This eWEEK

By Stan Gibson  |  Posted 2012-05-02 Print this article Print

Anchors aweigh.

Imagine a symposium attended by several hundred thats dedicated to a single contract. Then youll have a picture of the recent gathering in New Orleans that was dedicated to the largest outsourcing deal ever, the Navy Marine Corps Intranet project.

Senior Editor Caron Carlson attended the conference and reports the tone was upbeat, but should it have been? The NMCI contract "is not for the faint of heart. ... Its not one for those who cant take a joke. ... Its not one for those who cant take a loss. ... Its not one for those who cant hang in there. ... Youre going to be very proud of this program in the end." Those statements come from Carons notes on the presentation by retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Al Edmonds, president of EDS Government Solutions.

When the deal was first struck, lawmakers questioned whether a contract this large could be managed on time and on budget. Now, we find out its not for the faint of heart. Another fact that should be raising taxpayer blood pressure is that the contract has been shuffled under the purview of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities of the House Armed Services Committee. Maybe thats where Edmonds recommendation about taking a joke comes in.

The millennium year must have inspired us to launch big projects. Microsofts .Net—like NMCI—was launched in 2000. In our third-anniversary look at the "bet-the-company thing," as Bill Gates called it, Microsofts Neil Charney says the Web services architecture is well on its way to permeating Microsofts product line—but we wont be hearing the initiative called ".Net" anymore. Charney explains in more detail in Senior Editor Peter Gallis Face to Face interview.

In these straitened times, municipalities are hard pressed to meet budgets. As eWEEK Labs Senior Writer Anne Chen reports, they might look at geographic information systems to help. The city of San Francisco has been using ESRI and IBM GIS products to track tax payments by location. As eWEEK Labs Senior Analyst Henry Baltazar reports, GIS systems no longer require gobs of processing power, and client systems can be mobile devices. Henry finds that ArcPad 6.0.2 and ArcView 8.3 from ESRI can take care of basic and enterprise tasks, respectively. Meanwhile, Microsofts MapPoint Web Service is based on XML and SOAP—.Net in action!

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Stan Gibson is Executive Editor of eWEEK. In addition to taking part in Ziff Davis eSeminars and taking charge of special editorial projects, his columns and editorials appear regularly in both the print and online editions of eWEEK. He is chairman of eWEEK's Editorial Board, which received the 1999 Jesse H. Neal Award of the American Business Press. In ten years at eWEEK, Gibson has served eWEEK (formerly PC Week) as Executive Editor/eBiz Strategies, Deputy News Editor, Networking Editor, Assignment Editor and Department Editor. His Webcast program, 'Take Down,' appeared on He has appeared on many radio and television programs including TechTV, CNBC, PBS, WBZ-Boston, WEVD New York and New England Cable News. Gibson has appeared as keynoter at many conferences, including CAMP Expo, Society for Information Management, and the Technology Managers Forum. A 19-year veteran covering information technology, he was previously News Editor at Communications Week and was Software Editor and Systems Editor at Computerworld.

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