IBM announced that the U.S. Army is using the IBM Cloud to power one of the biggest logistics systems in the U.S. federal government.
The Logistics Support Activity—known as LOGSA—provides on-time integrated logistics support of Army operations worldwide that impacts every soldier, every day. Since migrating to a hybrid cloud model with IBM in 2014, LOGSA processes 40 million unique data transactions every day—more than the New York Stock Exchange, IBM said.
The new hybrid cloud system is designed to connect the IBM Cloud to the Army’s on-premise environment to enable broad use of data analytics for sharper insights.
“The Army not only recognized a trend in IT that could transform how they deliver services to their logistics personnel around the world, they also implemented a cloud environment quickly and are already experiencing significant benefits,” Anne Altman, general manager for U.S. Federal at IBM, said in a statement. “They’re taking advantage of the inherent benefits of hybrid cloud: security and the ability to connect it with an existing IT system. It also gives the Army the flexibility to incorporate new analytics services and mobile capabilities.”
LOGSA is the home of the Army’s Logistics Information Warehouse (LIW), which is the service’s storehouse for collecting, storing, organizing and delivering logistics data. It provides logistics information gleaned through analytics tools and business intelligence solutions to acquire, manage, equip and sustain the materiel needs of the U.S. Army. LIW provides services to more than 65,000 users and 150 direct trading partners around the world.
Moreover, as the Army’s primary source for logistics data, LOGSA provides logistics intelligence, lifecycle support, technical advice and assistance to the force; integrates logistics information—force structure, readiness and other logistics data—for worldwide equipment readiness and distribution analysis; and offers asset visibility for timely and proactive decision making.
Achieving cost savings of 50 percent with this new model, the Army is now focusing on bringing in new analytics services such as condition-based maintenance and data mining that can benefit all Army organizations. LOGSA will harness data and analytics via cloud computing to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of logistical coordination. Doing so requires the ability to easily connect the cloud to existing IT systems.
With the new cloud delivery model, Army logistics personnel have the ability to manage the movement of equipment with up-to-date, accurate information.
In December 2014, IDC named IBM a leader in U.S. government private cloud. IBM recently opened SoftLayer federal cloud centers in Ashburn, Va., and Dallas. These centers were built to meet Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) and Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) requirements for government workloads.
In addition to the SoftLayer cloud centers, IBM offers its FedRAMP-certified SmartCloud for Government. IBM also built a cloud data center dedicated to workloads from the Department of Defense at impact levels 3-5 that can handle higher-risk unclassified data. The IBM Cloud Managed Services for Government-Department of Defense (CMS for Defense) is located at the Allegany Ballistics Laboratory (ABL) in West Virginia, which is owned by the Department of the Navy.
U.S. Army Drives Logistics System on IBM Cloud
The deal with the Army is the latest in a string of recent cloud announcements where IBM is helping enterprises gain faster intelligence from data across secure cloud environments. Within the last week, IBM has announced agreements with The Weather Company, NASA, Telstra and Coca Cola Amatil.
Indeed, IBM on April 7 announced a multi-million dollar agreement with Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) to move its Asia Pacific customer planning and relationship management systems to the IBM Cloud. CCA will run its workloads in IBM’s two SoftLayer cloud centers in Australia in a move toward a more agile environment that can quickly respond to customer needs and result in significant annual savings.
This news builds on the five-year multi-million dollar cloud agreement that CCA signed with IBM last year to manage its SAP infrastructure in IBM’s Sydney cloud center.
Demand for CCA’s beverage goods is seasonal, impacted daily by several factors including when the weather is hot or when major events are taking place. These fluctuations make it costly for CCA to own and manage its own IT infrastructure. To continue to support these workloads in-house CCA would need to make capital infrastructure investments designed for the highest potential demand. The IBM Cloud provides the flexibility for CCA to provision capacity to match customer demand.
“As we continue our transition to cloud we are backed by IBM, a partner we work with and trust,” said Barry Simpson, Group CIO at Coca-Cola Amatil, in a statement. “Our business requires the highest levels of Customer Service 24/7. We must have our products on shelves at any hour of the day or night that our consumers wish to purchase them. We have large transaction volumes which vary significantly depending on factors like location, day, season and what’s on. The move to SoftLayer provides us with a game changing level of flexibility, resiliency and reliability essential to service our customer needs. This consumption based model also removes the need for large expenditure on IT infrastructure.”
Over the next six months CCA will transition workloads to the IBM Cloud to run production, testing and development environments. These workloads span the organization and are essential for CCA’s customer relations management, planning, forecasting and reporting.
“With CCA extending its relationship with IBM, they will be able to more quickly respond to changing market dynamics,” said James Comfort, IBM general manger of Cloud Services. “And with the opening of the second IBM Cloud center in Australia, organizations like CCA can now manage their data on-shore, with unmatched resiliency, security and scale.”