NMCI apps placed on fast track

The Navy is developing a new process designed to speed up the way commands assess the tens of thousands of legacy applications before they become part of the Navy Marine Corps Intranet.

Migrating legacy systems has been the largest sticking point for the $6.9 billion initiative to create a single enterprise network across the Navy's shore-based sites. The move to NMCI has taken longer than anticipated due primarily to the enormous number of legacy systems in place that must be reviewed.

Under the new policy, which is expected soon, the Navy will assess the easily resolved applications immediately and isolate the systems that will take more time to review on a separate "kiosk system." That way, legacy application questions do not delay the overall NMCI rollout, said Rear Adm. Charles Munns, NMCI director.

Legacy systems must be tested to ensure that they do not interfere with the operations of the new NMCI network and that they meet NMCI, Navy and Defense Department security requirements. The Navy has nearly 70,0000 applications that must be reviewed before they will either be shifted to the new network or discontinued if not needed.

"Clearly the processes we have had in place...are not adequate," Capt. Chris Christopher, NMCI deputy director for plans, policy and oversight, said May 15.

Under the existing review process, the NMCI team treated every application as if it were an enterprise application, Munns said. Under the new process, reviewed and approved nonenterprise applications will be loaded on PCs at commands when they are ready, he said.

Once the rollout is finished, the Navy will tackle the more difficult legacy application issues, which include assessing DOD enterprise applications that the Navy is required to use, said Rick Rosenberg, EDS' NMCI program executive.

Some NMCI and EDS officials acknowledge that the faster review process will increase the number of applications that will be put onto the kiosk system. Munns expects that about one-quarter of the applications that will migrate to NMCI could be moved to kiosks.

EDS is responsible for the cost of running the kiosk systems; however, that may change in the future, Rosenberg said.

"The Navy is developing policies for how long you can maintain a kiosk," Christopher said.

The Navy also plans to discontinue more applications and require that sites shift to the enterprise applications, Munns said. NMCI has standardized on Microsoft Corp.'s Office suite.

Meanwhile, EDS and Navy officials were forced to do damage control after a published report that cited an internal EDS memo suggesting NMCI was foundering. Rosenberg called the April 25 memo from Mike Hatcher, chief delivery executive for EDS, an attempt to rally the NMCI team during what was a critical period of time. The memo says that EDS is going to begin "ruthlessly rolling out seats."

EDS officials acknowledged that the program has encountered problems. "Do we need to become more aggressive in streamlining processes? Yes. Do we need to become more aggressive in rolling seats out? The answer is yes," Rosenberg said in a May 15 briefing with reporters.

About the Author

Christopher J. Dorobek is the co-anchor of Federal News Radio’s afternoon drive program, The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, and the founder, publisher and editor of the DorobekInsider.com, a leading blog for the Federal IT community.

Dorobek joined Federal News Radio in 2008 with 16 years of experience covering government issues with an emphasis on government information technology. Prior to joining Federal News Radio, Dorobek was editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week, the leading news magazine for government IT decision-makers and the flagship of the 1105 Government Information Group portfolio of publications. As editor-in-chief, Dorobek served as a member of the senior leadership team at 1105 Government Information Group, providing daily editorial direction and management for FCW magazine, FCW.com, Government Health IT and its other editorial products.

Dorobek joined FCW in 2001 as a senior reporter and assumed increasing responsibilities, becoming managing editor and executive editor before being named editor-in-chief in 2006. Prior to joining FCW, Dorobek was a technology reporter at PlanetGov.com, one of the first online community centers for current and former government employees. He also spent five years at Government Computer News, another leading industry publication, covering a variety of federal IT-related issues.

Dorobek is a frequent speaker on issues involving the government IT industry, and has appeared as a frequent contributor to NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Today program. He began his career as a reporter at the Foster’s Daily Democrat, a daily newspaper in Dover, N.H. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He lives in Washington, DC.


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