According to a recent announcement, the U.S. Army Logistics Support Activity (LOGSA) has awarded IBM a contract to continue providing cloud services, software development, and cognitive computing for the Army, constituting the technical infrastructure for one of the U.S. federal government's biggest logistics systems.
The 33-month, $135 million contract represents a successful re-compete of work that LOGSA signed with IBM in September 2012. Under that managed services agreement, the Army pays only for cloud services that it actually consumes. The efficiencies created by this arrangement have enabled the Army to avoid about $15 million per year in operational costs.
In addition to continuing to provide managed services as part of this new contract, IBM also will help the Army focus on:
• improving cybersecurity by applying the risk management framework (RMF) security controls to LOGSA’s IT enterprise. RMF is the unified information security framework for the entire U.S. federal government; it replaces legacy IT security standards;
• incorporating cognitive computing that enhances readiness by anticipating needs, and
• speeding application modernization.
As part of this new contract, IBM also will help the Army predict vehicle maintenance failures from more than five billion data points of on-board sensors that will be stored within this environment. In addition, the Army is adopting Watson IoT services and a new Watson IoT Equipment Advisor solution that analyzes unstructured, structured and sensor data directly from military assets.
"LOGSA and the Army can now take advantage of the technological innovation that cloud offers – especially cognitive computing and analytics – so that the Army can continue to reap cost savings, further streamline its operations and deliver services to its clients," said Lisa Mascolo, managing director, U.S. Public Service, Global Business Services, IBM. "We're pleased to continue our work with the Army to demonstrate the viability of cloud for mission applications and the promised benefits of efficiency and taxpayer savings."
The solution, part of the IBM Watson IoT for Manufacturing and Industrial Products product suite, includes IBM Predictive Maintenance and Quality System, an integrated solution that monitors, analyzes, and reports on information gathered from devices and equipment and recommends maintenance procedures. It also includes Watson Explorer, a cognitive exploration and content analysis platform that enables users to securely capture and analyze both structured and unstructured data. With the platform, the Army will look to extract enhanced insights from its vehicle data and recommend optimal repair methods and procedures. By combining tactical vehicle sensor and maintenance data, the Army better understands the health of its vehicles and can take proactive repair measures.
"Over the past four and a half years, LOGSA has benefitted from the business and technical advantages of the cloud," said Col. John D. Kuenzli, LOGSA Commander. "Now, we're moving beyond infrastructure as-a-service and embracing both platform and software as-a service, adopting commercial cloud capabilities to further enhance Army readiness."
Ken Briodagh is a writer and editor with more than a decade of experience under his belt. He is in love with technology and if he had his druthers would beta test everything from shoe phones to flying cars.
Edited by Mandi Nowitz