Navy center deploys SAP software

A Navy organization this month became one of the first federal organizations to deploy an SAP America Inc. financial management system.

The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SSC) in San Diego "went live" with SAP on July 2 to track its basic business operations, including its working capital fund and human resources time and attendance records, said Randy Volker, the enterprise resource planning program manager for SSC San Diego.

SSC San Diego deployed the software just 13 months after receiving Naval approval to go forward. The center has completed 30 months of preparation, during which time it selected SAP as its application software—even before choosing PricewaterhouseCoopers as its systems integrator last year, Volker said. Much of the center's and the integrator's work has involved process design and change management, he said.

Fifty-five employees are providing 40,000 hours of SAP classroom and computer-based training to the rest of SSC San Diego's 3,500 users, said Tom LaPuzza, a center spokesman.

The organization is spending $32 million on its SAP system and is in the midst of retiring 35 legacy systems, Volker said. "We're not feeding our legacy systems any longer," he said.

By early calendar year 2002, SSC San Diego should be certified as complying with the Chief Financial Officers Act because it will have auditable accounting books thanks to the SAP system, Volker said.

The SAP system enables the center to conduct materiel management, procurement and project requests, asset management, and human resources time and attendance functions, Volker said.

SSC San Diego is the first of the Navy's four enterprise resource planning pilot programs to "go live" with the software. The center performs research, development and engineering work on Navy electronic and weapon systems.

While initially slower than competitor Oracle Corp. in building Web-based interfaces to its software, SAP has hit its stride in the Defense Department lately.

MySAP.com, the company's Web-based interface, has registered more than 80,000 DOD users—primarily in the Army and Navy—since mid-June, said Tom Shirk, president of SAP Public Services Inc., speaking July 10 at the E-Gov 2001 conference in Washington, D.C.

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