Faster, better, cheaper

The Defense Department launched Rapid Acquisition Incentive—Net Centricity pilot programs last year to develop products and services that support the Pentagon's efforts to use information networks to transform military operations.

The four programs that are being tested are:

* Enterprise Spend Analysis — $950,000.

This pilot will integrate procurement, acquisition and financial data to help DOD officials produce more consistent, accurate and timely financial information — the three pillars of clean financial statements.

"DOD spends $170 billion on 'stuff' and has no strategic way to look at that 'stuff,'" said Bill Price, Navy eBusiness pilot program manager.

* Standard Access Functions for the Common Access Card — $750,000.

The Common Access Card is fast becoming the de facto standard identification card for DOD employees.

This pilot project proposes to develop, in Java code, a set of CAC functions that comply with National Institute of Standards and Technology standards. The result will be open-source functionality that will enable future applications to be more easily developed.

* Virtual Mission Operations Center Web-Based Interface — $500,000.

The Virtual Mission Operations Center would use IP to give end users access to satellite information.

"Rather than require a user to be at a fixed point to gain connectivity to a satellite, this can put hardware in a Humvee and will allow an authorized user to get direct access to satellite communications," Price said. "This has applications in the [unmanned aerial vehicle] world, as well."

* Implementation of Weblog Technology to Accelerate Test/Evaluation — $450,000.

This project will use Traction Software Inc.'s TeamPage to create a communications hub for DOD's test and evaluation programs.

The Weblog fulfills three net-centric goals: Data is posted before it is processed; users pull information rather than waiting for it to be pushed to them; and experts can collaborate in real time.

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