VA Awards Mobile Device Mgt. Contract

System Will Support More Than 100,000 Devices
VA Awards Mobile Device Mgt. Contract

The Department of Veterans Affairs has issued a $4.4 million contract to Firstview Federal Technology Solutions LLC for the VA's long-awaited mobile device management system, a department spokesperson confirms.

See Also: It's Time to Get Serious About Enterprise Password Management

The system will support more than 100,000 mobile devices, including smart phones and tablets, from a variety of vendors. Those will include VA-owned devices as well as the personal devices of employees and medical students.

The software is essential to ensuring security when using mobile devices to access the VA's clinical information system, VA CIO Roger Baker stresses (see: VA to Award Mobile System Contract).

The rollout of the MDM system is expected to take about a year, Baker says. In recent months, the VA has been testing a smaller MDM supporting about 1,500 devices.

Long Time Coming

Last October, Baker predicted that the massive mobile device rollout, including the MDM, would take about 18 months to complete (see: VA CIO: Personally Owned Devices OK). But the project has yet to proceed beyond the pilot phase.

The VA's various business units, such as individual facilities, will need to determine "whether there is a business case" for them to allow staff to use personally owned devices through a BYOD approach, Baker says. The VA's central IT organization will provide the MDM and other related services to support those devices. "Our major role is enforcing information security for applications on the devices," he says.

Among BYOD users that could be supported by the enterprise MDM are the 100,000 medical students who work at the VA, he says. Those students "could use BYOD under the MDM if they sign up for the legal restrictions" that VA requires, he says.

About the Author

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee

Executive Editor, HealthcareInfoSecurity, ISMG

McGee is executive editor of Information Security Media Group's media site. She has about 30 years of IT journalism experience, with a focus on healthcare information technology issues for more than 15 years. Before joining ISMG in 2012, she was a reporter at InformationWeek magazine and news site and played a lead role in the launch of InformationWeek's healthcare IT media site.

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