Letter to the editor

Regarding the letter to the editor about the Navy Marine Corps Intranet on Oct. 3, I have a couple of theories:

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

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