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Navy explores Blackberry alternatives

Nov. 15, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  

Mobile services are among the capabilities HP will provide the Navy and Marine Corps under its $3.5 billion Next Generation Enterprise Network contract.

Specifically incumbent vendor HP will provide network connectivity for mobile devices, but the company is eyeing additional capabilities for sailors and marines, said Bill Toti, vice president and executive for Navy and Marine Corps accounts at HP.

Toti said HP conducted pilots for Apple devices under its continuity of services contract (COSC) in anticipation of life beyond BlackBerry devices. “It’s a concern,” Toti said about the viability of BlackBerry. “What do we do if Blackberry ceases to exist?”

For the past year, HP has been working on pilot programs, but they stalled while the Navy competed the NGEN contract, Toti said. He said HP has a solution to monitor Apple devices and is developing a similar solution for Android devices. Today, these services aren’t part of NGEN but could be executed.

“I think we need to move out on a mobile environment that’s vendor agnostic ... as long as Navy wants to keep heading down that path,” Toti said.

Under NGEN, HP “will be providing all the services that we have today on NMCI and [COSC] which includes mobile services,” Victor Gavin, the Navy's program executive officer for enterprise information systems, said in June.

NGEN will replace the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet, a contractor-owned and operated network serving 800,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel. The new network will include email, data storage, video teleconferencing and other enterprise services.

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