By Light Professional IT Services

The phrase on everyone’s lips at DHITS? Desktop to Datacenter, also known as D2D. This multi-award BPA has piqued the interest of integrators, large and small alike. Many of these vendors asked By Light the same question: Why now?

The Murky Background

The answer is complex. The Defense Health Agency is facing a perfect storm of organizational change.

First, and most familiar to the Federal Health IT community, DHA is fully underway with the rollout of MHS GENESIS. The first wave of transitions starts this Fall. Because MHS GENESIS is on the Medical Community of Interest (MED-COI) VPN, ancillary systems at each Military Treatment Facility will need to be MED-COI ready. By Light currently serves as the Last Half Mile (LHM) integrator for MED-COI, ensuring that medical devices and workstations are properly isolated on the MED-COI and integrated safely into the DoD Information Network (DODIN).

Second, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017 (NDAA17) includes provision for administrative reform of Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs) including transferring facilities from branch control to DHA. Under branch control, many hospitals acquired or built software that was not documented at the joint level. Many of these systems lack DoD IT Portfolio Repository (DITPR) identifications. There is significant redundancy between these homegrown systems and DHA enterprise systems. Despite this uncertainty, these facilities must be brought onto the MED-COI.

Finally, DoD as a department is moving to standardize its cyber operations landscape. By Light currently serves as Subject Matter Experts for the USCYBERCOM Joint Force Headquarters-DoD Information Network (JFHQ-DODIN). The JFHQ-DODIN is responsible for securing, operating and defending the DoD’s enterprise network with over a quarter of a million users. DoD’s 42 Area of Operations (AO), of which DHA is one, plugs into a unified framework governed by the JFHQ.

In 2017, By Light SMEs helped create and promulgate Operation Gladiator Shield, which prepared the unified JFHQ-DODIN framework for sustained cyber conflict. The D2D initiative is a direct result of this cyber governance.

By Light: Lighting the Path Forward

Given the uncertainty of these MTF systems, it is imperative that any D2D integrator have a teammate that a) understands MED-COI and DODIN; and b) understands rapid surge staffing in a hospital environment.

By Light is just that teammate. In addition to providing Last Half Mile support for MED-COI integrations, we retain over 30 personnel supporting JFHQ-DODIN as senior cyber and operational mentors, advisors, and trainers. Our SMEs are fully integrated into the JFHQ-DODIN staff in the J3 (Operations), J5 (Planning), J6 (Communications/IT) and J7 (Training and Exercises) directorates.

Our efforts, from the inception of JFHQ-DODIN, have been instrumental to the shaping of JFHQ-DODIN’s strategic, operational and tactical vision as they move from Initial Operating Capability (IOC) to Full Operating capability (FOC). In addition, By Light lead shaping planning efforts that translate JFHQ-DODIN initiatives into goals, objectives and needs.

Additionally, By Light coordinates and trains all command staff sections to plan and execute DODIN operations to secure, operate, and actively defend our military capabilities in cyberspace. By Light personnel provide the subject matter expertise in the conceptual development, establishment, and operations of this Cyber mission area.

By Light augments this cyber expertise with practical experience in Federal hospital environments. We have served as the implementation vendor for the VA’s Real-Time Location System (RTLS), Enterprise Asset and Work Management (EAWM), and High Frequency Radio systems across the VA Hospital network; as well as IT Support for the National Capital Region, Orlando VA Medical Center, New Orleans VA Medical Center and the James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center. Our ability to rapidly surge cleared, badged and vaccinated staff has been proven time and again.

“By Light is uniquely positioned to leverage our leadership position in the JFHQ-DODIN with our Healthcare Vertical’s proven past perform on similar large-scale deployments to significantly reduce or eliminate any execution risk for DHA’s D2D efforts,” said Lucy Donahue, SVP Federal Healthcare, regarding By Light’s health care offerings in support of this critical DHA effort.

Next Steps to Success

Any vendor pursuing the D2D BPA would do well to engage a teammate that is savvy in many areas: on-site hospital IT work; MED-COI integrations; and most importantly, the overarching DODIN governance structure that will drive D2D and follow on activities. An understanding of the big picture reduces risk and helps navigate the “unknown unknowns” that are inherent to the D2D initiative.

The scope of D2D may seem aggressive and its timeline hectic. With the right partner – one versed in the overarching strategy of JFHQ-DODIN and the MED-COI technology – vendors can deliver on time and budget.  Without the right partner, however, D2D’s nuts!




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