DOD: SPS makes headway

The Defense Department is making progress in moving its users to its new

Standard Procurement System, which is designed to eliminate the paper from

the department's contracting process.

As of April 30, almost 20,000 users were installed on SPS at 702 sites,

said Gary Thurston, SPS program manager, speaking June 5 at the DOD Electronic

Commerce Day 2000 conference.

About 16,000 of those users have been trained to use SPS, he said.

Meanwhile, DOD plans to retire its legacy systems and have all procurement

users operating SPS by the end of fiscal 2003, Thurston said. By about this

time next year, the department expects to roll out Version 4.2 of the SPS

software.

Thurston acknowledged that SPS deployment has been challenging. "It's

been a long three years of putting SPS out there," he said. "It's taking

a lot of change management."

The SPS program has required standardizing many legacy systems while

adjusting procurement cultures that involve tens of thousands of users.

American Management Systems Inc. won the SPS contract in 1997 and based

the system's development on a version of the company's commercial Procurement

Desktop software that was modified to serve the DOD contracting community.

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