26 Jun 03. The UK MoD announced that four industry groups have been shortlisted for the Defence Information Infrastructure (DII) project. These include the Atlas consortium of EDS, Fujitsu Services, Cogent Defence and Security Networks, General Dynamics United Kingdom Limited and LogicaCMG, a Lockheed Martin consortium, a CSC Consortium and the IBM-led ACTUS Team. The next phase of the bid process runs until 17 September 2003.
The DII project will replace numerous individual information systems throughout the MoD with a single, more efficient information innfrastructure. It will allow many of the defence efficiency measures under the Defence Change Programme to be pushed though. These include network-enabled capability – the ability to improve the capability of the armed forces through a single network of information announced in the Strategic Defence Review.
In its Investment Strategy for 2002, the MoD stated: “We intend to put in place a Defence Information Infrastructure (DII) to enable us better to exploit our information assets for both operational and business purposes.
“At present the Department and the Armed Forces operate a wide variety of information systems acquired piecemeal over a number of years. This not only leads to inefficiencies in the conduct of Departmental business processes, and obstacles to meeting e-Government targets and legislative requirements, but also hampers the ability of the Services to operate together as they are increasingly required to do in the modern strategic environment.
“The aim of the DII programme, currently in its assessment phase, is to update and merge individual information systems to provide all staff with a common platform for business applications, enabling many current paper-based processes to be replaced by equivalent electronic services.”
DII will also extend into the operational arena, interfacing with battlespace systems and improving shared information between battlefield support, headquarters and the front line. The expectation is that DII will allow greater interoperability between MoD and its allies, allowing more effective operational support than is currently available.
Lord Bach, Minister for Defence Procurement, said: “This project will help streamline the business and the operational capability of the MoD and we are delighted with the level of interest from Industry. We look forward to a tough competition between the 4 Industry groups which all have strong UK connections and are announced today. We fully expect that this competition will result in a solution that offers excellent value for money.”
Bob Quick, MoD Project Manager, said: “In delivering a single information infrastructure to the MOD, we are seeking to use commercially available technology and althouggh it is a large and complex project, it is not therefore novel. It is the ability to maintain business continuity and then the associated business and process change which will be challenging”
The Atlas consortium will now be invited to submit its outline proposal for delivery of what is potentially the largest IT contract ever seen in Europe, with an estimated value of £4bn over 10 years.
Graham Lay, Managing Director of EDS Defence, said: “We are delighted to have made it to this important first milestone, and look forward to further developing a successful partnering arrangement with the MoD.”
Peter Appleby, director of strategic business development at EDS and Atlas bid leader, said: “The members of the Atlas consortium are fully committed to forging a strong, long-term relationship with the MoD over the course of the DII procurement.”
The Atlas consortium, unveiled on 11 June 2003, comprises the following five key partners:
EDS – offers an unrivalled proven capability designing, building, rolling-out and supporting large-scale IT projects, often in very challenging environments; significant provider of services to the MoD (back office and battle space) and prov