Contract Guide: NetCents-2: Air Force Builds a Bridge to the Future

EISM provides bedrock services for planning, developing strategic programs

Air Force-only contract supports strategic approach to IT enterprise

The NetCents-2 Enterprise Integration and Service Management (EISM) contract was the first to be awarded, in November 2010. That in many ways reflects its importance as the provider of essential bedrock services that will help various elements across the Air Force enterprise strategically plan for many of the capabilities that IT contracts like the rest of the NetCents-2 vehicles will provide.

It’s something new that wasn’t available under NetCents-1. It’s also the only one of the seven indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity NetCents-2 contracts to be specific to the Air Force and not open to other DOD users and federal agencies.

The scope of work for EISM includes:

  • Supporting Air Force IT advisory and assistance services.
  • Providing non-personal enterprise-level engineering, integration and services management support.
  • Offering services that enable enterprise integration and service management support for infrastructure and mission capabilities.
  • Services to integrate capabilities within and between domains enterprisewide.

EISM is one of two NetCents-2 contracts, along with IT Professional Support & Engineering Services (ITPS), that come under the Advisory & Assistance (A&AS) categories. Its job is to help people at the strategic level within an enterprise or operational domain, as opposed to the tactical, program-level help that ITPS is supposed to provide.

As of the end of July, the award for ITPS, the only one of the NetCents-2 contracts not mandated for use by the Air Force, was on hold due to resource constraints.

Unlike ITPS, which is more of a traditional A&AS contract, EISM is a new approach in line with the overall Air Force net-centric vision. The integration support services available under the contract include maintaining information about existing systems in enterprise architectures, recommending emerging technologies and solutions, conducting analyses to support portfolio management, and assessing the effect of IT programs on various domains.

It can also be used for more precise goals, such as defining target IT architectures and developing tools and methodologies to support integration activities.

A key function for NetCents-2 overall is to ensure the Air Force IT enterprise adheres to set standards, and that’s front and center in EISM, which also provides service management support to make sure any new IT services meet those enterprise standards.

To be awarded an EISM contract means vendors also have to meet certain standards. For example, according to NetCents-2 Program Manager Robert Smothers, they have to be ISO 2000-qualified and -certified, an International Organization for Standardization mark that sets a high level of quality management that a company must meet.

EISM is open only to Air Force users because it’s seen as something that’s specific to Air Force needs. Other contracts, which other government organizations can use, support initiatives that require some kind of interaction with and support from Air Force resources.

Unlike the Products and NetOps contracts, however, EISM doesn’t have a separate category for small businesses, which will have to subcontract with EISM primes.

The EISM ceiling is set at $460 million, and the contract has a five-year period of performance to November 2015. As of May, however, the NetCents-2 program office reported that just less than $37 million in sales had been made on the contract.

NetCents-2 EISM vendors

  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • CACI Enterprise Solutions
  • Jacobs Strategic Solutions Group
  • Deloitte Consulting
  • Dynamics Research
  • Science Applications International Corp.