HP exec targets Air Force needs

The Air Force faces many of the same enterprise information technology issues as its industry counterparts, and while the private sector is focused on time to market, the military's goal of decreasing time to target is being addressed, according to the No. 2 official at Hewlett-Packard Co.

Michael Capellas, president of HP, said the goal of being a "zero latency enterprise" — in which data is synchronized and routed across enterprise applications, supporting areas that need near-real-time data first — has great potential throughout the Air Force. He added that is especially true in the service's attempt to integrate manned, unmanned and space systems, an arrangement unique to the Air Force.

"Nothing is getting smaller," and military missions are becoming more complex, Capellas said. "That puts more stress on IT."

Capellas, speaking Aug. 26 at the Air Force IT Conference (AFITC) in Montgomery, Ala., said zero latency uses for the service include:

* The ability to synchronize data among air and combined air operations centers.

* Linking to legacy systems.

* Data mining and applying what is learned to new operational tactics.

* Cleansing data as it arrives from multiple sources.

* Producing a common operational picture.

Those combined features would enable an Air Force commander to monitor and assess a situation in near real-time, then plan and execute a mission, and analyze it after completion, he said.

Robert Frye, executive director of the Air Force Standard Systems Group, said the concept of a zero latency enterprise ties in closely to the demands from Gen. John Jumper, the service's chief of staff, to more quickly "put a cursor on the target," through greater integration of systems, programs and platforms using IT.

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