Feedback grows more positive on Navy intranet project
Officials see satisfaction rates rise for help desk, but they also acknowledge many new users are still uncomfortable with the network.
Pentagon officials unveiled a survey this week showing Navy Marine Corps Intranet users are increasingly happy with the historically troubled program.
"We're going in the right direction," said Edward Schmitz, the customer satisfaction chief at the NMCI director's office. "The positive survey feedback will continue to motivate us in providing the best service possible."
Specifically, NMCI users are pleased with the assistance they are receiving from the program's help desk, according to the March 2004 Incentive and Help Desk Survey Results. The study found more than 86 percent of users were happy with the service they received, an increase of 4 percent from December. The percentage that was satisfied with the help desk response time also rose significantly, officials said.
The NMCI network is being developed to link more than 360,000 military and civilian Navy personnel around the world. In March, Navy Secretary Gordon England told Congress, "NMCI has enabled us to increase the security posture of our networks and has given unprecedented visibility into IT costs. As we roll out NMCI, we are doing away with the over 1,000 separate networks that the Navy used to run."
At almost $9 billion, NMCI is the largest federal information technology contract ever awarded, but it has been plagued with delays and technical problems. The company developing the system, computer services giant EDS, has seen its stock price fall and its operating losses grow over the troubled program.
Navy and EDS officials acknowledged during a Tuesday conference call with reporters that many new NMCI users still were displeased with the network.
NMCI has a "moving mass of new users," Schmitz said, "who are almost going to be, by definition, not happy."
But NMCI officials remain upbeat about the program's future. Navy officials are investigating ways to better handle changes or additions to the system. Tim Thomas, an EDS official, said that company representatives are using survey results and customer input to improve service. He noted that EDS is reading and acting on each NMCI complaint or comment that is received.