Defense Collaboration Services DCS web conferencing offers Department of Defense employees worldwide secure video-teleconferencing and instant messaging capabilities. This enterprise tool runs on milCloud – an infrastructure-as-a-service environment hosted within military data centers – and can be accessed with either Common Access Cards on nonsecure NIPRNet networks or Public Key Infrastructure hard tokens on Secret IPPRNet networks.
Defense Collaboration Services DCS web conferencing offers Department of Defense employees secure video conference and instant messaging capabilities. milCloud was chosen for this application because it offers secure Infrastructure as a Service within a military data center, enabling DoD personnel worldwide to communicate securely with colleagues and partners worldwide. DCS is available to authorized DoD employees with Common Access Card tokens on either the Non-Secure Internet Protocol Router network (NIPRNet) or public key infrastructure hard tokens on Secret Internet Protocol Router network (SIPRNet), providing them access to features like room-based teleconference capabilities, document and desktop sharing, instant messaging text chat, whiteboarding polling/voting capabilities and much more.
DoD employees currently utilize DCS daily for free. Its purpose is to serve as a precursor for unified communications (UC), providing full collaboration capabilities across DoD; however, DCS should not replace existing systems like milCloud 2.0 which launched February 1. DCS is still the highest user of MilCloud 1.0 which remains in operation today.
As users migrate to the new platform, DCS will remain reliable by supporting frequently used features, including desktop/document sharing, instant message text chat and meeting recording and playback. Furthermore, file repository services for Army Missile Research Development Engineering Center’s Safe Access File Exchange system and mobile access to employees will continue.
DCS is also offering new features to enhance user experiences, with system modifications to reduce lag and provide smoother video. New text and audio encodings have also been implemented so all participants can understand each other, while security has been tightened up further preventing unauthorised use of their platform.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred people to utilize video-conferencing tools more extensively, they may become vulnerable to being compromised by hackers looking for vulnerabilities or sensitive data. DoD employees who rely on these platforms could put themselves and their reputations at risk as well as being potentially put in harm’s way by using tools provided by government. Furthermore, tracking usage may prove challenging without adequate audit trails in place.
DCS provides free web-enabled conferencing, instant messaging, chat capabilities for military members and civilian employees worldwide. It features desktop/document sharing/white boarding/text chat capabilities; perfect for large events as well as smaller self-directed meetings – accessible on iOS/Android mobile devices.
Before beginning to use DCS, it is critical that users become acquainted with its accessibility features. These features play an essential role in providing equal access for all users; zooming-in/zooming-out capability of video is especially helpful for those with impaired vision or mobility limitations; having options like audio volume changes and muzzing oneself during calls are also indispensable features of equal accessibility.
DCS supports instant messaging and chat on smartphones and tablets, making this feature especially valuable to field personnel who travel frequently and must communicate with coworkers from remote locations. This capability enables DoD personnel to remain productive even when out of the office.
DCS is built upon open-source software, making it available without incurring licensing costs to anyone wishing to use it. Furthermore, it’s connected with milCloud – DoD’s enterprise collaboration platform offering infrastructure as a service and which combines commercial off-the-shelf with government developed technology for secure DoD applications in cloud environments – for seamless use by anyone wanting to utilize its capabilities.
DCS, the Department of Defense’s current conferencing platform, has experienced many issues including slow connections, camera freezes and difficulty recording meetings. DISA plans on releasing an updated version of DCS that will address these problems; in the meantime, users should contact their Global Service Desk should they have any inquiries or concerns.
DCS 2.0 will address these concerns as well as adding voice integration and using new software. Furthermore, its transition from transmission control protocol to user datagram protocol should improve security and performance. Starting immediately for CAC enabled machines; non CAC holders can join by requesting a link from their meeting facilitator.
DCS (Digital Conference Server) is a virtual meeting platform capable of hosting meetings for up to 200 participants at once, featuring white boarding, instant messaging and recording for later playback. Available worldwide to anyone who can gain access with either an unclassified Common Access Card or classified Secure Internet Protocol Router Network tokens respectively – plus it features both a web interface and mobile app!
The DCS system boasts several security features to safeguard DoD employees, such as instant text messaging between individuals and room-based chat for multiple users, sharing documents such as PowerPoint slides and photographs between users in multiple formats, recording unclassified videoconferences with its integrated teleconferencing feature, eliminating third-party phone bridges for unclassified meetings and working seamlessly across commercial, Defense Switched Network (DSN), and Enterprise Voice over IP telephone systems.
At all times, it is crucial to remember that collaboration tools can be compromised by cyber criminals. Even with robust security measures in place, cyber criminals could still use any collaboration tool they gain access to to gain access to confidential data or create vulnerabilities – it is therefore essential for personal devices and networks to remain free from malware and install only approved software – this can be accomplished using the “Best Practices for Keeping Your Home Network Secure” guide from NSA.
DCS differs from eConnect in that it uses open-source software, making it more secure. DCS is hosted on milCloud – an infrastructure as a service environment managed by DISA that houses military data centers – giving greater agility, speed and security compared to hosting commercial off-the-shelf technology from international data centers.
DCS will serve to lay the groundwork for DoD’s future UC system by offering collaboration services. Already used worldwide for virtual conferences with large groups as well as self-directed meetings, the service has proven its value at DoD and across other departments worldwide.
DoD employees should start adapting DCS as soon as possible in their workflow, according to Joseph Rhodes, DCMA’s DISA off-ramping program manager. Starting now will ensure a smooth transition when new tools arrive in 2016.
Defense Collaboration Services DCS web conferencing enables Department of Defense employees worldwide secure video and instant messaging, file sharing and PowerPoint slide viewing capabilities. Available both to civilian DoD personnel as well as military members on nonsecure Internet Protocol Router Networks such as NIPRNet or SIPRNet using either their Common Access Card or Public Key Infrastructure hard token token, DCS can be accessed using any Internet-enabled device including computers, smartphones and tablets.
Cost of DCS depends on its features and number of participants in meetings; typically a meeting with three people costs less than hosting over 20 participants in a conference setting. Many vendors offer free trial periods so potential customers can see if their system works before making their commitment. A government agency may additionally need to pay for bandwidth fees.
Integration between DCS and existing platforms and systems, such as legacy in-room video teleconference systems and DoD mobile devices, should also be carefully considered. Joseph Rhodes of Defense Contract Management Agency’s DISA off-ramping program manager advises workers to begin including DCS and Global Virtual Services (GVS) into their workflow now to become familiar with them and adapt accordingly.
GVS is built upon Vidyo’s commercial application and operates as a cloud service, giving users access from desktops and laptops using Common Access Cards to schedule video teleconference sessions within 30 minutes, or instant conferences with just the click of a button from CAC-enabled mobile devices.
DISA’s DCS is a hybrid solution that utilizes both commercially available technology and DoD-developed solutions to create secure infrastructure as a service in milCloud data centers, according to their website. This will increase security and efficiency while meeting DoD IT standards.
DISA will implement DCS to replace the Army Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center’s Safe Access File Exchange (SAFE) system as an enterprise-wide collaboration capability. SAFE was used for secure file sharing between Army personnel and mission partners; however, large-scale file transfer was no longer efficient using it; DCS’ platform will handle this and more! In addition to that feature, real-time chat federation capabilities allow real-time interaction among DOD entities and external agencies.