Schobert to step into new ITS CTO position

Today the General Services Administration will officially name Fred Schobert as the new chief technical officer for the Federal Acquisition Office's Integrated Technology Services (ITS) office.

John Johnson, GSA's assistant commissioner for ITS, said Schobert, the former Networx program manager, also will be the director for IP Version 6 transformation for the agency.

"What Fred will be doing is performing three main functions: He will interface with industry and the federal IPv6 working group, and serve as conduit for emerging technologies," Johnson said. "The ITS portfolio is rather broad, and I needed a technical adviser. That is a good thing for ITS across all fronts, whether it is IPv6 or not."

The CTO position for ITS is a new one, and Schobert will have a small staff initially with just Gene Sokolowski helping out, Johnson said.

Since February, GSA had been considering whether to establish a governmentwide IPv6 program office. But Johnson said they decided to give the CTO position the responsibility to make sure all the agency's service offerings integrate with IPv6.

"We are considering a lot of different things, such as providing a testing capability, and making sure our portfolio provides IPv6 compliant products that will help agencies achieve the criteria for 2008," Johnson said. "Fred will look at all of that to make sure everyone will do their part to provide a program presence."

The Office of Management and Budget set a June 2008 goal for agencies to make their network backbone IPv6 compliant.

Johnson added that one of Schobert's main responsibilities will be to determine to what extent GSA's products are IPv6-compliant and aligned to a possible approved products list.

Schobert "and a cross-organizational team will look across the GSA enterprise to see what we have to do across all fronts," Johnson said.

Schobert said his first priority is to establish relationships with governmentwide IPv6 leaders, and work across GSA's business lines to see where the new technology fits.

"The key to IPv6 is getting its benefits to the desktop and that is where transformation will occur," Schobert said. "There are a lot of opportunities to look across our business lines in areas such as security products, applications and Microsoft Vista so ultimately we have to get a secure solution to the desktop. That requires a broad reach across our organization and that is the opportunity I have."

Jason Miller writes for Government Computer News and Federal Computer Week, 1105 Government Information Group publications.

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