The United States' governing Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq is set to roll out a $1.9 million enterprise asset-management system to integrate data and coordinate logistics for the 5,000-plus major rebuilding projects under way in the country. The system will consist of rack servers located in the authority's Baghdad headquarters running a range of commercial and government logistics and integration software.
The system, scheduled for deployment in about three weeks, is being built by Total Resource Management. CEO Ray Brisbane, who received notice of the contract award in mid-January, says his staff is working nights and weekends to meet the aggressive deployment schedule. "A cargo plane is scheduled to leave for Baghdad in three weeks; I think these systems will be on that plane," Brisbane says.
Staffers in the authority's Project Management Office will use the system to manage resources allocated to rebuild schools, roads, hospitals, utilities, and other key parts of Iraq's infrastructure. It's being designed to let authority staffers access project details and material-management activity remotely through the Internet from any location should the need arise. "No matter what happens, we need to have disaster recovery to make sure the operation can move forward," Brisbane says.
To create the system, Total Resource Management staffers are integrating commercial enterprise asset-management software programs such as MRO Software Inc.'s Maximo application and apps from Primavera Systems Inc. with government programs such as the Army's Automated Personal Property Management System. Brisbane says security requirements will in part dictate the system's final composition, because ultimately it will be turned over to Iraqi civilian authorities. "We can't take a [Defense Department] system and hand it over to the Iraqis, we've got to give them something that is self-contained," he says.
Another problem facing Brisbane is ensuring the safety of the staff members who will need to travel to Iraq to install the system. Because of the contract's relatively small size, it doesn't provide funding for the kind of private security entourages hired by larger companies such as Halliburton and BearingPoint. "We'll be depending on the red, white, and blue for protection," he says, indicating his staffers will fall under the protection of the military. "This is a new challenge for us. It's our first war zone."