Defense

Hardware first up in NGEN re-compete

Capt. Michael Abreu. Photo courtesy Department of the Navy.

The Navy's NGEN re-compete is coming soon, said program manager Capt. Michael Abreu (above).

As Navy officials prepare to re-compete the Next Generation Enterprise Network contracting vehicle that covers the service's intranet, they are exploring just how much of the project they can segment into different contracts.

"What we have heard today is that a segmented approach can work," said Capt. Michael Abreu, program manager of the Naval Enterprise Networks Program Office, after a May 25 industry day to solicit feedback from contractors.

Navy officials are interested in separating the hardware-as-a-service portion of NGEN into a separate contract -- a move Abreu argued would save money and offer clarity in budgeting. A draft request for proposals for the hardware services is expected in the fall, he said, with solicitations for other managed services related to cloud computing and network transport likely coming next year.

Abreu indicated, however, that further dividing up the NGEN contracting vehicle would come with risk. "It's quite a challenge to take a piece of the network and take it out of what we awarded" without disrupting services, he said. No final decisions have been made on the services that will be segmented, he emphasized.

In October 2014, the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet completed its 10-month transition to the government-owned, contractor-operated NGEN from the previous vehicle, the Continuity of Services Contract.  Originally, the NCMI was both owned and operated by EDS, a firm later acquired by Hewlett-Packard.   A team led by HP Enterprise Services won the NGEN contract in 2013.

That seismic shift in contracting practices gave the Navy more control of its IT services, Abreu said. "If we owned that infrastructure, we could better control and compete the services that we consume from that network with industry," he told reporters.

Abreu claims the Navy has saved $1.2 billion on the NGEN contract. He is keen to save even more, but said it would be premature to put a number on his savings goal for the re-compete.

The current $3.5 billion NGEN contract is due to expire in June 2018. The Navy would like to award re-compete contracts before that deadline to minimize any turnover issues with incumbent vendors, were they to be replaced, Abreu said.

About the Author

Sean Lyngaas is an FCW staff writer covering defense, cybersecurity and intelligence issues. Prior to joining FCW, he was a reporter and editor at Smart Grid Today, where he covered everything from cyber vulnerabilities in the U.S. electric grid to the national energy policies of Britain and Mexico. His reporting on a range of global issues has appeared in publications such as The Atlantic, The Economist, The Washington Diplomat and The Washington Post.

Lyngaas is an active member of the National Press Club, where he served as chairman of the Young Members Committee. He earned his M.A. in international affairs from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and his B.A. in public policy from Duke University.

Click here for previous articles by Lyngaas, or connect with him on Twitter: @snlyngaas.


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