USMC’s legacy ERP could not provide real-time information in-theatre and on the battlefield, so they developed a Global Combat Support System (GCSS-MC). This draws upon their supply chain ERPs, but also uses other technologies to enhance battlefield capability. Object orientation within the middleware allows a ‘store,’ ‘forward’ and ‘synchronize’ functionality, and the architecture enables connected, autonomous operations within low bandwidth and high latency combat communications networks.
The Army Enterprise Systems Integration Program (AESIP) links business processes and data across its three main ERP systems covering financial, tactical logistics and national logistics. AESIP has developed enterprise hub services, and intends to have business intelligence and analytics tools that integrate these ERP services for the user. The US Army has moved one step closer to real-time capability by updating its deployed Global Combat Support System – Army (GCSS-Army)over the ‘very small aperture terminal’ (VSAT) internet connection (VSAT is a two-way satellite ground station or a maritime antenna). GCSS-Army enables unit commanders to track logistic deliveries and maintenance schedules for their units.
US Army Headquarters is trialing it’s Enterprise Management Decision Support System (EMDS), which will have big data and predictive analytics capability. EMDS is a real-time analytical system that is expected to support operational readiness, and will sit across some 3000 sub-system data sets.
NZDF has also successfully delivered situational awareness through its ERP system at deployed HQ Command Post level, which the aim of becoming a low-cost ‘throw-away tablet’ platform. Like the US, they see these deployable capabilities drawing from their ERP but not replacing it.