WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army’s is adding a new requirement for its day-to-day business software as the service continues its march toward multidomain operations: the need to operate in a disconnected environment.
That’s according to a March 25 solicitation from the service on beta.sam.gov asking industry for commercially available software prototypes that would allow the Global Combat Support System – Army to perform “mission critical functions in a disconnected, intermittent, and limited bandwidth operational environment.” The Army is also interested in low code/no code software solutions.
“The U.S. Army must have the capability to perform its mission-critical functions in support of Multi-Domain Operations,” the statement of need read, referring to the service’s future war-fighting concept. “In the future operational environment of the Multi-Domain Operations, the U.S. Army will operate in smaller, more dispersed units far away from well-established military posts that offer critical infrastructure comforts and essentials like connectivity, fuel, water, ammunition, and energy.”
The Global Combat Support System – Army is a logistics systems led by the service’s Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems, providing soldiers with maintenance, unit supply, property management, warehouse management, and other human resources and finance information.
The system today can’t operate in a disconnected environment. According to the solicitation, that inability to do so forces GCSS-A users to turn to processes that rely on paper when outages occur. To solve that problem, the Army is turning to industry for a prototype capable of operating in a degraded or disconnected battlefield environment for up to seven continuous days, with the ability to synchronize the it data collected while offline.
The initiative is part of the Army’s effort to modernize its enterprise business systems portfolio, which the solicitation calls the “principal reason” of the GCSS-A effort. But the solicitation noted that the Army is also developing “next generation” business systems that will “optimize the end-to-end process and converge functional capabilities from national to tactical.” That effort is led by PEO EIS’ Enterprise Business Systems - Convergence product lead. GCSS prototype software must follow common industry standards to ensure that it fits into future business systems with “minimal rework” in the future.
The new software capability must also be able to record equipment dispatch provide dashboard data. Prototypes will be awarded to one or multiple vendors via other transaction authority.
“The GCSS-Army Disconnected Operations Solution (DISCOPS) must have the capability to perform Army designated MCF [mission critical functions] with sufficient supporting Data, Supply Chain, Asset Management, Inspection, Status Reporting, and Administration functions to support the end-to-end business process(es),” the solicitation read.
Andrew Eversden covers all things defense technology for C4ISRNET. He previously reported on federal IT and cybersecurity for Federal Times and Fifth Domain, and worked as a congressional reporting fellow for the Texas Tribune. He was also a Washington intern for the Durango Herald. Andrew is a graduate of American University.