Sustainment, support and enhancement of the suite of applications underpinning Australian Defence Force (ADF) planning and operations is currently the subject of a Department of Defence Request For Tender (RFT).
The Joint Command Support Environment (JCSE) is a ‘system-of-systems’ which provides Joint Operations Command (JOC) with capabilities in preparedness management, force allocation, activity scheduling, situational awareness, along with geospatial, intelligence and information tools in interoperable environments.
“The primary mission of the JCSE capability is to provide the C2 [command and control] information environment supporting military planning and conduct of campaigns and operations, joint and Coalition exercises and other activities, at all levels of command, within Defence,” according to tender documents.
Having evolved from the integration of several command support systems, JCSE was delivered by JP 2030 Phase 8, which passed Second Pass Approval in 2011. The system operates on both the Defence Protected Network (DRN) and Defence Secret Network (DSN), and consists of computer hardware and commercial off-the-shelf and bespoke software.
According to the 2015-16 Defence Portfolio Budget statements, it was estimated that $190 million had been spent on the JP 2030 Phase 8 to 30 June 2015, with a further $14 million to be spent this financial year, out of a total approved project expenditure of $257 million.
JCSE is underpinned by Microsoft SharePoint and supported by Microsoft SQL database servers. “SharePoint is extended with additional software, including Nintex for workflow management and TITUS for security management,” according to tender documents.
Major software and hardware refreshes take place approximately every four to five years, with the Life of Type of JCSE expected to expire in 2025-2026.
The successful tenderer will assist JOC carry out its functions by supporting JCSE infrastructure, providing maintenance and training, updating JCSE with minor and major upgrades, configuring and customising off-the-shelf software solutions, and implementing new off-the-shelf solutions.
“The Contractor will be required to phase-in their Services solution whilst ensuring that the transition from the current support service contractors is seamless and that there is no operational ‘gap’ in the provision of support,” according to tender documents
Tender submissions close 17 December 2015.
Defence’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) anticipates that contract negotiations will begin between May and July 2016, with eventual “Phase-In” expected in August to November 2016.