By Mr. Steve Ghiringhelli (Drum)May 9, 2013
FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- Behind brick and mortar and their windowless cubicles, Fort Drum Network Enterprise Center personnel have spent the last several months creating a comprehensive digital "dashboard" that eventually will be rolled out to other NECs Armywide and used as a model for 360-degree customer engagement.
The "Voice of the Commander" pilot program at Fort Drum was designed to help NEC personnel quickly and accurately match IT resources with critical mission requirements.
The capability gives commanders and senior leaders a place to go and comment on IT services, rate real-time performance and even schedule a meeting with NEC representatives.
In addition, the Interactive Customer Engagement (ICE) system has been tailored to better support customer assessment of the 11 services NEC provides customers, which include IT services, telephones, video teleconferencing, communications security and electromagnetic-spectrum management.
Fort Drum NEC currently is testing the new ICE comment card through a three-way collaboration involving 7th Signal Command (Theater) and Network Enterprise Technology Command. Before all modifications become permanent, officials request customer feedback regarding the new form.
"The participation of our Fort Drum customers is vital to the success of this new and powerful capability," said Fort Drum NEC Director Joanne L. Thornton. "We are hoping to receive at least 30 assessments over the ICE system by this Wednesday."
To submit an assessment using the new ICE comment card, users can visit http://ice.disa.mil, select "Army CONUS" and then "Fort Drum, NY." From the Fort Drum ICE Community Site, select "Information Technology" and then "Messaging (Fort Drum)" to fill out the form.
"Our goal is to get a good sampling of customer feedback," said Thornton, adding that the new ICE comment section will be part of the VOC's customer-facing dashboard.
The VOC capability came as a result of major commands, such as U.S. Army Forces Command, requesting a stronger voice in deciding what services are delivered and how they are prioritized.
The modernization efforts will increase the ability of all NECs to receive timely feedback and readily assess the overall health of their IT services, according to Kevin S. Buck, principal staff at MITRE Corp., an independent but federally funded research and development center.
"We are at a stage of bringing it all together within the dashboard," Buck said. "It's a living -- rather than a static -- decision aid that evaluates tradeoffs between performance, resources and risk.
"Affordability, effectiveness and efficiency -- those are the drivers of this whole campaign," he added.
Through the VOC dashboard, NETCOM leadership also will have access to a cohesive "snapshot" of how well they are providing services Armywide.
The 87 employees at the Fort Drum NEC serve more than 13,000 active directory accounts. The organization has earned Armywide recognition in recent years, winning the 7th Signal Command (Theater) NEC of the Year award in both 2010 and 2012 under the large NEC category.
"We have been involved in many pilots over the last two years, but the VOC capability is one we have been particularly excited about," Thornton said. "Along with many other performance measures, it will tell us how we are doing as an organization and where we need to go to achieve better customer satisfaction."
The VOC prototype is scheduled to be completed at Fort Drum by early June.
Customers will soon have the ability to access elements of the VOC to receive performance information, provide input and schedule an opportunity to talk to a service manager or the Fort Drum NEC director.
"The Fort Drum NEC is forging ahead," Thornton said. "This project was one more opportunity for the NEC to shape a capability for the rest of the command.
"At the end of the day," she added, "I couldn't be more proud of the NEC team. Along with performing well in day-to-day operations, this hardworking and dedi- cated team is leading the forces of change in Army IT service delivery."