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At DoD, a big step toward Apple and Android

Oct. 23, 2012 - 05:42PM   |  
By NICOLE BLAKE JOHNSON   |   Comments
The Defense Information Systems Agency has a request for proposal for mobile device management on Apple and Android devices.
The Defense Information Systems Agency has a request for proposal for mobile device management on Apple and Android devices. (Army)

The Defense Department has taken a major step to expand a mobile strategy that could topple the BlackBerry as its dominant mobile device.

Late Monday, the Defense Information Systems Agency released a request for proposal detailing DoD’s need for software that can monitor, manage and enforce security requirements for Apple and Android devices. The solution, known as a mobile device management or MDM solution, will not be required to support BlackBerry and Windows devices.

Ultimately, DoD expects its MDM solution will support 8 million devices, including all department-issued mobile devices and computers.

Some civilian agencies have purchased or are in the process of procuring mobile device management solutions to centrally manage devices, ensure software patches are current, block access to certain applications and wipe data on the phone remotely if it is lost or stolen.

DISA called the procurement “a significant step towards delivering a secure mobile communications capability to the entire DoD enterprise.”

At the outset, the software would manage at least 162,500 devices, with the potential to support 262,500 devices by the end of the contract, which has a one-year base period and four six-month option periods. Industry responses are due Nov. 27 and a contract award is expected in April.

Whatever solution DoD selects could be expanded to manage mobile devices across the department, including for the combatant commands, military services, DoD agencies and field activities, DISA, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Office and National Security Agency.

The mobile device management solution will also include a mobile application store capability that allows system administrators to update and delete applications on mobile devices remotely. Mobile device users will be able to download and install approved software applications through a departmentwide Web portal.

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