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CHIPS Articles: NAVSUP Business Systems Center Experts Accelerate Navy ERP, Earn IT Team Excellence Award

NAVSUP Business Systems Center Experts Accelerate Navy ERP, Earn IT Team Excellence Award
By James E. Foehl, Naval Supply Systems Command Business Systems Center Public Affairs - November 5, 2020
MECHANICSBURG, Pa. - Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Business Systems Center’s (BSC) Navy Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Tech Refresh Team received the 2020 Department of the Navy (DON) Information Management (IM))/Information Technology (IT) Team Excellence Award from the DON Chief Information Officer (CIO), November 4.

The 57-person Navy civil-service team from Mechanicsburg received the award for migrating Navy ERP, the DON’s financial systems of record, from an onsite-hosted service to a commercial-cloud service in record time.

Kevin Roberts, chief of staff, DON CIO, announced the award on behalf of Aaron Weis, DON CIO, during a virtual awards presentation as part of the DON IT Conference, East Coast 2020.

“Your efforts helped to distinguish the organization by delivering outstanding service and providing a core capability in migrating Navy ERP from on-premises hosting to Commercial Cloud services. Navy ERP’s tech refresh is the Navy’s largest system cloud migration to date and enhances the performance of naval forces. The BSC team enabled an accelerated schedule, cutting the projected timeline nearly in half,” stated Weis in an award citation to the team. “The cloud-based solution operates with enhanced speed and effectiveness, and delivers critical capabilities for the DON’s auditing, readiness, and lethality.”

Navy ERP is the DON’s financial system of record with more than 64,000 users around the world. It provides reliable information for leadership, streamlines business operations, and enables the DON to be diligent stewards of taxpayer dollars while supporting the Navy’s mission.

“NAVSUP BSC’s experts ensured effective configuration management, cyber, and audit controls while following strict financial ledger reporting standards and verification procedures,” said Capt. Gene Cash, commanding officer, NAVSUP BSC.

Infrastructure modernization is one of the strategic objectives of the DON Information Superiority Vision. This includes initiatives such as the Navy ERP tech refresh and others that modernize IT platforms, deliver cloud services, and optimize identity and access.

“Implementing these initiatives will ensure that we can operate more efficiently and effectively, and achieve the highest levels of information readiness across the DON,” stated Weis in the citation.

“This migration was the most important technical achievement in the Navy’s business system landscape in more than a decade,” said Kathy Lancaster, director of ERP Services department and Navy ERP Tech Refresh Team lead for NAVSUP BSC. “It accomplished two major Navy IT initiatives in one movement, a migration to commercial cloud hosting and conversion to a commercial off-the-shelf database system.”

The refresh served as a step towards consolidating all DON financial systems and creating a unified, logical modern infrastructure capable of delivering information advantages.

“The results of this migration are significant improvements in cybersecurity, auditability, and long-term financial affordability of the Navy ERP solution,” said Lancaster.

During the tech refresh, NAVSUP BSC’s team upgraded Navy ERP from a Systems, Applications, and Products (SAP) server-based Oracle platform to an SAP High-performance Analytic Appliance cloud-based platform.

They executed more than 200,000 test steps across three test passes over five months to ensure a seamless and error-free cutover. The team implemented several risk mitigation initiatives including a cutover war room, communications plan, and a post-go-live stabilization initiative to inform users and ensure the best possible transition outcomes.

Additionally, the team led innovative efforts migrating 18 terabytes of data using a hybrid technological approach or over-the-wire and offline containerized movement. Their efforts helped reduce the migration blackout timeframe from an estimated 21 days to less than four days.

“The single biggest challenge was overcoming the cutover data migration. To limit downtime, the team designed and tested a cyber-certified solution to move the data with less than 96 hours of stoppage,” said Lancaster.

The team led cutover activities step-by-step throughout the four-day period and operated 24-hours a day until Navy ERP was successfully transitioned and running in the cloud environment.

During this critical period, the team took the production system offline, migrated all data to the new system, brought the system back online, validated the data, and opened it back up to Navy ERP users.

“This hyper-planned schedule had more than 20,000 individual tasks and was executed seamlessly by our team. All unexpected events and technical anomalies were resolved immediately, and users were operating in the system the morning after migration,” said Lancaster.

NAVSUP BSC’s Navy ERP Tech Refresh Team and 2020 DON IM/IT Team Excellence Award recipients included: Kathy Lancaster, Layne Thompson, Todd Billman, Tran Tran, Vijay Budati, Paul Stewart, Phuong Nguyen, Alex Gruver, Dion Castillo, Mike Roberson, Shawn Seno, Mary Graci, Eugene DeHart, David Feathers, Antonio Perez, Jordan Unger, Carlo Sciulli, Shaterya Crenshaw, Bill Gable, Kevin McClernan, Warren Parsons, Dwain Stenzel, Derrick Wingler, Kevin Cancel, Sergey Filatov, Jon Jodon, Michael Newburg, Wes Stover, Thinh Tran, Annie Carpenter, Brandon Bulka, Judd Nguyen, Mitesh Patel, Aamir Qureshi, Justin Shirk, Keith Carichner, Mike Ames, Amanda Albright, Richelle Spafford, Christopher Snyder, Mike McLean, Christine Shaw, Thomas Bechtel, Jason Howells, Ruchir Patel, Matthew Yon, Linsey Baker, Jessica McCummings, Logan Lopez, Aaron Davis, Ivan Kurus, Chris Hassler, Kyle Pekelo-Passmore, Minnie Kwok, Thomas Kalafsky, Eric Yamasaki, and Bruce Bonaparte.

“This award is a validation of the team’s hard work and recognition of their significant level of competency and expertise within our government team. The team started just seven years ago with less than five people, and is now the most significant level of institutional knowledge on this product in Navy,” said Lancaster.

NAVSUP BSC provides the Navy with information systems support through the design, development, and maintenance of information systems in the functional areas of logistics, supply chain management, transportation, finance, and accounting and is one of 11 commands under Commander, NAVSUP.

Headquartered in Mechanicsburg and employing a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel, NAVSUP's mission is to provide supplies, services, and quality-of-life support to the Navy and joint warfighter.

For more information about NAVSUP BSC, visit
https://www.navsup.navy.mil/public/navsup/bsc.

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