The leader of more than 60 of the Army’s biggest information, warfighting and business programs gave industry a simple message this week: straighten up.
Cherie Smith, acting program executive officer for Army Enterprise Information Systems (PEO-EIS) says she wants industry to come in with solutions, stop exploiting monopolies and to be up front about what they can’t provide, especially when it comes to the Army’s networks.
“I know that you guys got to make a buck and I’m good with you coming in and talking about your capabilities and your products, but I ask that you put that in context with how we can do things better. Open your aperture a little bit so we are better able to take on this new technology,” Smith said during a May 10 C4ISRNET conference in Arlington, Virginia.
Smith made it clear the government is calling the shots and the Army’s priorities are too dire to mess around with industry gimmicks.
“I want to start thinking about how we are doing our contracts,” Smith said. “In some places we are in monopoly-like scenarios. I want to break those monopolies. I’ll use an example in our [enterprise resource planning]world. We are looking at two very large monopolies with SAP and Oracle.”
Smith said she wants companies to come to the Army and explain where their solution doesn’t meet the government’s requirements adequately and to give the Army recommended “bolt-on” solutions so the service can customize.
The Army wants to carve that customization out of the companies taking up the most market space and give the Army the space to flexibly move from one platform to another. Smith said she wants industry to be open about where the Army is not doing something smart.READ MORE