IR Tech responded to a requirement initiative from the GCSS-MC Program Manager to design and execute a small-scale operational pilot to test for some of the challenges Operating Force Marines could face with an Oracle E-Business Suite Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation. The challenge was to test if current and future ERP capabilities could be accessible to users in austere, expeditionary network environments. Based on empirical data from the operational pilots, IR Tech was requested to propose architectures and define cost tradeoffs necessary for deploying web-enabled information system architectures to forward areas. In the end, the MCTWL initiative provided a test bed for validating GCSS-MC system and system architecture hypotheses.
IR Tech provided three capabilities to the GCSS-MC MCTWL initiative. The first was the ability to rapidly deploy a representative IT system with a representative Oracle E-Business ERP system optimized for deployed environments and the addition of bandwidth and latency reduction technologies. The second was planning, resourcing, and executing operational tests that involved Navy and Marine Corps personnel. Tests were organized by IR Tech and conducted on time and on budget using MCTSSA (Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity) personnel and 1st MLG Marines. And third, provided an analysis of test data integrating technical knowledge of tactical communications, IT architecture, and cost analytics. The data validated a series of cost-effective approaches to support information system access in austere, expeditionary network environments.
The products of the MCTWL efforts were extensive. The optimized technologies were implemented in a program of record that was fielded Marine Corps wide. Analysis outcomes were used to justify the employment and increased fielding of Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSAT) communications systems throughout the Marine Corps Logistics Community. The cost benefit recommendations allowed the Program Manager of the Marine Corps’ only ACAT 1A M program to avoid unexpected technology costs and schedule slips prior to deployed operations.
The top 5 MCTWL initiative benefits were:
- Recommendations to expand tactical data networks capacity with satellite communications and justification employment and increased fielding of Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSAT) communications systems throughout the Marine Corps Logistics Community
- A Marine Corps ERP implementation could be successfully deployed to austere, expeditionary network environments
- Achieved cost avoidance for deploying information systems
- Defined realistic cost data for IT system deployments
- Provided tactical network optimized system architectures, techniques, and technology