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Navy and EDS Set Sail for Portal

Citing the phrase "knowledge is power," the Department of the Navy and Plano, Texas-based managed hosting provider EDS (NYSE: EDS) today announced a seven-month, $9 million order to implement Web-based portal technology under the Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) program. This integration framework will permit users controlled access to applications and data anytime and anywhere.

According to a statement released today, the program will provide a publish-and-subscribe architecture that includes a portal that sailors can personalize with Navy Web-based services.

Part of the Navy's Task Force Web, the technology is designed to integrate Navy applications, data and platforms that deliver end-user services via Web-based technologies. (Task Force Web is a Vice Chief of Naval Operations initiative charged with developing a vision and strategy to exploit Web technology across the U.S. Navy.)

Using the portal technology, Navy sailors and Marines will be able to access pay, personnel and medical records, technical manuals, training syllabi, command and control, logistics and other mission critical material. Another goal of the program is to help the Department of Navy capitalize on its investment in existing IT systems by extending application longevity and ease of use through web integration services.

"This is truly a visionary program being developed by the Department of the Navy," said Rick Rosenburg, EDS NMCI program client executive. "To my knowledge, there is nothing like it in government and definitely not in the other branches of the armed forces."

"These initiatives [NMCI and Task Force Web] are critical components to the Department of the Navy's vision of a network-centric force," said Al Edmonds, president of U.S. federal and government accounts for EDS' Information Solutions line of business. "The ability to access, process and disseminate information rapidly and securely has a direct impact on force readiness. The old axiom that 'knowledge is power' was never more true."

According to a statement released by EDS, a planning conference will be held in early October to establish standards for the testing and certification of new applications, services and infrastructure components prior to placing these elements into the operational environment. An operational implementation is planned for later this year.

NMCI is an enterprise-wide initiative designed to make network-based information services available to sailors and Marines for day-to-day activities and in war. NMCI's objective is to give the Navy and Marine Corps secure, universal access to integrated voice, video and data communications, provide pier-side connectivity to Navy vessels in port, and link more than 360,000 desktops across the United States as well as sites in Puerto Rico, Iceland and Cuba.

The Information Strike Force is a group of technology companies, inclduing the following: EDS for service and reliability; WorldCom for network connectivity; Raytheon for security; and companies such as Cisco, WAM!NET, Microsoft, Dell, Dolch, Dataline, for products and services.