The Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) began as a revolutionary idea more than 10 years ago when the question was posed: What if the Department of the Navy (DON) consolidated all of its disparate information technology (IT) networks into one secure, fully functional enterprise network on a single technological platform with standardized hardware and software and integrated voice, video and data communications?
The idea further evolved into one of the most ambitious and transformational contracting initiatives ever undertaken when the DON competitively sourced a single industry partner to build, manage and maintain an entire intranet infrastructure, as well as software maintenance and deployment, and all at a lower cost than managing an enterprise network in-house.
Today, that network built by Hewlett-Packard (HP) Enterprise Services, formerly Electronic Data Systems, is the largest corporate intranet in the world with more than 700,000 users utilizing 384,000 workstations. The NMCI is second in size only to the Internet itself!
After 10 years of overseeing the NMCI, the DON is poised to take the next step — transitioning the innovative NMCI to the Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) with full government ownership, including increased management and control.
The start of the transition began Oct. 1, 2010, when the NMCI Continuity of Services Contract (CoSC) took effect. Over the next four years, NMCI CoSC — the follow-on contract to the NMCI contract that ended Sept. 30 — will enable the DON to purchase the infrastructure, assets and the rights to use the intellectual property of the NMCI while increasing command and control (C2) of the network.
As the DON assumes enhanced visibility into the network, the NMCI will transition to NGEN, which will be acquired in a segmented approach allowing for the possibility of multiple vendors. The NMCI has been operated by a single prime contractor since it was stood up in 2000. During this fiscal year, Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for several NGEN segments will be issued to support migration of the first seats to NGEN in FY 2012; the full transition will be completed by 2014.
"NMCI was a hugely successful program for the DON in consolidating disparate, stove-piped networks into a single, modern, cost-effective enterprise network with a high level of service that meets mission critical needs," said Capt. Scott N. Weller, NMCI program manager.
With the end of the 10-year NMCI contract, the DON decided to change the way the network operates, Weller said. "For NMCI, the DON chose to have the prime vendor supply the infrastructure; under NMCI CoSC, we want the ability to purchase it. The NMCI CoSC vehicle provides the ability to transition pieces of NMCI services to multiple contracts, instead of a single contract."
The NMCI CoSC will enable the transition to NGEN, the next step in the evolution of the DON's secure, net-centric enterprise network. This strategy is illustrated in the figure to the right. NGEN will continue the capabilities that are currently available in the NMCI while providing an increased level of government control, thus maintaining information security and remaining within budget.
NMCI Consolidates Assets
Not only was the decision to consolidate the naval networks revolutionary, the contracting vehicle used was also precedent setting. Prior to NMCI, a model did not exist in the Department of Defense (DoD) in which a private company was hired to build, manage and maintain an entire intranet.
Despite some early growing pains, NMCI quickly proved to be hugely successful, cost effective and reliable; it provided an unprecedented level of service and security for the DON and ensured a rich user experience, forever changing network security and IT management for the department.
The move to NMCI required users to change behaviors and eliminate poor securi