IBM signs $135 mn Cloud managed services contract with U.S. Army

IBM Cloud for CIOsBusiness technology major IBM has bagged $135 million contract to provide cloud services, software development and cognitive computing to the U.S. Army’s Logistics Support Activity (LOGSA).

The 33-month, $135 million contract represents a re-compete of work that LOGSA signed with IBM in September 2012.

Over the past four and a half years, LOGSA benefitted from the business and technical advantages of the cloud from IBM. “Now, we’re moving beyond infrastructure as-a-service and embracing both platform and software as-a service, adopting commercial cloud capabilities to further enhance Army readiness,” said LOGSA Commander Col. John D. Kuenzli.

Under that managed services agreement, IBM receives payment for cloud services that the Army actually consumes. IBM said the efficiencies created by this arrangement have enabled the Army to avoid about $15 million per year in operational costs.

IBM 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.

IBM will help the Army predict vehicle maintenance failures from more than 5 billion data points of on-board sensors that will be stored. 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.

Watson IoT services will assist the Army to extract 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’s recent proof of concept demonstrated the effectiveness of Watson cognitive computing for 10 percent of the Army’s Stryker vehicle fleet. LOGSA, under this new contract, will increase its ability to provide that predictive and prescriptive maintenance information to the Army.

“LOGSA and the Army can now take advantage of the technological innovation that cloud offers – especially cognitive computing and analytics – so that the Army can continue to reap cost savings, further streamline its operations and deliver services to its clients,” said Lisa Mascolo, managing director, U.S. Public Service, IBM’s Global Business Services.

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