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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Partner strategies to play critical role in Navy NGEN competition

I wasn’t able to attend the Navy’s industry day on the recompete of the Next Generation Enterprise Network, but I recently got the slides and found some things worth sharing.

The $3.5 billion NGEN contract is currently held by HP Enterprise, which was the incumbent, thanks to its acquisition of EDS, on the predecessor contract, the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet or NMCI. It was originally awarded in 1999 and won by HP in 2013.

The next contract will be a multiple award contract because the Navy wants to increase competition and lower costs over the life of the contract. It also wants to serve the Marine Corps needs through a common set of contracts.

Some of the overall goals of the new contract are to transform the command and control network into an “interoperable, ubiquitous and rapid access” network that will give access to information regardless of the environment.

It also wants to modernize the IT workforce and gain efficiencies.

The new contract is expected to be awarded in June 2018.

One of the things that caught my eye in the slides deals with what the Navy sees as drivers of change. They put the changes into four broad categories: customer demands, stakeholder interests, industry trends and technology advancements.

The group was labeled as “These Never Stop Changing.”

Of most interest to me were industry trends and technology advancements.

Under industry trends, the Navy listed five things:

  • Industry-wide teaming and focused partnerships
  • Substantive cloud service capabilities
  • Vendor-agnostic products and services
  • Proven cost-effective technologies
  • Significant small business engagement and interest

Partnerships were called out as their own bullet point but what struck me is how significant a role partnering plays in all of these. Each one needs a partnering strategy.

What this tells me is that if you are a prime, you better be able to show how the team you put together addresses each of these of these points, particularly as you look at vendor-agnostic products and services, cost effective technologies and small business.

The technology advancements category also means primes will need strong, flexible partnerships. Of particular interest to the Navy is mobility, cyber, unified capabilities, cloud, network tools and automation and speed to outcome.

The type of services the Navy is acquiring is changing so the Navy also expects the service delivery model to change.

Again, for primes to adapt quickly they will need flexible and strong partnerships, particularly with commercial technology vendors.

The Navy also is concerned about keeping up with industry and the commercial world with how it manages its IT, so it is interested in demand self-service, measured services that involve the use of metrics, broad network access, resource pooling and what it calls rapid elasticity.

The cloud, both private and public and hybrid, will play a big role in this. But the Navy appears to be more interested in a dynamic and flexible way of managing its infrastructure, and it’ll use the technologies that best deliver that. It is also very focused on global service delivery and mission assurance.

It’ll be interesting to see how the competition for the contracts plays out, especially now that HPE is merging its IT services business, which includes the NGEN network, into Computer Sciences Corp.

CSC and Harris led a team that bid and lost the NGEN contract. CSC has since spun out its government business but will gain back a significant government business when it finishes the deal with HPE.

Because the Navy is breaking up NGEN for the compete, I’ll expect we’ll see several other bidders enter the competition depending on how the contract is structured and what services are broken out into separate contracts.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Jun 15, 2016 at 9:29 AM

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