Army's IT functionality expands to help better serve its customers

By Elizabeth UrbaniakDecember 19, 2022

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL


A team from Army Contracting Command – Rock Island’s Strategic Information Technology and Cyber Directorate recently awarded a 10-year contract in support of the Army Enterprise Service Managed Platform (AESMP) program. This program provides the platform and operations for the Army Enterprise Service Desk (AESD) and Information Technology management. A single award Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract was awarded on Sept. 26, via a competitive Best Value evaluation. The 10-year contract, inclusive of a base year with nine one-year ordering periods, may include task order awards for up to an IDIQ contract ceiling of $757 million.

Shelly Robacker, the contracting officer who worked on this effort, says that AESMP is the follow-on competition for AESD, which has a huge impact on the Army’s IT functionality.

“The AESMP program has had its share of successes and challenges throughout the requirements development,” said Robacker. “Developing the right strategy for the solicitation was quite challenging and the team finally sent the right strategy out to industry in September 2021, with award made in September 2022.”

Robacker also stated that the difference between AESD and AESMP is that AESMP has been expanded to allow system use to other agencies.

“There is now a platform for use of other Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) services, which is a larger set of requirements than AESD,” said Robacker. “The definition of ITIL services from the web is a set of best practices for delivering IT services, it standardizes the selection, planning, delivery, and support of IT services to maximize efficiency and maintain predictable levels of service.”

According to Robacker, another challenge that the team faced for AESMP was finding a contract approach that provided flexibility for implementation of requirements in a planned staged process, with multiple Army commands, that still allowed some tailoring of requirements specific to the commands’ needs.

An example Robacker provided were that some commands may need the help desk support while others only want access to the system platform and will not use call center contractor support, yet others may use all capabilities to include asset management or software management, therefore, the contract needed to be able to provide that flexibility so that the platform is used how it is needed across the Army.

Robacker explained that AESMP will unify the Army’s approach to managing help desk and IT equipment management across the Army.

“Using a single software as a service (SaaS) platform, AESMP has options to provide exciting new enterprise-class applications to the Army to enable better hardware asset management, software licensing management, service support, and security operations through linkage of assets to individuals and services,” said Robacker.

Joselyn Gray, the program’s contract specialist, added that AESPM is supposed to act as a cyber sensor to detect threats through services desk analysis, which allows the Army to have a single point of contact for IT issues and allows the Army to identify where a cyber-threat is happening in real time.

Gray said that this has been a successful joint venture between the Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER), Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems (PEO-EIS) and U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM).

Robacker believes that they have navigated discussions and built collaborative solutions throughout all those agencies that resulted in a successful strategy approved at the Department of Army level.

“It has been a joint effort through multiple agencies in order to get where we are at now, even though it took a while to get the right strategy,” said Robacker.

Now that the contract has been awarded, Robacker states that the planned impact of this award is to move the Army to a standardized IT management structure that streamlines service desk processes, resolves issues at the lowest level and allows better visibility to threats, assets, and issues via a single platform.

“The AESMP program will allow Army IT managers better visibility to issues and enable better asset lifecycle replacement planning, said Robacker. “I believe the Army will find significant savings using this platform for IT management.”