State looks to the cloud for building management services

The State Department's building administration agency is investigating software-as-a-service solutions for its site managers as an alternative to an existing shared services platform.

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The State Department is considering a new commercial software-as-a-service platform to support building management capabilities for thousands of its properties worldwide.

In mid-December, the agency's Bureau of Overseas Building Operations' (OBO) Information Resource Management Division issued a research notice for a commercial off-the-shelf project management and collaboration system or service. The agency told industry it wants input on a cloud-based project management capability that thousands of its building managers could use to oversee projects.

The OBO said it is considering a single solution, or suite of solutions, to support project management and collaboration requirements for over 2,000 users, including staff and support contractors in the Washington, D.C., region and at its properties around the world.

The agency said it is interested in a SaaS platform with both medium and high Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program approval. It's also wants to look into integrating application program interfaces with the platform's database though the web and interfacing with common architecture, engineering and construction technology and tools. Mobile device access is also a top priority.

The bureau currently uses ProjNet, a federal shared services solution it pioneered with Army Corps of Engineers' Construction Engineering Research Laboratory and the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS).

ProjNet website said the platform was launched in 1998 with the State Department using it for design review processes for embassy construction. The site called ProjNet the backbone of the State Department's engineering and design process and said it sets the foundation for its integrated design review processes. ProjNet is administered by the Washington, D.C.-based, not-for-profit NIBS.

The site said that ProjNet has over 45,000 users and that more than a quarter of all federal agencies that have construction projects use it to track and manage building design issues.