Litton/PRC piles up contracts with CIO Inbox strategy

Litton/PRC Inc.'s William James, formerly a staff member of the Air Force chief information office, has crafted a services strategy that has helped his company win four Defense Department services contracts potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

James, Litton/PRC's vice president of communications and infrastructure, has dubbed the strategy CIO Inbox. The idea is to lay the foundation for any services proposal by being sure to address the key information technology management issues that concern an agency CIO.

Although the menu of issues might vary from agency to agency, or program to program, typically it will involve Year 2000 compliance, information security, communications infrastructure, IT standards and protocols, and metrics for gauging program performance.

"There must be a dozen or two dozen issues that are in the CIO Inbox. And when we go into a bid, we say let's make sure we address them and give them a holistic and integrated solution," James said.

The strategy has paid off with a series of big wins at DOD.

Two weeks ago, Litton/PRC was one of seven vendors to win a contract under the $2.5 billion Defense Medical Information System/Systems Integration, Design, Development, Operations and Maintenance Services II program. The contract, part of Lot III, covers a wide variety of systems integration services.

Earlier this month, Litton/PRC won a five-year, $150 million indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract to support the Navy's Training and Simulation Division at the Naval Air Warfare Center in Orlando, Fla. Litton/PRC will support IT-based training under the Navy's General Aviation Instructional Systems Development program. Also this month, Litton/PRC captured a five-year contract potentially worth $30 million to provide integration and support services under the Umbrella-Information Technology Total Solution program with the Military Traffic Management Command.

And in February, the company was awarded an estimated $30 million blanket purchase agreement by the Army Simulation, Training and Instrumentation Command to support Stricom's CIO with a variety of IT services, including development of local-area and wide-area networks, functional process improvement and development of World Wide Web applications.

James came to Litton/PRC last summer from the Air Force Communications and Infrastructure organization, where he was director of architectures, technology and interoperability. He also headed the Air Force's newly created CIO support staff.

"I spent a lot of time with a lot of CIOs inside and outside DOD, and with commercial CIOs as well," James said. "Every day my colleagues and I would come into work and see an inbox that is 'on fire' " with these hot issues, he said.

James recognizes that many people are not interested in the technology and management concerns he wrestles with. But CIOs are. "What I do is go after the mundane part— the infrastructure part, which is the CIO's interest," he said.

Addressing the issues that concern the CIO "makes it easier [for a Litton/PRC proposal] to then capture the interest of the other stakeholders," James said.

James plans to write a book on the CIO Inbox concept, in collaboration with Paul Brubaker, vice president for federal information services with Litton/PRC. As a Senate aide. Brubaker developed the 1996 Clinger-Cohen Act requiring IT performance measures.

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