Military on NMCI watch

Although the Navy Marine Corps Intranet is being touted as an example for

the entire Defense Department, some high-ranking officials are waiting to

see how the Navy manages such a huge project.

"The other services cannot sign on now," said Lt. Gen. Peter Cuviello,

chief information officer of the Army. "Conceptually, I think it is a great

idea. I give kudos to the Navy, but all they've done so far is to let a

contract. The challenge will be in implementing it."

Under NMCI, Electronic Data Systems Corp. will install and manage 350,000

PCs for the Navy and Marines. The contract was awarded in early October

and potentially is worth $6.9 billion.

"They have leadership [support], but the Navy, like the other services,

is a monolithic organization, and they have got to get this moving," Cuviello

said, adding that "the money is not there."

Other high-ranking officials echoed Cuviello's conclusions. "Something

that size is fraught with a lot of challenges, and I think everybody in

the community is hoping the Navy has picked a good, winning strategy for

tackling a tough problem across a broad range of challenges," said Air Force

Brig. Gen. Dale Meyerrose, director of command and control systems for U.S.

Space Command.

Meyerrose cited a recent Gartner Group Inc. study that found that 85

percent of information technology outsourcing contracts are renegotiated

within 14 months. The study cites three reasons: cost growth, steadily increasing

program requirements and the inability of the contractor to deliver on promises.

"We have outsourced several networks, and they are much, much smaller

in scope, but the challenges we had are very close to those cited by the

Gartner Group," Meyerrose said.

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