The Big Picture

This blog post is an excerpt from GovLoop’s recent Industry Perspective (IP), Implementing a Truly Unified Communications Solution: A Step-by-Step Playbook. Download the IP here

“Without the institutional Army, the operational Army cannot function. Without the operational Army, the institutional Army has no purpose.” – United States Army

Throughout the military, all branches are grappling with a similar challenge: the need for coordinated, continuous daily operations. Whether in emergencies or in planned events, they require seamless communications to support collaboration with federal, state, and local first responders, as well as internal mission work partners.


Every installation has “too many mouths to feed.” The larger military bases cover hundreds of square miles and are home
to roughly 15 to 20 tenant units, comprised of thousands of personnel and their families. The installation commander’s challenge is to work with multiple operational commanders to establish “power-projection” platforms that will drive mission success in an increasingly complex and asymmetrical world of modern-warfare. The challenge is compounded by the rising incidents of threats from the inside and the need to protect the lives and assets inside the base through improved force pro- tection and security systems, policies and training. At the same time, budgets are shrinking.

Whatever the mission of the installation, all commanders face similar challenges in adopting a unified communications infra- structure. Over the years, communications silos have become entrenched; different units have different responsibilities, with their own decision-making processes. Acquisition of communications equipment frequently is made at the unit level, where each leader seeks the best solution for his specific responsibilities.

The service-wide acquisition process, where some of these silos could be minimized or eliminated, has its own challenges, particularly in timeliness – technology changes faster than the procurement process can move.


» The technology exists today to establish an interoperability platform that closes communications gaps created by the silos separating existing infrastructure, systems, and communications networks.

» You may already have much of this technology in your existing communications portfolio, underutilized because of the lack of connecting platform.

» This is true whether you are CONUS or OCONUS, in-theater, or supporting in-theater operations.

Using the Life Cycle model to assess and create true unified communications capabilities can clarify what you have, what lines of communications you need, and the gaps that need to be filled. This will help you allocate responsibilities, resources, and budget dollars.

To learn more about the stages of the Life Cycle, download the Industry Prospective here.  



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I am impressed with the marketing of this product from Motorola Solutions. We have seen it every day for a week. However, I am disappointed in GovLoop for repeatedly failing to identify it as purely product advertisement. Be transparent yourself and brand it as an advertisement; you can even use tiny letters, but tell us what we are reading. This has nothing to do with the strategies of crisis communications or organizational communication; it is a campaign for a “one-size-fits-all” tactical commercial product.

Catherine Andrews

Hi Lisa, thank you for your comment and feedback – it is appreciated. All of our partner products are identified as such by including the logo of the partner in the post. We will look into other options to make it clearer as well.