Navy e-business operations office is looking for a few good ideas

The Navy is looking for e-business projects to fund during fiscal 2002 that will help improve readiness, business processes and quality of life for its servicepeople.

The Navy is looking for e-business projects to fund during fiscal 2002 that will help improve readiness, business processes and quality of life for its servicepeople.

Operating with a fund of $20 million, officials in the Navy's e-Business Operations Office in Mechanicsburg, Pa., said they will consider projects that cost no more than $1 million and take no longer than 120 days to produce a proof of concept.

'We go through a filtering process,' explained Karen L. Gadbois, director of the Navy's e-business pilot funding and project management group. 'We rate and rank them.' She said her group uses an application from Expert Choice Inc. of Pittsburgh.

During the pilot phase, the e-business office examines the program's technology and factors such as how well transactions are processed between forces on shore and at sea, radio frequency technology, electronic signatures and security protocols, Gadbois said.

The program will enable the Navy to conduct nearly all of its business in an automated, paperless environment, said David M. Wennergren, deputy CIO for e-business and security.

Gadbois' office is the Navy e-business clearinghouse, providing advice on ways to use e-business systems in the department.

Tell me all about it

Over the past year, the office has fielded 410 proposals. Last year, eight pilots were approved for funding, including medical, personnel and logistics proposals.

The largest of the eight was Smart Web Move, a $788,000 system that put a household goods management system online for about 200 users in San Diego. Before using the Smart Web Move system, Navy officers being reassigned had to attend five-hour classes to learn how to set up a move. The pilot, sponsored by the Naval Supply Systems Command, put the process on the Web and allowed sailors to plan the move from their home PCs.

Currently, Smart Web Move's managers are assessing the system's effectiveness by using surveys to solicit customer feedback. After this phase is complete, NAVSUP must decide to continue or expand the implementation.

'It's been tremendously well-received,' Gadbois said. 'This is a tremendous opportunity for the Department of the Navy to develop business solutions through the use of technology, and we strongly encourage Navy and Marine Corps activities to continue submitting proposals.'

Another pilot funded this year was the Marine Corps' Global Amphibious Total Online Resource Link, which was developed in collaboration with General Dynamics Corp. The supply chain management system puts sensors in advanced amphibious vehicles that send information to a hub in Woodbridge, Va., when they need new parts, Gadbois said.

Another pilot lets personnel schedule medical appointments on the Web, Wennergren said.

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