capacity with GETS mainframe agencies' needs and will improve mainframe processing. To help ensure smooth transition, agencies participated in mainframe application testing in conjunction with the upgrade. This improvement grows from new GETS mainframe services procured in late 2017.
- Planning sessions have begun with GETS infrastructure agencies in preparation for the annual GETS disaster recovery exercise, scheduled August 24-31. Disaster Recovery team members will consult with agency DR focals in these sessions to help determine the scope of the August exercise. Agency participation will help ensure continued strength of GETS DR capabilities, as well as compliance with the state's DR program standards.
- The ongoing GETS program infrastructure services re-procurement by GTA has already produced new agreements for mainframe services (via Atos), print to mail services (via Xerox) and end user computing services (via NTT DATA). A fourth component, server services, is also nearing an agreement, perhaps by early summer 2018. These server services are now provided through IBM under an agreement approaching its contracted expiration. And, a managed network security services request for proposal is also in the works. It seeks enhancements (e.g., creation of a centralized security operations center or SOC) to security services already available to the GETS community. In all these re-procurements GTA has benefited greatly from collaboration and input from GETS agencies.
- Another successful GETS voice over IP deployment came just last month as AT&T, in conjunction with GTA, ushered in Hosted Voice Solution (AT&T's VoIP service) at the Department of Administrative Services offices in the Twin Towers Atlanta. Nearly 10 agencies have now adopted this GETS VoIP service, and more are in the pipeline. The IT marketplace has signaled that VoIP (which transports voice communications over a data network) is the direction voice services are going. So as it gains favor over legacy voice networks like Centrex, business lines, key systems and private branch exchange (PBX), this newer technology is becoming the choice of the GETS voice environment. The service is available to all Georgia agencies, local governments, and state colleges and universities.