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Universal Telecommunications Network. NRCS Meeting September 2002. Topics For Discussion. UTN Overview Survey Findings Focus Groups Next Steps. UTN Overview.

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universal telecommunications network



NRCS MeetingSeptember 2002


Topics For Discussion

  • UTN Overview
  • Survey Findings
  • Focus Groups
  • Next Steps
utn overview
UTN Overview

The goal of the UTN is to provideUSDA agencies and offices the fundamental sharedcorporate telecommunications capability necessary to support USDA missions and the business transformation process.

vision for utn
Vision for UTN
  • “UTN is the fundamental telecommunications enterprise infrastructure needed for USDA program delivery.”
  • Robust telecommunications network
    • Scalable, reliable, secure, cost effective
    • 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
    • Enables USDA agencies to meet Departmental missions and goals for serving their customers
  • Development and operation of a shared corporate telecommunications network
    • Consistent with Department’s enterprise architecture
    • Acquire world-class partners necessary to design, implement and operate network throughout USDA program life-cycle
utn s targeted objectives
UTN’s Targeted Objectives
  • Initiate continuous monitoring and proactive network support service
  • Ensure business requirements drive telecommunications service
  • Provide best value, quality telecomm service in support of strategic goals
  • Provide secure enterprise network infrastructure
  • Introduce network management tools
  • Establish performance metrics to define secure, reliable, robust network
  • Establish SLA framework
utn will provide common functionality and interoperability for usda


Customer Service

Technology Infusion



Best Value


UTN will provide common functionality and interoperability for USDA

UTN will ensure the following attributes:

top level yearly usda telecommunications expenditures
Top-Level Yearly USDA Telecommunications Expenditures*

*As Reported by the Agencies in the UTN Survey

(Note: Totals do not include cost data for: FAS, FSIS, FS,


The cost categories include: data circuits, voice circuits, voice communications,

international circuits, remote access, internet service provisioning, wireless,

security, managed service agreements, network support, personnel, hardware,

and software.

transforming business and technology functions to utn design attributes

Business Requirements

Current Telecom

Transforming Business and Technology Functions to UTN Design Attributes


Business and Technology Functions

UTN Solution



business requirements drive utn solution
Business Requirements Drive UTN Solution
  • Goal of UTN Survey
  • Ensure a clear understanding of the telecommunications requirements of USDA Agencies and Offices in order to build the UTN to fit their needs
  • Methodology
  • Requirements process began with collection and analysis of relevant business-related and telecommunications data– focusing on Agency and Office responses to two web-based surveys
  • Examination of applicable industry standards and best practices, and information from existing OCIO documents also used


  • Functional requirements will provide the basis for:
    • Identifying major limitations of current baseline architecture
    • Evaluating UTN alternative architectures and evolution strategies
    • Developing network performance specifications
business requirements survey findings
Business Requirements/Survey Findings

Business, Telecom, and Data Networking Requirements

  • Network stability identified as a major need
    • Need for uninterrupted and fast access
      • To the public Internet and designated systems from the public Internet
      • To the USDA intranet and designated systems from the USDA intranet
      • Among USDA agencies
  • Available bandwidth and speed identified as limitations to the current network


  • VPNs were a requirement stated by the majority of respondents
  • Two primary protection needs for secure communications were encryption and firewalls
  • Majority of data to be protected identified as financial data, privacy data, and other information defined as sensitive
business requirements survey findings12
Business Requirements/Survey Findings
  • Intranet-related service areas identified as either in use or planned by the Agencies
    • Voice over IP (VOIP)
    • Video (including teleconferencing)
    • Wireless communications
  • Remote access identified as a fundamental requirement
  • Effective use of network services requires:
    • Network systems monitoring, management, and reporting
    • Help desk/call center
    • Security
    • Education and training
  • Need for effective communication of network-related outages, events, etc.


business requirements survey findings13
Business Requirements/ Survey Findings

Managed Services

  • Need for monitoring network, equipment, and circuits on a 24x7x365 basis
  • Need for proactively monitoring network indicators for potential emerging network incidents
  • Need for a controlled trouble resolution process including opening, managing, and closing trouble tickets
  • Network Monitoring, Management, Modeling, and Reporting
  • Identified subset of Agencies using SNMP-based monitoring and management tools such as HP OpenView, CiscoWorks, MRTG, and the network modeling tool OpNet.
  • Need identified for development of network monitoring guidelines and sample configuration profiles for each of the major systems used
focus groups
Focus Groups

Top Priority Focus Groups

  • VPN
  • Web Server Architecture
  • Capacity and Performance Planning
  • Security
  • Wireless

Purpose of Focus Groups

  • Refine requirements from survey
  • Communicate and share agency planning efforts
  • Create a forum where synergies can be identified and developed among common initiatives
  • Provide an understanding of how UTN will meet the agency needs
next steps
Next Steps
  • Complete survey analysis and requirements definition
  • Begin focus groups
  • Begin planning pilots
  • Begin development of UTN design concepts