Enabling Productivity to Deliver Lethality
Published, August 6, 2019
This quarter's column expresses the views of Ruth A. Youngs Lew, Program Executive Officer for PEO EIS.
Develop and maintain an engaged and capable workforce; Deliver an enhanced and positive customer experience; Enhance data-driven decision-making; Increase agility and drive affordability.
Those four goals are the basis of the Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems' (PEO EIS) recently adopted Strategic Plan 2019-2022.
Our strategic plan supports the Department of the Navy's (DON) mission and the Department of the Defense's (DoD) greater goal of digital transformation by changing the way we deliver capabilities.
As the DON's defense business systems acquisition agent, PEO EIS is transforming its programs to evaluate, evolve and deliver modern capabilities and technologies to maintain the competitive edge. PEO EIS' work affects the entire DON, providing acquisition support to programs that affect nearly every platform and person in both the Navy and Marine Corps. PEO EIS not only provides warfighters and their support systems with the services and ability to successfully execute their duties, but also with the tools to manage their careers.
While the business systems PEO EIS delivers are not lethal, our products enable the Navy and Marine Corps to deliver lethality. The effectiveness and productivity of our enterprise networks, financial, contracts, maintenance, and pay and personnel systems are enablers of lethality. PEO EIS delivers those business and logistics systems that are the backbone enabling the DON’s day-to-day administrative, business, and financial operations.
In aligning the PEO EIS Strategic Plan 2019-2022 to higher-level guidance, such as the Chief of Naval Operations' A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority (Version 2.0) and the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition Strategic Guidance 2019, we placed an increased emphasis on people — the DON workforce and everyone who uses our products.
(1 Develop and maintain an engaged workforce
The first goal in the EIS strategic plan is to develop an engaged and capable workforce. While it may seem odd that an engaged workforce is our No. 1 goal, it really isn’t when you consider that EIS wouldn’t have any systems or services to deliver without the hard work and dedication of the PEO EIS team.
An engaged, capable, empowered and motivated workforce is the foundation of any organization’s ability to deliver on its mission. To engage and enable peak performance from our personnel, we are developing and maintaining a culture in which our EIS staff feels supported, encouraged, empowered, valued and recognized. In doing so, we provide and promote personal and professional training and leadership opportunities to grow the next generation of PEO EIS and DON leaders.
Beyond developing PEO EIS’ internal workforce, our offices are developing training and engaging customers throughout the DON.
The Navy Commercial Cloud Services (NCCS) office recently published the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) Navy Cloud Training and Professional Services Plan and delivered cloud training to the Navy Cloud Brokers as well as application owners to accelerate cloud adoption.
The Navy Maritime Maintenance Enterprise Solution - Technical Refresh (NMMES-TR) office, responsible for acquiring, managing and sustaining a new DON shore maintenance IT solution, established a Community of Practice (CoP) consisting of members from the Navy’s shipyards, regional maintenance centers and other maintenance activities. These CoP experts will provide valuable insight to configure the system to ensure the solution meets user requirements.
After NMMES-TR adopted a human-centered design (HCD) approach to software configuration, the program office brought in instructors from the LUMA Institute to train the program office staff as well as the NMMES-TR CoP members in HCD principles. Providing HCD principles training early on and involving the user community upfront and throughout the solution’s lifecycle will create a final product that is practical and easily incorporated into the workflow of the fleet maintenance community.
The work with the NMMES-TR CoP is an example of how PEO EIS can develop and engage the workforce while also delivering an enhanced and positive customer experience. Involving users in the development and testing of new solutions ensures the solution meets our customers’ needs.
(2 Deliver an enhanced and positive customer experience
Prior to coming to PEO EIS, I was working on behalf of the fleet, the users of PEO EIS’ systems. From a fleet perspective, the customer experience depended on the system or service. Users had positive experiences with many of the products while others had poor experiences. Some customers developed work-arounds to get our products to work better.
Having served as an advocate for the fleet, it is important to me that PEO EIS focuses on making our products a positive experience for customers regardless of which products they are using. We do not want our tools to be a point of frustration; we want to ensure our products enable their productivity to deliver lethality. To meet our customers’ expectations, PEO EIS is focusing on how we can support our users and deliver the capabilities and services they need in a timely manner.
