NMCI will heed users' opinions

NMCI will heed users' opinions

What's at stake

NMCI Customer Satisfaction Financial Incentive

$164 million will be available annually for customer satisfaction incentives. If service is rated above average by more than:

  • 85%, payment $25 per seat per quarter

  • 90%, payment $50 per seat per quarter

  • 95%, payment $100 per seat per quarter

  • Users of the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet not only will soon get to voice their opinions of the system, but their input also will have a measurable effect on the program's lead contractor.

    In June some users who have been switched over to NMCI will be asked to respond to a five-minute customer satisfaction survey on the Web. They will be asked how well the portal is helping them do their jobs, what their concerns are and how they would rate the NMCI transition process.

    The survey will be repeated each quarter throughout the term of the $6.9 billion outsourcing contract, as the NMCI contracting team, led by Electronic Data Systems Corp., adds new users to the portal, Navy officials said.

    The feedback will determine how much bonus money EDS will receive from the Navy. The company could get as much as $164 million annually over the life of the five-year, fixed-price contract, which also has a three-year option.

    'This is a fairly explicit system,' said Edward Schmitz, the Navy's lead for IT performance measurement. 'EDS knows what they have to do to get awarded' extra money.

    The surveys could open the floodgates for dissatisfied Navy personnel.

    Some have complained that migration of the legacy systems to the new platform has not gone smoothly, and others have said the average per-seat charge, about $3,412, is too expensive.

    Schmitz said he doesn't worry about such criticism. Employees always have problems with a new system, he said, but eventually they will come around to see how well the system works.

    Transition hiccups

    'EDS faces a lot of problems in the transition period,' Schmitz said. 'But after six to nine months, it starts to go away and people become more objective. There probably will be some disgruntled people, but the vast majority of people are asking, 'Can I do my job better?' '

    NMCI is an enterprisewide, managed system for voice, video and data communications that will consolidate 200 networks at bases across the country and overseas into one secure, Navy intranet. The portal will link more than 360,000 desktop PCs.

    The contract includes technology refreshes, desktop hardware and software, technical support, e-mail, training and numerous security upgrades in its per-seat charge.

    More than 400,000 sailors and Marines will use the portal. If more than 95 percent of the users surveyed rate service above average, EDS will receive as much as an extra $400 per seat annually.

    Schmitz did not release the survey questions. He said a focus group made up of military and industry officials is fine-tuning the questions. In June, the first users will receive the survey and will have two weeks to respond.

    'Everyone will get an opportunity,' he said. 'We made a conscious policy decision to survey everyone twice a year.'

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