November 2, 2011

NGEN Update: less than five potential bidders will compete on price

The Context

Here in this blog we already discussed about the draft request for proposal that was issued by US Navy under the Next Generation Enterprise Network program (NGEN), i.e. the follow-on to the Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI), the US Department of Navy’s current shore-based network and operating environment. NGEN will supply a secure information technology infrastructure for the continental United States and select locations overseas.

NGEN is aimed at delivering information transport services and provide access to core enterprise applications for the warfighter and those who support them. NGEN provides the foundation for the US Department of Navy’s future Naval Networking Environment, which is envisioned to be a fully integrated enterprise-wide networking environment where data and services are ubiquitously available to Department of Navy users.

The US Navy had already spent more that $430 million on NGEN. The whole program was expected to cost $50 billion through 2025.

News Report

As reported by GovconWire and other news sources, the US Navy will use price as its standard when it awards the Next-Generation Enterprise Network contract, according to Capt. Shawn Hendricks, manager of the Naval Enterprise Networks Program Office. At a industry briefing Friday, Hendricks said the network will likely cost $10 billion over five years, double what the Navy spent on its previous large network contract, the Navy Marine Corps Intranet (originally awarded to EDS, now HP, in 2000).

Hendricks described NGEN as the largest federal IT contract that he is aware of today, designed to provide commercial applications and network connections to more than 400,000 computers and more than 750,000 Navy and Marine end users. The NGEN contractor will provide data centers and base and local area networks, but not long-distance networks, which the Defense Information Systems Agency will provide.

Based on responses from industry to date on draft proposal requests, Hendricks said, there are fewer than five potential bidders that can meet the criteria set out in those drafts.

Unlike NMCI, which is operated by a single contractor — Hewlett-Packard — NGEN management will likely be divided among several different organizations, including the US Navy. After completion, NGEN will give increased network command and control responsibilities to US Navy and Marine users. “The Navy has wanted to take back ownership of the network and has certainly wanted to exercise more direct control of the operation of the network than did in NMCI,” said Pat Tracey, vice president of defense industry development at HP Enterprise Services.

The US Navy’s segmented approach to NGEN, in addition to the project’s massive size and scope, has led to the creation of several contractor teams, including an alliance led by HP, which is bidding on individual NGEN aspects, such as hardware, software, network transport services, enterprise services and security operations. Other project bidders include Accenture, Computer Sciences Corp., General Dynamics, Harris, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.

A final request for proposals is due Dec. 21, 2011 with the contract to be awarded in December 2012. The network must be ready for operation April 30, 2014, when the NMCI contract ends (the Navy Marine Corps Intranet)

References: GovconWire (1), NextGov (2), (3)

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