At the top of the list of capabilities is enhancing our network performance because it affects everyone. We are implementing performance improvement initiatives with the goal to reduce latency and improve the user experience. The Naval Enterprise Networks (NEN) office is working on several initiatives that focus on enhanced traffic management, upgrades to bandwidth capacity, infrastructure modernization and technology refresh. These initiatives will enhance both unclassified and classified networks to help mitigate user “pain points” voiced during multiple leadership forums. Implementation of these initiatives has begun and work will continue into 2020.
A major effort to facilitate a positive customer experience is to implement self-service capabilities to provide agility for Sailors, Marines and civilians to access the information and assistance they need whenever and wherever they need it. We are looking to expand self-service capabilities through mobile options, integrated service desks and call centers and other cloud service offerings.
A critical component in providing self-service capabilities is our mobile application program managed by the Sea Warrior Program (SWP). Since 2015, SWP has developed and released 26 mobile apps on a variety of topics including Navy life, ranks, ships, standards of conducts, career tools, required training courses and advancement testing. SWP’s and other official Navy apps are available on the Navy App Locker website and associated app available for download from in the Apple App and Google Play stores.
In December 2018, SWP launched the beta release of the MyNavy Portal-MyRecord (MNP-MR). MNP-MR allows users to access some of their human resources records – personnel, pay and training – from their personal mobile devices using commercial-grade multi-factor authentication credentials for authentication instead of a Common Access Card (CAC).
In May, the Professional Military Knowledge-Eligibility Exam (PMK-EE) App was released, allowing Sailors to take mandatory exams required prior to the advancement exam from any device without requiring a CAC. Once a Sailor passes the exam, the app sends an email with the Sailor’s ID to record the results.
(3 Enhance data-driven decision-making
In executing the DON’s mission, DON personnel require access to the data they need to make critical decisions in support of Sailors and Marines. A key component in delivering that data is the DON’s organizational shift to the cloud, which offers speed, agility, security and availability at potentially lower costs. The move to the cloud includes transitioning the network, applications, systems and services required to transmit the data.
To provide access to data, PEO EIS is adopting a concept called Modern Service Delivery (MSD), the ability to access data from any device in any location. However, MSD is more than just mobility. It includes all of the elements involved in enabling mobility, including identity management, a secure network, applications, systems, services and the data itself. Instead of forcing a user to return to the office to access a computer connected to the network, MSD caters to today’s modern lifestyle by delivering secure data to users wherever and whenever they need it.
One of PEO EIS’ cornerstone projects that NEN is running is the Microsoft Office 365 (O365) Pilot. O365 is Microsoft’s cloud-based version of the traditional Microsoft Office suite. The O365 pilot, which will have 2,000 users by the end of August when Phase II is complete, allows us to test how Exchange Online and Office Online operate on NMCI. Benefits of O365 include the ability to access all of one’s data from any CAC-enabled computer as well as a 100-gigabyte (GB) mailbox and up to five terabytes (TB) of storage on OneDrive. The mobility capability that provides email access via mobile devices will be available before Phase II ends.
Phase I of the O365 Pilot ended on May 31 with 500 pilot users. The response to O365 has been positive to date with users giving the O365 experience a median satisfaction rating of eight out of 10. The Navy is considering an enterprise-wide migration to O365 if the O365 pilot is successful.
A major cloud project spearheaded by the Navy Enterprise Business Solutions office that is nearing completion is the technical refresh of Navy Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), the DON’s financial system of record. Navy ERP consolidated and integrated the DON’s financial, supply chain and workforce management functions into a single, auditable system providing real-time data to six Navy commands, executing about 56 percent of the Navy’s Total Obligation Authority (TOA).
When the tech refresh system goes live in August, Navy ERP will be entirely cloud-based, operating significantly faster in memory-data storage and processing. In addition to PEO EIS’ goal to enhance data-driven decision-making, the shift of Navy ERP to the cloud supports the Navy’s goal to create a single, unclassified general ledger and accelerates enterprise cloud adoption in conjunction with the Department of Defense’s “Cloud First” initiatives.
The Enterprise Systems and Services office is utilizing a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to implement modern service desk technologies for NAVY 311, a centralized call center for all Navy-related questions from maintenance to career matters, training to ship parts and facilities to quality of life. A machine learning SBIR is successfully auto-populating trouble ticket fields from NAVY 311 email ticket submissions, at a 90 percent accuracy rate. This algorithm is outperforming other industry offerings and this technology may be applied to other programs such as the Navy Enterprise Service Desk.
