The emergence of Open Systems Interconnection protocols, as specified within the U.S. Government Open Systems Interconnection Profile (GOSIP) Federal Information Processing Standard (FTPS), provides both an opportunity for, and a means of achieving, interoperability within multi‐vendor networks. The GOSIP can easily benefit inexperienced users, yet provides the flexibility to serve more sophisticated users. The standard mandates specifications that will be met by a multitude of vendor products, with initial offerings already available. While meeting a useful set of initial networking needs, the FTPS will evolve to include new applications, improvements to the initial applications, new network technologies, and major new functions. GOSIP will permit government agencies to gain better control over their computer network procurements, accruing greater and greater cost savings as the number of government computer networks increases.
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