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CHIPS Articles: Modernization Takes Navy ERP to the Cloud

Modernization Takes Navy ERP to the Cloud
By Lt. j.g. Patrick Toomey, Naval Supply Systems Command Business Systems Center Public Affairs - April-June 2019
MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (NNS) -- From purchase request to final delivery, a well-coordinated orchestra of technology and people work in harmony to ensure Navy supply-chain integrity.

As part of that coordinated effort, Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Business Systems Center (BSC) and Navy Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, remain on the frontlines with our Sailors around the world; at sea, on the ground, and in the air.

“Navy ERP is feeding our warfighting machine and we have several teams working to move the system to the cloud,” said Layne Thompson, operations manager for Navy ERP.

With brick and mortar information technology infrastructure as part of the past, many leading companies and government organizations have already transitioned their core business functions to cloud-based servers.

“This will give us better flexibility, expandability, and security going forward,” said Thompson.

By fourth quarter of fiscal year 2019, BSC will complete a project with SAP NS2 and Amazon Web Services to migrate Navy ERP from in-house servers to a cloud-based system.

“We are entering uncharted territory with this,” said Todd Billman, deputy department director for Navy ERP Integration Services. “Companies have done this but that’s like moving a hill versus moving a mountain. After we move to the cloud, we will start a project to move our current SAP system to S/4HANA.”

SAP S/4HANA software will provide a new look and feel to Navy ERP and is expected to improve business software functions that enable core business processes for the Navy.

Once successfully migrated to the cloud, the second phase of Navy ERP modernization and sustainment is slated to start in 2021 and be completed sometime in 2025.

“SAP S/4HANA will allow us to evolve and implement cost effective upgrades and maintenance as we evolve,” said Billman.

Currently, over 64,000 users worldwide use Navy ERP to do everything from timekeeping to ordering missile and radar components.

While most Sailors in the fleet do not use SAP software, applications such as Ship’s Maintenance and Material Management, Relational Supply, One-Touch Support, and Naval Aviation Logistics Command Management Information System, all interface with Navy ERP daily.

According to Thompson, 55 percent of the Navy’s annual unclassified spending runs through Navy ERP. The other 45 percent is expected to be rolled into the system by the end of 2021. This growth is expected to add 10 to 15,000 additional users to what is already the world’s largest SAP implementation.

“Navy ERP’s transition to cloud-based servers is expected to play a key-role in building a modern, networked fleet while also supporting NAVSUP and Navy audit and reform efforts,” said Brian Zirbel, executive director, NAVSUP BSC.

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, Pennsylvania, 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.

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