Blackstone Case Study- Federal Government – Modernizing the Nation’s Borders

Background

The U.S. Government performs many duties related to monitoring who enters and exits the country. The Federal Government recently embarked on an effort to do two things: enhance the security of U.S. citizens and visitors, and improve and standardize processes, policies, and systems governing the entry and exit of persons through the U.S. In order to achieve these goals and solve boarder security issues, the Government prioritized three activities:

  1. Expediting vehicle entry using RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology
  2. Improve storage/access to biometric data
  3. Facilitate information sharing across offices and agencies

The government currently maintains databases that store the biometric identity data of millions of foreign visitors. Blackstone was enlisted to enhance these biometric systems. Key efforts include performing technology evaluations and data cleansing as well as assisting in integrating the efforts of multiple Government agencies.

The Challenge

Bring the U.S. Government’s border information management processes and systems into the 21st century by providing guidance on enterprise architecture and the potential of available technologies.

Performance

Blackstone called upon its vast experience in business analysis, Java application development, enterprise integration, metadata management and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) to shepherd the government’s border management systems into a more modern and agile environment.

Blackstone delivered the following services:

  • Led the design, development and delivery of an Enterprise Architecture (EA) Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) framework;
    • In an effort to prove the viability of a Service Oriented Architecture, Blackstone helped build an Oracle BPEL application that demonstrated interactions with a number of disparate, legacy systems that currently house biometric and biographic data.
    • Evaluated leading SOA software suites
    • Developed re-useable SOA components
  • Integration: Provided the Proof of Concept to expedite the flow of vehicle traffic across the border using RFID technology, as well as provide more detailed information to federal employees maintaining the borders
  • Metadata Management: Blackstone created an Information Sharing Proof of Concept as well as Execution Architecture core capabilities delivery. Blackstone has further supported several efforts related to metadata management including:
    • XML Schema design and construction (XSD), with a particular emphasis on best practices for namespace definition.
    • Development of XML schemas to represent person-centric views of mission-critical data.

Results

Working closely with key government stakeholders, Blackstone was able to present the framework for highly efficient modifications to the Nation’s critical infrastructure and furthermore to participate in the development and acquisition of some of the recommended solution. As a result of Blackstone’s work, the government is able to provide more and better information to federal employees on the ground on the Nation’s borders as well as operate in a more agile enterprise IT environment.