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CHIPS Articles: NGEN-R End User Hardware Contract Offers Navy and Marine Corps Customers More Options and Flexibility

NGEN-R End User Hardware Contract Offers Navy and Marine Corps Customers More Options and Flexibility
By Kimberly Bolen, Naval Enterprise Networks (NEN) PMW 205 Director of Operations - July-September 2019
The Department of the Navy (DON) has entered the era of the Next Generation Enterprise Network Re-compete (NGEN-R) family of contracts, designed to modernize the DON network platforms and improve customer experience.

On Oct. 8, 2019, the Navy awarded the NGEN-R End User Hardware (EUHW) contract to HPI Federal LLC, based in Washington, D.C. NGEN-R EUHW is a fixed price Single Award Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract, with a three-year base period and six one-year options. EUHW will supply end-user computing and peripheral devices to Continental United States (CONUS) and Outside of the Continental United States (OCONUS) Navy and Marine Corps users. By the end of the base period, more than 400,000 seats will be refreshed. The contract has a potential estimated value of $1.4 billion.

“The award of the NGEN-R EUHW contract is the culmination of several years of hard work towards moving from a single service contract to a multi-sourced contract model,” said Capt. Ben McNeal, program manager for the Naval Enterprise Networks Program Office. “Multiple contracts foster competition amongst bidders in price and services delivered while allowing the DON to leverage best-in-class service providers through various contract segments.”

The NGEN-R EUHW contract is one of two primary contracts that will provide information technology and support services to the Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI), Marine Corps Enterprise Network (MCEN), and the OCONUS Navy Enterprise Network (ONE-Net) platforms. The three platforms support CONUS and OCONUS Navy and Marine Corps users. The NGEN-R contracts are the follow-on to the current Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) contract that ends Sept. 30, 2020.

The second primary NGEN-R contract, Service Management, Integration, and Transport (SMIT) will provide wired and wireless connectivity services, print and storage services, user productivity and software core build services, computer infrastructure, systems integration, service desk, and computer network operations and defense. The Navy expects to award the SMIT contract in the second quarter of Fiscal Year 2020.

The NGEN-R family of contracts will streamline DON migration to the cloud while providing access to the latest technology available. Sailors and Marines will have tools they need to maintain a warfighting edge in the modern digital landscape.

EUHW Options and Flexibility

The NGEN-R EUHW contract provides Navy and Marine Corps customers the flexibility of leasing computing devices (desktops, laptops, tablets, and thin/zero clients) via EUHW-as-a-Service (EUHWaaS) or purchasing EUHW hardware. EUHWaaS includes provisioning, configuration, and testing services.

EUHW and SMIT include requirements that will drive service delivery via automated provisioning. The automated provisioning service will reduce the time between ordering and the delivery of a device, said McNeal. “With automated provisioning, we will deploy new devices using pre-defined procedures executed over the network. As a result, the user can set up or update their device without the human intervention of a technician, which allows us to ship out-of-the-box devices direct from the vendor to users. The device will arrive and all you have to do to make it work is to plug it in to start the auto-provisioning process. It will not need to go to an imaging facility. It won’t need to be set up or re-imaged by someone else.”

Automated provisioning is a component of improving service and data delivery, McNeal said. “Automated provisioning moves us closer to the goal of delivering “Data on Day One” to new users. Upon reporting to work, a new user will have a device, account and ability to exchange data with their supervisor. It’s a stretch goal from where we are today, but with the NGEN-R EUHW contract award, we are on the path towards achieving it.”

The NGEN-R EUHW contract offers several advantages and enhancements. For example, all EUHW devices come standard with solid-state drives (SSDs) that process data with flash memory. Users will now benefit from faster boot times, quicker application loading times, and improved system responsiveness.

Additionally, the EUHW contract will employ a living specification to update available hardware offerings on an annual basis to commercial State of the Shelf (SOTS) technology without continual contract re-negotiation. Commercial SOTS standards will maintain pace with market technological advancements, feature enhancements, and expansions, and market-driven performance increases. Thereby providing Navy and Marine Corps customers’ expanded options and access to current technology as hardware updates become available in the marketplace.

Evolution of DON networks

While the services provided through the NGEN-R EUHW and SMIT contracts will improve customer experience, the contracts themselves represent agility via a continuous engagement loop between industry and the DON throughout the contract development process.

The DON evolved the acquisition process by incrementally requesting and incorporating industry feedback using a “sprint” contract development methodology. By rapidly releasing draft NGEN-R acquisition documents to industry for feedback, the government gained insight to develop contracts that more accurately reflect the desired user experience. In a traditional acquisition process, industry would only see completed draft Performance Work Statements (PWSs) and Request for Proposals (RFPs), which limits the government’s ability to incorporate the latest industry best practices.

As a result, key elements in the NGEN-R EUHW and SMIT contracts will allow the DON to evolve IT service delivery to a global service delivery model that drives standardization of network infrastructure, services and processes across NMCI and ONE-Net.

Although the DON developed the NGEN-R contracts to directly support DON network platforms, all Department of Defense (DoD) components and services can order off the NGEN-R contracts. By opening NGEN-R, the DoD has another mechanism to reduce costs by leveraging the DoD’s total buying power while automating specifications to maintain alignment with commercial sector standards.

With the NGEN-R EUHW award, the DoD and the DON are officially on a path to modern service delivery based on a partnership with industry that will achieve digital transformation while maintaining operational control and protecting naval information superiority.

“We must be responsive to the changing needs of our customers, and work to ensure they have an enhanced and positive user experience,” said Ruth Youngs Lew, program executive officer for Enterprise Information Services. “This contract positions the DON to develop and deliver modern IT services and systems that meet our customers’ expectations.”

Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems
The Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS) oversees a portfolio of enterprise-wide information technology (IT) programs designed to enable common business processes and provide standard IT capabilities to Sailors at sea, Marines in the field and their support systems.

Naval Enterprise Networks
The Naval Enterprise Networks (NEN) is the acquisition program for Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI), Outside the Continental United States (OCONUS) Navy Enterprise Network (ONE-Net), and Marine Corps Enterprise Network (MCEN). NEN provides secure, net-centric data and information technology (IT) capabilities and services in United States Navy (USN) and United States Marine Corps (USMC) across 2,500 locations around the world. Our capabilities include core IT-based network transport, compute, storage, end-user, mobility, systems integration, service desk, and computer network operations and defense services. As the chosen platform for network consolidation/convergence of ONE-Net and other legacy networks, NEN will enable implementation of Navy’s Cloud First Strategy while driving faster adoption of industry practices and increased security posture.

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