(4 Increase agility and drive affordability
While providing the technology and IT services the Navy’s workforce requires is mission critical, it costs money and PEO EIS has a duty to choose the most cost-effective solutions that provides the technological flexibility that we require.
As the business system IT acquisition arm of the Navy, PEO EIS shapes the future of IT and business technology services by streamlining acquisition processes and minimizing gaps between industry and government solutions and processes.
As the Navy moves forward with IT acquisition, we need to do it intelligently, strategically and cost-effectively. We need to look at our systems and prepare them to transition to the cloud. One of our offices, NCCS, is dedicated to facilitating the Navy’s access to the cloud – issuing cloud contracts, preparing systems and services for the cloud, enabling the Navy’s cloud brokers, and providing cloud training.
In September 2018, NCCS awarded the Navy Commercial Cloud Enterprise Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA), a centralized vehicle for acquiring commercial cloud services and associated engineering support from multiple cloud providers. The commercial cloud BPA provides customers with an accessible and flexible means to order cloud services through the Navy’s cloud brokers quickly, efficiently and in a cost-effective manner.
Additionally, NCCS received additional funds in FY19 and FY20 to enable and support Navy cloud brokers and mission owners in their cloud migration efforts. The limited funding accelerated cloud migration activities and assisted the Navy with refactoring delivery of cloud capabilities. While FY19 funding requests are closed, NCCS is currently accepting FY20 submissions.
A major milestone that will help the DON streamline the acquisition process in the future is the Navy Electronic Procurement System (ePS), a contract-writing platform which will manage contracting requirements for supplies, grants, services and construction projects. Awarded in March 2019, Navy ePS is an end-to-end contract writing system that will provide the Navy and Marine Corps contracting community with a contract writing management capability that will facilitate integration with federally mandated systems, DON financial systems and industry. Navy ePS will replace legacy systems and address existing contract writing system challenges including outdated architecture, limited capabilities and scalability concerns.
The PEO EIS portfolio also includes the DON’s Enterprise Software Licensing (DON ESL), DoD Enterprise Software Initiative (DoD ESI) and DoD Core Enterprise Technology Agreement (CETA) efforts which utilize best practices, including strategic vendor management, and leverages enterprise-wide buying power to deliver lowest defensible prices and best value.
Since 2012, the DON has awarded 10 ESLs that improve the DON’s IT/cyberspace investment decision practices as well as enterprise level evaluation, funding, management and tracking of current and future requirements for enterprise designated software vendors and products.
More than 40 DoD ESI agreements have been awarded since 1998. DoD ESI agreements provide reduced prices, negotiated terms and conditions, subject matter experts, training and a portal.
CETAs use DoD ESI based-enterprise purchasing agreements for commercial off-the-shelf products and capabilities. Seven companies are targets for potential CETA agreements. CETAs leverage consolidated DoD-wide purchasing power on designated agreements in alignment with IT Category Management objectives to deliver best value.
The work of PEO EIS cuts across the entire DON in acquiring business IT systems as we strive to improve the customer experience while delivering speed, agility and affordability to our Sailors and Marines. Together, the four goals in the PEO EIS strategic plan are critical in shaping how we facilitate the way PEO EIS and the DON delivers capabilities in support of the DoD’s digital transformation efforts. The DON is at a technological crossroads because the way we do business today is behind where the Navy and Marine Corps needs it to be. The DON needs to catch up, evolve and deliver modern technologies. New technologies that did not exist five years ago are revolutionizing the way industry does business. The PEO EIS Strategic Plan 2019-2022 is our roadmap to the future.
Ruth Youngs Lew is the Program Executive Officer for the Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems. PEO EIS acquires enterprise-wide information technology for the Department of the Navy to enable common business processes and provide standard IT capabilities to Sailors, Marines, civilians and their support systems.
Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems
We provide the enterprise business information systems, applications, and networks that our Sailors, Marines, and civilian workforce depend on every day, around the globe and around the clock.
PEO EIS Program Offices
- Naval Enterprise Networks - PMW 205
- Navy Enterprise Business Solutions - PMW 220
- Global Combat Support System-Marine Corps - PMW 230
- Sea Warrior Program - PMW 240
- Enterprise Systems and Services - PMW 250
- Navy Sensitive Compartmented Information and Controlled Access Program Networks Ashore - PMW 260
- Navy Commercial Cloud Services - PMW 270
- Navy Maritime Maintenance Enterprise Solution-Technical Refresh - PMS 444
- DON Enterprise Software Licensing