NCOIC Interoperability Verification Added to NATO’s IT Acquisition Processes
The Network Centric Operations Industry Consortium presented the Interoperability Verification it developed for NATO to an international audience at the NITEC 2016 conference in Tallinn, Estonia, June 7-9.
Marshall “Tip” Slater, NCOIC chief financial officer, described how Interoperability Verification (IV) will be used by NATO in the acquisition of technical products and services for its Federated Mission Networking (FMN), an environment that will be designed to support secure collaboration and information exchange in multi-national operations. He presented this new interoperability assessment to the 500 government, military and industry leaders attending the event, organized by the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA) and the Association for Communications, Electronics and Information Systems (AFCEA).
NCOIC developed its IV process at the request of NCIA. IV examines the evidence of interoperability built into information technology solutions offered by industry for the FMN environment. Having this evaluation before systems integration can help NATO, its 28 member-nations and mission partners reduce cost, schedule and risk in the development of their intra-cloud network capability.
“Receiving an Interoperability Verification certificate from NCOIC won’t create significant additional cost for those companies that want to do business with NATO,” Slater said. “Our assessment is based on product testing that takes place as part of the normal quality manufacturing process and also our understanding of how well the technology meets NATO requirements and can be implemented and used by the different participants.”
NCOIC has worked in the past to plan for a consolidated IT infrastructure for NCIA, which provides NATO-wide IT services, procurement and support in areas such as command and control systems, tactical and strategic communications, and cyber defense systems.
The consortium completed a study in 2012 on the multi-national technical, culture and business issues within NATO and recommended a secure, integrated-cloud environment serving military and civilian users. The information is helping NCIA modernize its IT infrastructure, positioning the agency to meet FNM operational requirements. The FMN environment is being designed to help coalition forces better communicate, train and operate together. It can provide the agility, flexibility and scalability needed to manage the requirements of different mission environments that NATO will need in future operations.
The Network Centric Operations Industry Consortium is an international not-for-profit corporation with member-companies, affiliates and senior advisors representing 12 countries, including Fortune 500 firms, government agencies, universities, standards organizations and multi-national bodies such as NATO and the European Union. Together, they focus on advancing interoperable networks within and across domains and national borders. Since 2004, NCOIC has built a range of technical resources for creating interoperability valued at $100 million. The consortium works with customers such as the Federal Aviation Administration, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and Royal Australian Air Force in improving their net-centric environments. NCOIC also helps industry create interoperable solutions as well as assists organizations in evaluating products and services, and recommending strategies to ensure the systems they acquire will continue to be effective over the long term.