US Navy approves eZ Publish
US Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Acquisition Management DASN needed a technical web solution to accommodate consolidation of three legacy web sites that comprised over 10 years of critical policy information.
By: eZ Systems
The business goal:
DASN (ACQ) needed to merge two legacy web sites into one comprehensive, integrated web site with a common taxonomy supporting all crucial topic areas. The integration needed careful planning as the content to be merged had to consider incorporation of multiple databases that comprised over 10 years of critical policy information, historical data, lessons learned, critical reference links, and performance tools. This information is considered an invaluable resource to the Acquisition workforce and its supporting contractors. Data migration of all the information needed to be transitioned to the new site while maximizing ease of access to all content.
Driving the need for a Content Management System:
Each of the web sites had important information specific to the different offices. While evaluating a variety of solutions it soon became apparent to Mr. Page Glennie, the DASN (ACQ) Web Site Director, that a newly designed web site incorporating components from all three web sites needed to be executed. In order to minimize hardware and hosting costs, the desire was to have the DoN Acquisition One Source and the new DACM web site reside on the same server and be hosted at the Pentagon. Due to his experience with web-based collaborative tools, Mr. Glennie was frustrated with the process for updating the web sites’ content and the lengthy time associated with making a change. Often times, it would take 48 or more hours for the change to be completed and reflected on the site. With the new system, the experts or “content managers” could add new content and make it available immediately for all acquisition professionals. The experts could also delete or archive information as it became outdated or needed to be kept for historical reasons.
Evaluation of Content Management Systems:
DASN (ACQ) had compiled a detailed list of requirements that needed to be supported by the selected CMS, and awarded Automation Technologies Inc. (ATI) a contract to provide the technical support to develop the integrated web site. ATI got to work with their market analysis of available Content Management System software. After an initial review of “Commercial off the Shelf” (COTS) software, it soon became very clear to the ATI team that a COTS product was not a feasible option for DASN (ACQ) due to associated costs. The ATI team and the DASN (ACQ) Web Site Director Page Glennie decided that, given the funding constraints, an Open Source solution should be investigated. Open Source software is increasingly becoming a more popular alternative within industry, commercial, and educational sectors. However, within the Navy, security vulnerabilities are always a concern. Since the information on the web site is unclassified and available to the general public, the ATI team considered the associated security risks minimal. They determined that with selection of the right Open Source product and with proper security and information assurance protections in place it could be a successful implementation for DASN (ACQ). In the Open Source evaluation, ATI developed a list of twenty-eight Open Source CMS products. Each product was researched via the product’s web site, email contacts with users, and web-based analysis of reviews and product information. After careful review and evaluation, the list was reduced to four products. These four products were then stringently evaluated against the DASN (ACQ) requirements and further evaluation was based on business factors such as number of installed sites, government usage, development community support, and available documentation.
eZ Publish as a Content Management solution has created many benefits for DASN (ACQ) beyond the cost savings. The web site contains an enormous amount of information and the topic areas are widespread and cover the entire acquisition domain. eZ Publish has provided an easy way to organize the web site’s topics, enabling many individuals who are responsible for specific knowledge to maintain their own content. With very little training, non-technical personnel can use eZ Publish’s intuitive Administrative Interface to update their topic area immediately when new hot initiatives or pertinent policies need to be distributed. This means the web site is updated in a more timely fashion.
A huge cost savings was accrued from the initial start up costs of a new implementation alone. Selecting eZ Publish as free, scalable, customizable Open Source software saved DASN (ACQ) thousands of dollars that initial investments for a COTS product would have cost. Based on the costs associated with the legacy web sites’ service contracts, DASN (ACQ) will benefit from an approximate $400,000 savings per year with the eZ Publish implementation. This amount is equivalent to a 75% savings from the previous amount required to fund the three legacy web sites.
About eZ Publish
eZ Publish is an award-winning, enterprise-grade Open Source Content Management System and development framework with functionality for web publishing, media portals, intranets, e-commerce and extranets. eZ Publish helps all kinds of organizations – including multinational corporations, humanitarian organizations and educational institutions – succeed at sharing their information.
Automation Technologies, Inc. (ATI) is an SBA 8(a) certified, minority woman-owned small business provider of information technology consulting, managed services, and software development.
About eZ Systems
Founded in 1999, eZ Systems is the world's largest Open Source Content Management software company with offices in Norway, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, France and North America. With customers such as the United States Navy, Oslo University, Telemark University, Swissfirst, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Elle and Vogue, eZ Systems is the creator of eZ Publish, an award-winning Open Source Content Management System with more 2 million downloads, 150,000 installations and registered users in more than 130 countries. The eZ philosophy of openness and information sharing is the core guideline for the company and the eZ Ecosystem.