April 2015
Volume 10, Number 4

From the CIO

Interim CIO

Interim CIO Eric Link

On behalf of the commonwealth, VITA continues to plan for the next generation information technology (IT) infrastructure services when the current contract with Northrop Grumman expires in 2019. Perry Pascual, VITA director of IT sourcing strategy, leads this project for VITA. Integris Applied, a leading technology sourcing advisory consultant, is developing options and recommendations on how to proceed. The options could include continuing to outsource, shifting provisioning of services in-house or something in between. The strategy is methodical and highly inclusive. It will assess our current status, requirements in the years to come, constraints, and how the IT services market has evolved and what it can offer the commonwealth. VITA is reaching out to our customer agencies to ask you to participate in 90-minute interviews with Integris to provide your perspectives on our current state and your expected services needs in the years ahead. I urge agencies to participate when contacted by Perry or Integris. 

We are planning future infrastructure services that your agency will use and your input regarding them is important in assuring these services meet your business needs. The interviews must conclude this month to permit Integris to keep on schedule to report recommendations by the end of this year. I extend my sincere appreciation to the agencies first contacted that have been highly responsive in gathering agency business and IT leaders for these interviews. Elections, Motor Vehicles and Tax volunteered to be pilot agencies for these interviews and provided valuable input. 

The next step is a survey, which will build on the themes emerging from the interviews. The survey is being developed and will be emailed to agency information technology resources (AITRs) and chief information officers (CIOs) later this month. Please watch for the survey and respond candidly. Integris also will perform market research to provide an awareness of current IT capabilities and conditions. We want this process to be transparent and are posting materials on our website (see link below) and will share regular updates at AITR and CIO Council meetings. As mentioned, we are on a tight schedule and the sourcing strategy is an extremely important step in determining how to provide IT services to executive branch agencies in the future. Again, I urge you to give your time and attention to the project when you are contacted by Perry or Integris so that we can determine the best path forward. Thank you very much for your time and attention to this important project.

IT Infrastructure Sourcing Information


Nominations sought for NASCIO awards

It's time to nominate Virginia IT projects for the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) 2015 State IT Recognition Awards. State agency representatives are asked to suggest possible IT projects from their agencies that merit national attention for innovation, efficiency, best practices and return on investment. Virginia has been recognized for excellence with NASCIO Recognition Awards several times. Recent honorees include the commonwealth’s security program and programs at Transportation, Health, Motor Vehicles, and Mines, Minerals and Energy. All entries must be submitted by the CIO and only one entry per category per state is permitted. VITA staff coordinates entry submission in partnership with agencies. Please suggest potential nominations by April 7. Email a one paragraph project summary to mailTo: vitacomms@vita.virginia.govfor each suggested nomination. This will allow time for VITA staff to consider which projects are most likely to garner awards and to work with agencies on entries. 

Program categories and criteria 

IT infrastructure services summary

Tablet offering being piloted

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablets are being piloted at Corrections, Juvenile Justice and VITA. The 12-inch devices are Intel Core i5, 256 gigabytes (GB) with eight GB of memory. The devices are in use in the governor’s office. Additional information will be provided after the pilot phase. 

DGS campus outages planned for network upgrades

On May 2, all agencies that make up the downtown area (known as the Department of General Services or DGS campus) will experience a planned IT outage between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Network infrastructure will be updated for the Jefferson, Monroe, Oliver Hill, Patrick Henry, Pocahontas and Washington buildings. Additional brief outages on following Saturdays are planned for each building for the cutover to the updated network infrastructure. The network circuit in the Monroe Building had reached its maximum capacity and more capacity is being added. Additional fiber is being installed so that if the existing circuit goes down in one building, other buildings will remain operational. AITRs have been provided information about the upgrade and specifics on the planned building-by-building outage. Executive branch agencies should contact their agency operations manager (AOM) with any questions about these outages. House, Senate, Legislative Services, Office of the Attorney General and Capitol Police should contact Hal Hughey ( mailTo: hal.hughey@vita.virginia.govor (804) 652-5670) with questions.

Upgrade of core switches planned at data centers

Core switches in the data centers at the Commonwealth Enterprise Solutions Center (CESC) and at the Southwest Enterprise Solutions Center (SWESC) will be upgraded throughout the remainder of the calendar year as part of a data center upgrade project. This change will improve the resiliency of the network and support the growth of the data center. No service impacts are expected from the replacement of these redundant systems; however; there is a low risk of an outage occurring during the initial stages of the project resulting in a temporary loss of network connectivity. Agency customers will be notified prior to each change. Questions should be addressed to agency operations managers (AOMs) or Project Manager Karen King, mailTo: Karen.King@ngc.com

VCCC requests must come via official email

Submissions to the VITA Customer Care Center (VCCC) for any request requiring an approval from an authorized approver now must be submitted from that authorized approver’s Commonwealth of Virginia or official agency email address. This process helps protect data held by the commonwealth. 

