NCR to expand Air Force data warehouse

The Air Force Materiel Command has agreed to spend $18 million to expand an enterprise data warehouse at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

The data warehouse, built with technology from Dayton, Ohio-based NCR Corp.'s Teradata division, brings together information from several Air Force systems in one location. Expanding the Teradata repository will allow the command to pull in contracting, financial and transportation information that wasn't integrated.

The Greentree Group of Beavercreek, Ohio, a Teradata reseller, won the contract for the expanded data warehouse. BearingPoint Inc. of McLean, Va., is the prime contractor and will provide application development and integration services.

"The Air Force operates more than 6,000 aircraft from air bases around the world, and has a $33 billion parts inventory to keep those aircraft flying," said Mike Riley, program manager at the Air Force Material Command, in a statement. "We saw the opportunity to support both the combat side and the business side of operations by providing a central, relatable and current analytical data repository that integrated information from all areas to provide a single, trusted view of the enterprise and all its components."

Teradata, which sells extensively into the commercial market, said the Air Force project provides a good example of how its data warehousing solution finds its way into government installations.

The command wanted to see some best practices, "so we showed them places like Wal-Mart, which has a very elaborate supply chain and data warehouse. Then BearingPoint came in to facilitate the solution," said Allen Shay, chief operating officer of NCR Government Systems Corp. "This equation brings together our people, who know the technology well, with people [from] BearingPoint, who know the government client and its needs."

Using the data warehouse, mechanics and supervisors look for trends and hidden causes of aircraft equipment failure. During operations in Iraq, the Air Force tracked fighter flying hours and maintenance actions in near real time to help make quicker decisions.

The command's enterprise data warehouse project began in 2001 to assess aircraft readiness, monitor aircraft configuration and analyze individual aircraft histories. The goal was to predict availability and helps commanders know which aircraft were available to deploy. Phase 2 is under way and includes integrating the aircraft maintenance information with data that comes from the Air Force supply chain.

With total 2002 revenue of $5.6 billion, NCR ranked No. 65 on Washington Technology's 2003 Top 100 list, which measures federal contracting revenue. BearingPoint ranked No. 37.

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