Users give NMCI passing grade

Nearly three-quarters of a random group of Navy-Marine Corps Intranet users say overall they are satisfied with the performance of the portal and lead contractor professionalism, according to the latest customer satisfaction survey results released today by the NMCI office.

The office announced the results of the fourth quarter 2004 survey, which found that 72.2 percent of users were satisfied with the system. The previous quarter's survey, unveiled in August 2004, found 71.9 percent satisfied.

NMCI, an $8.8 billion program, is a single network designed to connect more than 400,000 sailors and Marines at more than 300 bases in the United States and abroad. EDS Corp. is the lead contractor.

'We are on our way to gaining a deeper understanding of the needs and issues of our NMCI customers. The data collected by this survey is invaluable to our team in providing a clear path forward for resolution,' said Rear Adm. James B Godwin III, NMCI director. 'I am confident we will progress in customer satisfaction as we deliver a world-class intranet, ready for the pace of today's Navy-Marine Corps team.'

Roughly one-quarter of the 44,601 users who received the online survey responded. NMCI officials say the survey targets all users and asks users to rate their satisfaction with hardware, software, network performance, help desk and problem resolution, training, and service delivery, as well as overall satisfaction.

Many users have raised questions about the need for an unbiased organization to conduct future surveys. Some users stated that with the Navy and EDS running the project, they would be reluctant to give their true opinions.

Backing up that claim are the consistent e-mails and letters still received by Government Computer News on challenges with the NMCI program.

The NMCI Program Office acknowledges that significant increases in customer satisfaction are unlikely until several important issues are resolved. Those issues include network performance, e-mail services, and Web and Internet access, according to a news release.

'We're focused on improving the NMCI user experience,' said Mike Koehler, enterprise client executive for EDS. 'Together we are building on an established common, stable and secure computing environment to achieve a better balance between customer usability and network security.'

This year, some new services will be delivered to the NMCI network, including a Broadband Remote Access Solution, Windows XP and a new online catalog.

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