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New State Video Network Project Underway

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DIS will deploy a new statewide, next generation video network in December 2011. The existing State Video Network, which was built in 2005, is expiring soon. There are now levels of operability and an array of features in video conferencing, provided by technology that did not exist until a short time ago, that will be available on the new State Video Network. Prior to deployment, however, we want to describe the features of the proposed system and discuss the process by which the proposal was developed.

To ensure the new video network meets the needs of our customers, DIS elicited input from a broad selection of potential users. Primarily, DIS called on the State Network Focus Group and its Video Subcommittee to develop a prioritized list of requirements. In October 2010, the subcommittee began meeting with potential customers, vendors, and other IT professionals. The group considered all aspects of developing a new system, including cost, security, procurement, support, features, and future growth. DIS performed a build-or-buy analysis as well.

Discussions focused on DIS’ operating timeline. The current outsourced video service expires in February 2012. Any new implementation must be scheduled around the public school calendar due to the heavy reliance on video in K-12, therefore the holiday break beginning in December 2011 was chosen for the implementation period. Procurement, installation, testing, and training must then be scheduled prior to the break.

With the information described above in hand, and considering a customer base that includes small, medium, and large organizations running more than 30,000 conference hours per month, the subcommittee developed the ranked list of requirements that is in the attached document. DIS has identified the means to deliver the requirements for the new State Video Network. At this time, and prior to final procurement activity, DIS invites current and potential users of the network to review these requirements and contact Becky Rains at becky.rains@arkansas.gov or 501-682-4003 as soon as possible with questions. 

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