Navy and Army take steps to consolidate HR systems

'This provided a real clear bullet-proof solution where everything is integrated together.'

'David Wikenheiser

The Army system failed a final test; fielding has been postponed so the service can fix the technical problems, Col. William Mansell says.

DOD plans to combine 88 payroll and personnel systems by the end of 2006

In the eyes of Defense Department overseers, the Navy and Army are taking the interim steps'sometimes a bit unsteadily'to make their human resources systems for military members ready for transition to a DOD-wide system.

The Navy will use software from PeopleSoft Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif., to consolidate dozens of disparate HR systems that the service runs for 380,000 sailors.

Meanwhile, the Army last month delayed by two months its plans to go servicewide with a new military personnel system.

The Navy project is an extension of the service's Standard Integrated Personnel System, a client-server architecture built and maintained in New Orleans.

Online file updates

Using PeopleSoft's Human Capital Management software, the Navy will get rid of more than 100 servers while speeding up productivity by giving sailors the ability to update their files online, said David Wikenheiser, CIO for the Bureau of Naval Personnel in Millington, Tenn.

'This provided a real clear bulletproof solution where everything is integrated together,' Wikenheiser said. 'We plan on allowing sailors to update certain data fields since the truth is closer to the originator.' The system will give sailors access to fields such as phone number and address, as well as next-of-kin information, he said.

The system will include dozens of pages of data fields, for information such as a sailor's Social Security number, station location, job title, schools attended, fitness report and qualifications.

Wikenheiser said the upgrades will make the transition to the Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System a lot easier for the Navy because that system will use PeopleSoft as well.

Touted as one of the world's largest HR systems, DIMHRS will replace 88 legacy personnel and pay systems across the services with a single database for the military's active and reserve units.

Analysts have previously estimated that DOD will spend between $500 million and $1 billion on the DIMHRS development.

The Army has volunteered to be the first service to deploy DIMHRS in the spring of next year.
DOD wants the system in use across the department and services by the end of 2006.

But problems with its interim system recently led the Army to push back rollout for two months.

The Army calls its electronic military personnel system eMILPO. It will replace the current legacy system, the Standard Installation Division Personnel System-3.

'If you want to change your name, duty status, it allows you to,' said Col. William Mansell, deputy adjutant general at the Army Personnel Command in Alexandria, Va.

More tests

But before the service fields eMILPO, the Army will retest it to ensure the data migration process is automatic and accurate, Mansell said. Recently, eMILPO failed a final systems test, pushing back the fielding until the service fixed the technical problems, he said.

As the Army continues toward the first cutover to DIMHRS, the Navy will begin the shift to the Human Capital Management software next month.

'From the Navy perspective, it doesn't make any difference where a sailor happens to be,' said Bruce Triner, director of DOD sales and special programs in PeopleSoft's Bethesda, Md., office.

'What we want to do is build a system compliant with the DIMHRS,' Triner said. 'There will be efficiencies in a lot of different areas; the number of systems that need to be maintained and serviced will go from 20-plus to one.'

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