Webinars set on text to 9-1-1 and MSAG/ALI process

VITA's integrated services staff will conduct an educational webinar series to help localities face upcoming challenges and opportunities. The first of two webinars, "Using the Text to 9-1-1 Implementation Guide" has been scheduled for March 31. "Master Street Address Guide (MSAG)/Automatic Location Identification (ALI) Analysis Process" will follow on April 7. A brief overview of each webinar and the conferencing/WebEx information is available on the VITA website. 

Learn more about the educational webinar series 

9-1-1 comprehensive plan town hall meetings

VITA integrated services staff and Mission Critical Partners (MCP) are planning a series of regional stakeholder meetings for the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) community to learn about and become engaged in the development of the 9-1-1 comprehensive plan. These meetings will start on April 13 and will run through April 20. 

At these meetings, MCP will lead a facilitated discussion about the current state of 9-1-1 in Virginia to develop a complete picture of current 9-1-1 capabilities, challenges and stakeholder needs. The town hall discussion will be instrumental to develop an understanding of statewide capabilities, current PSAP functionality and disparity across the commonwealth. 

For questions about the town hall meetings, please contact your regional coordinator

  • April 13 from 10 a.m.-noon: Region 7- City of Manassas Park Police Department, Community Room, 329 Manassas Drive, Manassas Park, Virginia 20111 

  • April 14 from 10 a.m. -noon: Region 4- Wytheville Community College, Bland 104, 1000 East Main Street, Wytheville, Virginia 24382 

  • April 15 from 10 a.m. -noon: Region 6- Franklin Center, Room 107, 50 Claiborne Avenue, Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151 

  • April 16 from 1:30-3:30 p.m.: Region 3- Museum of the Confederacy, Robertson Room, 159 Horseshoe Road, Appomattox, Virginia 24522 

  • April 17 from 10 a.m.-noon: Regions 1 and 5- James City County Law Enforcement Center, 4600 Opportunity Way, Williamsburg, Virginia 23188 

  • April 20 from 10 a.m. -noon: Region 2- Frederick County PSAP, 1080 Coverstone Drive, Winchester, Virginia 22602 

Security conference slated April 2-3

The sold-out 2015 Commonwealth of Virginia Information Security Conference is scheduled April 2–3. Gov. McAuliffe’s office has confirmed that he will speak at the event. With the theme of "Unifying the Business Enterprise," the second annual security conference will focus on issues such as balancing security risks with business needs, regulatory compliance, governance, secure data sharing, threat management and lessons learned from data breaches. 

Commonwealth’s security efforts featured in StateTech magazine


In the 2015 winter edition of StateTech magazine, Chief Information Security Officer Michael Watson and former CIO Sam Nixon discuss how Virginia improved security and successfully tackled malware attacks by reducing the number of users with administrative rights and pushing out Java patches. 

Read the online article 

Free Adobe Connect eLearning, virtual meetings webinar slated April 22

A free one-hour Adobe Connect webinar is available to state agencies from 11 a.m. – noon on Wednesday, April 22. This highly interactive webinar will include discussion on how government agencies across the U.S. are leveraging Adobe Connect to communicate instantly, deliver rich and engaging eLearning content, and enhance productivity. The service is available through a contract with VITA at a more attractive group rate than individual purchasing. Topics to be discussed include Adobe Connect architecture, scalability, security and MeetingOne. Free MeetingOne trials also are available. And, Adobe is planning another Adobe Day. Details will be announced as they are finalized. 

Register for the free webinar 

Free MeetingOne Trial 

Mark your calendars for COVITS

The Commonwealth of Virginia Innovative Technology Symposium (COVITS) has been scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 9 and 10, by Government Technology. This year's event will be at the Hilton Short Pump. 

Governor’s cybersecurity group continues town hall meetings

Governor Terry McAuliffe has announced that his Cyber Security Commission will host three additional town hall meetings across the commonwealth. The town halls are designed to both inform the public on the work of the commission and also gather input. Meetings have been held in Blacksburg and Martinsville. “The cybersecurity industry is a cornerstone of the new Virginia economy, and these town hall meetings are a great way for our commission members to hear concerns and suggestions from citizens, academia and industry across the state,” Governor McAuliffe said. Additional meetings scheduled include: 

  • April 24 -- James Madison University, Harrisonburg 

  • May 19 -- University of Virginia, Charlottesville 

  • June 9 -- Norfolk State University, Norfolk 

Additional town hall details 

Information Security Tips - Avoiding online tax scams

It's tax season, which means it's also time for tax scams, with numerous online scams that attempt to steal people's tax refunds, bank accounts, or identities. Last year, the IRS estimates it paid $5.2 billion in fraudulent identity theft refunds in filing season 2013. This year, we need to be especially careful in light of the Anthem Breach, in which data from approximately 80 million customers was exposed, triggering new phishing attacks. Read about the most common email scams that users should be cautious about in the March edition of Information Security Tips. 

Common email scams