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CHIPS Articles: DON Enterprise Portal Initiative...Following the NMCI Path to Knowledge

DON Enterprise Portal Initiative...Following the NMCI Path to Knowledge
By Buster Tate - May 1, 2001
Introduction

The virtual enterprise-connected Department of the Navy (DON) had its beginnings with the stand-up of the shipboard IT-21 program. It is continuing with the award of the Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) contract in October 2000. While these programs provide the infrastructure necessary for connection, we, as an enterprise, are now starting to address content integration and streamlined Enterprise access. Simultaneously we are moving into a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) environment that will enable secure communications, and exploring opportunities for exploitation of remote technologies. The DON Enterprise Portal will address these challenges and leverage the opportunities offered by NMCI.

Portals provide a single point of entry and simplified remote access to networks. Corporate portals result in savings to organizations by enabling the deployment of enterprise applications such as human resources, finance, and supplies. It is estimated that 60 percent of large organizations will deploy corporate portals by the end of 2001 (META Group Enterprise Portal Market Study, February 2000); 85 percent of the Global 2000 companies will have deployed portals by 2003 (The Hunter Group, September 2000). IBM's portal supports 325,000 employees, saves the company approximately 500 million dollars annually, and improves employee and customer satisfaction. The META Group market study found that 90 percent of the 342 companies surveyed reported successful employee self-service application deployments, increased employee satisfaction, reduced transaction cost, and as much as 100 percent return on investment within a twelve month period.

The information and knowledge requirements of DON users are helping to determine the appropriate mix of web-based portal features and technologies to implement Web-based portal solutions in the DON.

Under the direction of the Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer (DON CIO), the DON is implementing an enterprise portal in conjunction with NMCI. The DON's enterprise portal, referred to as the Port, is designed to provide all Department personnel with one fully customizable, Web-enabled portal into all electronic information assets existing in the DON. The portal will eventually provide the ability to conduct telephonic communications, virtual meetings, video teleconferencing, information broadcasting (text, sound, and video), collaborative planning, and electronic messaging. Corporate portal functionality is evolving from information access to information management, and ultimately to knowledge management. To make this transition, the Port will be a development platform integrating a variety of technologies to support the business processes of the Enterprise.

The Portal Integration Office

The Portal Integration Office (PIO), which will administer the Port, will be staffed by military and civilian personnel, and contractor support. The PIO will work in conjunction with the Program Executive Office for Information Technology (PEO-IT), Task Force Web, Marine Corps Information Technology Steering Group, the Information Strike Force and the eBusiness Operations Office to develop business processes and standards. In addition, the PIO will work closely with the Information Strike Force, the team of businesses headed by EDS who will be implementing NMCI. The Director of the PIO is assigned as the DON's Chief Web Officer. Housed within the PIO are two key staff elements - Functional Area Knowledge Managers and Knowledge Engineers - collaborating as enterprise-wide catalysts and authoritative sources for information technology (IT) integration and change. These two groups work closely with their fleet equivalents to manage the process for assessment, development, implementation, and evaluation of all DON portal products.

Functional Area Knowledge Managers will be assigned to the PIO by their process owners (e.g. logistic

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CHIPS is an official U.S. Navy website sponsored by the Department of the Navy (DON) Chief Information Officer, the Department of Defense Enterprise Software Initiative (ESI) and the DON's ESI Software Product Manager Team at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific.

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