Geurts: Navy Cloud Migration Showcases Agility, Innovation

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy Department’s recent completion of migration of some networks to a server cloud is seen as an example the kind of procurement agility and innovation the Navy is looking for in its programs servicewide.

“The Navy Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) “tech refresh” completed Aug. 19, 10 months ahead of the projected completion date — the Navy’s largest system migration to the cloud,” the Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems and Naval Supply Systems Command Public Affairs offices said in a release.

The effort went “from cold start to contract in 45 days,” said James F. “Hondo” Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, speaking to reporters Aug. 23 at a media roundtable at the Pentagon.

The effort, which cost $100 million as part of a larger information technology contract, was scheduled to take 20 months but instead was accomplished in 10 months, Geurts said.

“The Navy ERP tech refresh is a major milestone toward consolidating all Department of the Navy financial systems into a single general ledger, which is essential to the department’s ability to produce accurate financial information, obtain a clean audit opinion and improve our data analytic capability,” said Thomas Harker, assistant secretary of the Navy for financial management and comptroller, who also briefed reporters at the roundtable.

Harker said the effort combined eight general ledger systems into to one. Those legacy systems were based on COBALT or home-grown software.

He said that the goal of the effort was toward “being auditable” and “being transparent using modern business practices.”

“This will increase our ability to do data analytics and provide much better information for decision-making,” Harker said.

Geurts said the ERP may have been the largest cloud migration ever conducted in North America.

Navy ERP now is available to about 72,000 users across six Navy commands: Naval Air Systems Command, Naval Sea Systems Command, Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, Naval Supply Systems Command, Strategic Systems Programs, the Office of Naval Research.

Navy ERP “is now entirely cloud-based, operating significantly faster in memory, data storage and processing,” the release said. “Prior to the migration, Navy ERP operated on a Systems, Applications, and Products (SAP) server-based Oracle platform. During the tech refresh, Navy ERP upgraded to the SAP HANA (high-performance analytic appliance) cloud-based platform.”

Harker said that one immediate impact of ERP will be an ability to produce reports in 30 minutes that used to take five or six hours. He said the impact will be felt in improving customer support, getting rid of inefficiencies and enhancing the ability to make rapid decisions.

He said the ERP “gives the Navy the capacity to bring on new customers so we are moving the half of the Navy that isn’t already on the ERP system onto the ERP system over the next two years.”

The ERP cloud incorporates rigorous, widely accepted cyber protections, with its coherent single system reducing the attack surface compared with legacy systems.

The prime system integrator for the ERP implementation was Advanced Solutions Inc., a small business.

“The magnitude of this accomplishment is incredible,” Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer said in the release. “The Navy ERP tech refresh is our largest system cloud migration to date and will enhance the performance of our force.

“I am proud of the team efforts to accomplish this on an accelerated schedule, cutting the projected timeline nearly in half,” Spencer said. “The team managed this through innovative approaches to problem-solving and close collaboration with integration teams, network engineers and industry partners.” The Navy ERP program is managed by Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems’ (PEO EIS) Navy Enterprise Business Solutions program management office.