Thursday December 18, 2014
Categories: Adobe Connect, stories from the front lines
DISA’s Defense Connect Online: Connecting Our Armed Forces from Land, Sea and Air
There wasn’t anything particularly miraculous about Lamartrus Exley watching his wife give birth to the couple’s first child—unless you count the fact that Exley was in Kyrgyzstan while his wife was in the United Kingdom. Even then, you may not be impressed. Many of us have been using Skype and other social media tools to participate in important moments from afar for years.
The difference is, Lamartrus was a US Air Force staff sergeant assigned to the Transit Center at Manas while his wife Brittney was stationed as part of the Royal Air Force in Lakenheath. Being “together” required being on a secure channel, made possible by the Defense Connect Online (DCO), a military-grade unified communications system provided to all branches of the military by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and powered by a strategic partnership between Carahsoft, Adobe, and ConnectSolutions.
With one million users, it’s believed to be the largest unified communications network in the world.
Launched just over seven years ago, DCO helps the men and women of our nation’s Armed Forces stay connected regardless of where they’re deployed, whether it be land, sea or air. The system delivers a rich, multimedia experience with VoIP audio, video conferencing, real-time chat, file sharing, whiteboarding, screen sharing, and mobile device support. Users can use the system to host training webinars, connect with bases, and deploy troops, ships and jets all over the world.
DCO has enjoyed tremendous growth as it continues to help DISA foster stronger communication and collaboration within the ranks while dramatically cutting travel and training costs. DCO’s success is a model for how other globally dispersed organizations can benefit from unified communication capabilities.
Improving both classified and unclassified communication and collaboration on such a large scale is no easy task. Users from all over the world must be connected across a wide range of equipment, regardless of OS, browser, bandwidth limit, or device—including desktop and, increasingly, mobile. And once everything is up and running, there’s a need for continuous maintenance and timely support.
ConnectSolutions is very proud of the role we’ve had in teaming with Carahsoft, Adobe, and DISA on DCO to ensure seamless integration of Adobe Connect and Jabber, while providing ongoing support that protects the system’s uptime and high performance across networks. And we’re humbled by the trust that’s been placed in our team, and how it has helped our Armed Forces globally respond to everything from care of refugees to natural disasters.
Two years ago, the Navy used DCO to help a civilian woman in labor with breech twins get specialized medical assistance on a ship in the middle of the sea. While DCO helped one man witness a birth, it helped others protect a birth.
That’s the power of connection.