IBM recently announced that the U.S. Army’s Logistics Support Activity (LOGSA) awarded IBM a contract to continue providing cloud services, software development and cognitive computing, constituting the technical infrastructure for one of the U.S. federal government’s biggest logistics systems.
The 33-month, $135 million contract represents a successful re-compete of work that LOGSA signed with IBM in September 2012. Under that managed services agreement, the Army pays only for cloud services that it actually consumes. The efficiencies created by this arrangement have enabled the Army to avoid about $15 million per year in operational costs.
In addition to continuing to provide managed services as part of this new contract, IBM also will help the Army focus on:
- improving cybersecurity by applying the risk management framework (RMF) security controls to LOGSA’s IT enterprise. RMF is the unified information security framework for the entire U.S. federal government; it replaces legacy IT security standards;
- incorporating cognitive computing that enhances readiness by anticipating needs, and
- speeding application modernization.
As part of this new contract, IBM also will help the Army predict vehicle maintenance failures from more than 5 billion data points of on-board sensors that will be stored within this environment. In addition, the Army is adopting Watson IoT services and a new Watson IoT Equipment Advisor solution that analyzes unstructured, structured and sensor data directly from military assets.
The solution, part of the IBM Watson IoT for Manufacturing and Industrial Products product suite, includes IBM Predictive Maintenance and Quality System, an integrated solution that monitors, analyzes, and reports on information gathered from devices and equipment and recommends maintenance procedures. It also includes Watson Explorer, a cognitive exploration and content analysis platform that enables users to securely capture and analyze both structured and unstructured data. With the platform, the Army will look to extract enhanced insights from its vehicle data and recommend optimal repair methods and procedures. By combining tactical vehicle sensor and maintenance data, the Army better understands the health of its vehicles and can take proactive repair measures.
IBM recently completed a proof of concept that demonstrated the effectiveness of Watson cognitive computing for 10 percent of the Army’s Stryker vehicle fleet. Under this new contract, LOGSA will increase its ability to provide that predictive and prescriptive maintenance information to the Army.
LOGSA provides on-time integrated logistics support of worldwide Army operations, impacting every soldier, every day. As the Army’s authoritative source for logistics data, LOGSA provides logistics intelligence, life cycle support, technical advice, and assistance to the current and future force; integrates logistics information (force structure, readiness, and other logistics data) for worldwide equipment readiness and distribution analysis; and provides asset visibility for timely and proactive decision-making.
In addition to private cloud deployments, IBM manages five dedicated federal cloud data centers, including a cloud environment accredited up to impact level 5 (IL-5). These were built to meet Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) and Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) requirements for government workloads.