EDS Wins Coveted Navy-Marine Corps Intranet Contract

EDS Wins Coveted Navy-Marine Corps Intranet Contract

By Nick Wakeman, Senior Editor


OCT. 6 - The wait is over.


The Navy has tapped Electronic Data Systems Corp. of Plano, Texas, to be the prime contractor for the ambitious Navy-Marine Corps Intranet project.


The project is worth $4.1 billion over five years, but incentives and options could push the value to $6 billion. There also are three one-year options that could push the total value to nearly $9.6 billion.


The project is a huge outsourcing endeavor, with EDS taking over secure voice, video and data networking, desktop computers, hardware, software, services and training for about 350,000 Navy and Marine Corps users in the United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Iceland.


EDS beat teams led by Computer Sciences Corp., El Segundo, Calif., General Dynamics Corp. of Falls Church, Va., and IBM Corp. of Armonk, N.Y.


The project hit several snags in recent months, including last-minute concerns from Congress about when the ship maintenance and air depot facilities would be brought into the project. Lawmakers also raised questions about how the Navy was going to pay for the project, what alternatives were evaluated, how military and civilian personnel would be affected and how information security and information assurance were to be addressed.


But with the hurdles cleared, the Navy is moving ahead rapidly with what Navy Secretary Richard Danzig and other government officials are calling a pivotal moment in Navy history.


The project will pull together about 200 Navy networks into a single infrastructure.


The Navy and Marine Corps, which will join the system in 2003, are expecting to save $400 million a year by consolidating the contracts. Currently, the services pay about $1.6 billion to maintain their networks and desktop computers. The contract also allows for continually updating technology.


Danzig said the Intranet will have greater security because it will have centralized network management and system administration. At the same time, users will have access to more information because the intranet will break down barriers between what are now separate, non-integrated networks.


"This will lead us to the management systems we need to do business in the 21st century," said Adm. Vern Clark, chief of Naval Operations.


The intranet will give the Navy and Marine Corps the infrastructure it needs to implement better systems for functions such as logistics and personnel, he said.


Work under the contract will begin immediately. The Naval Air Systems Command will be the first user of the contract with 40,000 seats being deployed by January. The command will serve as a pilot for the project, said Joseph Capriano, Navy program executive officer for information technology.


The network architecture will be validated before the next group of users is brought online in May or June, he said.


"Beginning with this contract, the federal government is well on its way toward employing the best practices from the commercial sector to improve defense readiness while increasing savings for American taxpayers," said EDS Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dick Brown.


EDS' team is called the Information Strike Force, and includes principal partners Raytheon Co., Lexington, Mass., WorldCom, Clinton, Miss., and Wam!Net Inc., Eagan, Minn., a digital networking company.


The team also has a strong small business contingent and EDS has guaranteed that 40 percent of the work will go to small business subcontractors.

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