Letter to the editor
Regarding the letter to
the editor about the Navy Marine Corps Intranet on Oct. 3, I have a couple
First, regarding other bidders on NMCI, you might remember that the
contract award announcement was scheduled, then delayed, then finally made
with EDS as the winner (just about exactly two years ago). I suspect that
another bidder was the Navy's first pick, but when contacted, they had second
thoughts. I think EDS might really have been the runner-up, if not the second
of two bidders.
Second, have you checked into the number of employees EDS actually hired
to work this enormous contract? Last I heard, it's fewer than 200 people.
The rest are subcontractors. The losers are all the civil servants that
were "RIFed," [or reduced in force] and the winners the incumbent IT contractors
who simply switched from their support contract to a subcontract under NMCI.
Third, in regard to the "management team" required to run seat management
effectively, I think it takes someone like Joseph Stalin at the helm. After
you convince people that life is better under seat management, you impose
it upon them with long-range plans and no way out.
I've been involved with NMCI on the client side from the start. I've
given the Information Strike Force employees the utmost in cooperation.
They appear as a desolate, unempowered lot, whose collective morale couldn't
be lower. They have met with a great deal of hostility from users before,
during and after transition (although not necessarily the same users at
each stage). Each ISF employee has a tiny little realm of responsibility
from which they may not stray.
EDS might yet save the day by realizing that it can make seat management
work well for everyone by cultivating a core team of highly skilled IT and
customer service professionals that have the know-how and authority to assess
and remedy issues on the spot. Most of them are already on the job, just
not yet let loose.
Name withheld by request