'Future First,' the Federal IT Shared Services Strategy

Avue meets the Office of Management and Budget’s “Future First” strategy and design principles which states, “There are a number of general design principles that apply to Future First architectural designs for shared IT services, including:

• Multiple consumers for each service, with minimal customization;
• Process standardization (commercial product/workflow adoption);
• Web-based solutions with standardized application interfaces;
• Object reuse, machine-readable data, and XML data formats;
• Cloud-based application hosting and virtualization of servers;
• Security controls and continuous monitoring of service operations;
• Configuration management and version control.”

OMB laid out its Federal IT Shared Services Strategy in a discussion draft on Dec. 8, 2011.

For Federal agencies, Avue is one of the few available HCM Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) providers and is the only Level 4 provider. Avue retains responsibility for all matters related to the typical software development lifecycle plus access to the platform and application, service level agreement adherence, and other associated services. In addition, Avue is unique in the professional services it provides its clients on an unlimited basis as part of the fixed price subscription. Avue services include:

• all help desk services,
• user account and role management,
• online tutorials and instruction,
• usability analysis and improvements,
• concierge services for higher-end users,
• onsite training, manager briefings, employee town hall meetings, and in-depth classroom training for staff professionals, and
• professional services ranging from consulting, change management, HR service delivery, special projects, position management, classification studies, climate surveys, and pre-DEU audit preparation.

Everything is provided on demand.

In a true “game-changer” for the reach and power of a SaaS platform, during the past year Avue has also added “virtualization” to its multitenancy, as depicted to the right.

One of the principal benefits of virtualization is that it can increase the system’s capacity without additional programming and combining multi-tenancy and virtualization provides still greater flexibility so that we can further tune the system for optimal performance.

Virtualization is a framework for dividing the resources of a computer into multiple execution environments. Avue uses virtualization to create multiple “virtual” entities within the construct of a primary customer — such as having each customer’s business units partitioned while retaining enterprise (customer-wide) view, reporting, and data roll-up. Site virtualization allows individual components within an agency or Department to have business processes that are uniquely tailored to each component’s business or operational needs.  At the same time, data is tracked in a consistent manner to allow higher levels of the organization and oversight parties to have an apples-to-apples view of the component’s operations.  For example, the requirement to report against the Office of Personnel Management’s 80-Day Hiring Model can be accommodated even when business processes vary widely by tracking the same business events, i.e., the job posting event, regardless of where in the business process that event occurs and reporting cycle time on the basis of these commonly tracked metrics.