Military (IT) efficiency: the VA’s growing comradeship with 1E

How 1E is helping the VA to achieve greater IT efficiency in accordance with the new MEGABYTE Act

The VA (or, properly speaking, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs) has no small task: it has to turn the immense respect and affection America feels for its armed forces veterans and their families into actual care.

It is necessarily one of the largest government agencies. Nationwide, it has hundreds of facilities, ranging from clinics to advice centers, and employs almost 345,000 people. In 2012, the VA had a budget of $132 billion. Understandably, it is a national and institutional concern that the VA utilizes that budget in the most efficient way possible.

In the 21st century, true efficiency has as much to do with an organization’s IT as it does any other resource.

President Obama acknowledged as much during a presidential town hall this week, in Fort Lee, Virginia. Previously, Obama explained, many of the VA’s medical centers were using “antiquated” systems. “So we’re having to rebuild information systems, intake systems,” he explained.

In addition to this push, this year the U.S. government introduced the MEGABYTE Act. The act represents a complete overhaul of software licensing practise by government agencies, with a view to significantly improving software spend across government.

In previous years, the VA has turned to 1E to help it to achieve greater IT efficiency with regards to its energy use. Recent developments have occasioned an expansion of this partnership, meaning that it now covers three specific areas:

  1. The VA has been using 1E’s NightWatchman for seven years, saving millions in energy costs, reducing its carbon footprint and improving the health, lifespan and security of its PC estate. (We’re always delighted to see customers make significant savings through the use of our software, but it gives us an especially good feeling when we think of what these savings could mean for veterans and their families.)
  2. Partly inspired by its ongoing experience of NightWatchman, the VA has now selected us for its ESAM (Enterprise Software Asset Management) project. This has been instigated by the aforementioned MEGABYTE act, which requires all US federal agencies to implement a SAM process to reduce and manage software license spend. 1E is a thought leader in this area, and is excited to be able to work with the VA to improve this crucial part of the software lifecycle.
  3. In addition, the VA will be utilising 1E Nomad to help it deploy Configuration Manager 2012. This is part of its laying the foundations for its nationwide Windows migration plans. Given the broad spread of the VA’s facilitates, the capacity to push out CM and OS updates in a fully automated way, without excess servers or network disruption, makes perfect sense.

1E is proud of the work we’ve done with the VA, and is looking forward to what we can do going forward.

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Thomas McGrath
Thomas McGrath is a journalist, presenter and digital content specialist. He has written for the likes of Telecoms.com, Digital TV Europe and Business Cloud News, among others, covering topics such as apps, the Internet of Things and TV. He lives in London with his wife, son and cat.