Next Generation Business Environment

Ken Waldrop

The Army continues to strive toward a common operating environment that enhances its business management capabilities and improves operational efficiency. Product Manager Acquisition Business (PM AcqBusiness) has become the technological spearhead for this goal and is powering the Army’s acquisition community by using innovative information technology (IT) to enable powerful decision making.

As LTC Maurice Stewart, PM AcqBusiness, said, “Though it sounds cliché, our end goal is to get the right information to the right people at the right time—with high-powered technology.”

To this end, AcqBusiness is working diligently to implement a sophisticated operating environment called the Next Generation Business Environment (NGBE). In its most recent IT transformation plan, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology envisions a single enterprise business environment. The AcqBusiness team is responding by developing a net-centric (Web service-based) environment that will be leveraged to integrate independent systems used by Army Acquisition organizations. Ultimately, this movement will improve the management, availability, and use of authoritative acquisition data.

Apart from consolidating data streams, implementation of this business environment will enable AcqBusiness to migrate numerous business applications from individual silos into the new environment, applying a common look and feel to more than 70 acquisition applications. End users may become more efficient at using a wider array of business tools available to them as they familiarize themselves with the shared design and navigation of these applications.

An added benefit of the NGBE is that it centralizes and automates security management for the applications hosted on this business environment. Ultimately, AcqBusiness is upholding the Army’s goal of achieving a materiel enterprise and hopes to evolve the NGBE into a high-powered, net-centric environment that offers long-term relevance and added value to the Army acquisition community.

The NGBE design is driven by the need to create cost efficiencies without sacrificing the capabilities that AcqBusiness clients have come to expect. In fact, the NGBE environment helps establish a new ability for AcqBusiness clients to leverage self-service capabilities to create some of their own solutions.

AcqBusiness has implemented a highly virtualized infrastructure, leading to an estimated cost avoidance of $4.5 million over six years. It has streamlined the architecture, saving the government more than $500,000 in the past 12 months, and is streamlining and modernizing the application portfolio into the NGBE.

NGBE reduced the physical server footprint from 80 servers to 17, which in turn reduces the requirements for power, space, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. This also reduced maintenance downtime by 75 percent. Based on an analysis of savings-to-investment ratio, the amount of savings (cost avoidance) is 135 percent.

NGBE promises to be a tremendous asset for the Army Acquisition community and will affect the way systems are fielded to Soldiers today, tomorrow, and in the future. The understated value in this effort is that AcqBusiness is making tremendous strides toward incorporating today’s technology into the evolving business requirements of the Army Acquisition community.

DACM

For more information about NGBE, contact AcqBusiness at 571-403-3129 or go to https://acqbiz.army.mil/portal/server.pt.


  • KEN WALDROP is Program Management Director, PM AcqBusiness, with oversight of product life-cycle planning, PM operations, and project management. Waldrop holds a B.A. in accounting from Georgia State University and an M.S. in information technology management from the Georgia Institute of Technology.