NMCI Making Headway

By Paula Musich  |  Posted 2002-05-03

The Navy got the go ahead this morning from the Department of Defenses Chief Information Officer, John Stenbit to move forward with the next phase of the Navy Marine Corp. Intranet.

The outsourcing project, worth potentially $6.9 billion and led by Electronic Data Systems Corp., received the authorization to rollout 100,000 seats in the project, following the completion of the required testing phase of the project. NMCI is intended to streamline the Navy and the Marine Corps IT infrastructure, creating a single, cohesive network for 411,000 end users at over 300 bases.

In the initial pilot phase of the project, the Navy was authorized to roll out 60,000 seats. To date, just 4,000 of those seats have been deployed, as the Navy and its outsourcing team tested the feasibility of the project.

"The pilot was to show the processes were here, the technology works and for the Navy, to show we understand the change management aspects of this," said Rear Admiral Charles L. Munns, who was earlier this year named director of the NMCI in a move intended to provide a single point of contact for the project.

The Navy hopes to deploy 20,000 seats by August. By the time the project is extended to the Marines -- anticipated to be some time next year-- Munns said they Navy hopes to be able to deploy 30,000 seats per month. The project, which is the largest federal IT contract ever awarded, is expected cover over 400,000 desktops.

With the testing phase behind them, the Navy will focus more closely on how well the streamlined system is received by end users. They will scrutinize whether it is meeting service level agreements, monitor systems and survey end users, as well as examine helpdesk troubletickets. The Navy will also look at the useability of the desktop, said Munns.

Thus far, the Naval Air Facility Washington has cut over to the NMCI environment. The Naval Air Station Lemoore and Naval Air Command Headquarters have started the process. The next sites to be cut over include the Commander in Chief Atlantic Fleet Headquarters in Norfolk, Va.; the Space and Naval Warfare Command Information Technology Center in New Orleans; the Readiness Command South in New Orleans; the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Headquarters in San Diego, Calif.; the Naval Surface Warfare Command in Port Hueneme, Calif.; and the Naval Air Station in Fallon, Nevada.

The next major milestone in the NMCI project will be the decision to authorize another 150,000 seats. No date has been set for that, but it will follow a review by the Office of the Secretary of Defense of the performance of the Intranet, once the next 20,000 seats are deployed.

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