Sailors will get some say in picking NMCI's apps

'The functional community needs a voice in the governance of NMCI to the secretary of the Navy.'

'Eileen Roberson, deputy program executive officer for enterprise solutions

Users of the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet portal should have a say in which applications are moved into the NMCI environment.

That's the philosophy of Eileen Roberson, the Navy's deputy program executive officer for enterprise solutions. Roberson said Navy workers in areas such as personnel, communications, logistics, science and technology, and test and evaluation should be heavily involved in the integration of legacy apps into NMCI.

Final say

But Roberson acknowledged that the final say on the $6.9 billion outsourcing contract belongs to Navy Department brass.

In March, Roberson and workers from her office met with hundreds of sailors across the service to get their feedback on the process. Roberson said she wanted to touch base with the average sailor rather than discuss technical matters with IT workers.

'The functional community needs a voice with the secretary of the Navy in the governance of NMCI,' she said.

Sailors use 66,755 government and commercial software apps and know which are critical to the Navy. Their input is essential as the service decides on the handful that will eventually migrate to NMCI, Roberson said.

'They are the experts,' she said.

Roberson said the Navy has no set number of apps it will cut, but the service's brass want to see a significant reduction.

Easier said than done, she acknowledged. Workers familiar with the applications they use every day are reluctant to switch to other programs that require new training.

Roberson's team is searching for a way to 'take the emotion out of this,' she said.

'We want to make it a mathematical formula,' she said. 'If an application doesn't have a function it supports, it gets easy to cut.'

Roberson also held meetings with the heads of each functional area to discuss how the chosen applications will be integrated with NMCI.

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