Leonardo DRS provides innovative information and communication technology solutions and service to Alaskan schools, healthcare, communities, and businesses
For eighteen years, Leonardo DRS has consistently delivered cost-efficient, reliable, and scalable information and communication technology solutions throughout Alaska’s remote and challenging environments. The company primarily provides schools and health clinics with broadband services and optimized network applications such as video teleconferencing. It also offers high-quality enterprise solutions, including managed services, technology support, cybersecurity, and 24x7x365 network operations. Leonardo DRS operates and maintains resilient fiber optic, microwave, and satellite networks, including a 600-mile microwave network from Fairbanks to Allakaket.
“We have served over 125 remote Alaska installations, from the Arctic Circle to the Southeast to the Aleutian Chain,” says Vickie Kelly, Business Development Manager, Alaska. “We span the whole state.” Leonardo DRS is a leading technology innovator and supplier of integrated products, services and support to military forces, intelligence agencies and defense contractors worldwide. The multi-billion-dollar, Arlington, Va.-based contractor facilitates mission-critical, classified programs, providing extremely secure communications, information assurance and network security. “We bring that experience, depth of knowledge, and support into what we do in Alaska,” Kelly says.
Prioritizing Availability and Response
In Alaska, Leonardo DRS distinguishes itself by the high availability of its broadband services and rapid response. “Our group is passionate about the support we provide,” Kelly says. The ability to react quickly is due to the size and resources of Leonardo DRS’ support group. Of the more than 6,000 employees at Leonardo DRS, the Global Enterprise Solutions business unit maintains a seven-person staff in Alaska and ten in Montana, that provide direct support to operations in Alaska. In addition, there are another 250 personnel in Dulles, Virginia that make up reach-back support. It recently donated bandwidth to support rural schools during the coronavirus pandemic and helped the Tanana Chiefs Conference establish a wireless network for a COVID testing center. “Whenever there is a need, we try to respond very rapidly,” she says.
Key to Success
Leonardo DRS’ accomplishments in Alaska are guided by its intentional approach to expanding. It’s about not trying to be all things to all people but looking at where the company can provide the best quality service and growth in that area. Expanding its microwave network with two new towers in Indian Mountain and Allakaket is a prime example. Other important success factors entail keeping current with technology and being vendor-agnostic, which enables Leonardo DRS to offer an array of solutions from diverse manufacturers. But perhaps the most essential components of the company’s performance are its long-time staff and their constant dedication. The Alaska support team encompasses program analysts, a program manager, and a senior network engineer with an impressive 29, 18, and 16 years, respectively, with the company. They, along with Kelly—a 32-year Alaska technology industry veteran—care deeply about being available for their customers. Leonardo DRS also supports clients with a 24x7x365 help desk and two backup help centers. “We have three points of contact to ensure customers can reach someone any time should they need anything,” Kelly says.
Leonardo DRS provides Alaskan schools, healthcare, communities, and businesses with:
End-to-End Managed Communication Services & Applications
- Secure Microwave, Satellite, and Fiber Networking
- Wireless – Campus WiFi/4G
- Broadband Internet Access
- Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Prepaid Calling Platform
- Video Teleconferencing (VTC)
- Full Motion Video
- Remote Desktop
- Virtual Private Networks (VPN) – Layer-2, Layer-3, and Virtual Private Local Area Network Service (VPLS)
- Security Operations Services
- Identity & Access Management
- Vulnerability Assessment, System Scanning, Problem Investigation
- Governance, Strategy & Compliance
- Training, Education & Awareness
24x7x365 Global Network Operations & Security Center (NOSC)
- Network Monitoring
- Help Desk with Tier I, II, & III Support
- Trouble Ticket System
- Customized daily, weekly, monthly performance reports
- Network Design & Build
- Systems Engineering & Integration
- Operations & Maintenance
- IT Service Management
- Applications & Systems Management
- Software/Hardware Support, Troubleshooting, Repair & Replacement
- Program Management
- Full Life-cycle Sustainment
The views expressed here are the writer’s and are not necessarily endorsed by the Association of Alaska School Boards. AASB welcomes diverse perspectives and civil discourse. To submit a Guest Column for consideration, see our Guest Column Guidelines and email your 400-1000 word submission HERE.