Opportunities for Business Abound Worldwide
Markets in the United States and Europe are down, but plenty of places around the globe are still eager to buy from defense contractors, and those companies that want to be of value to the U.S. Defense Department need to sell worldwide. Maj. Gen. Dennis Moran, USA (Ret.), vice president, government business development, Harris RF Communications, addressed this topic at TechNet Land Forces South in Tampa on Thursday. The general said Australia and other countries in the Pacific region are purchasing new technologies, offering opportunities to vendors hurting from reduced budget cuts to government resources in the West. Gen. Moran also said Brazil is looking at its national security in a new way as it prepares to host the World Cup in 2014 and the Summer Olympics in 2016. "It's still a pretty vibrant market out there," he stated.
Within the U.S. Army, business must change for it to take advantage of the burgeoning capabilities offered by industry. Gen. Moran said that requirements, capabilities testing and fielding all must change to put technology into the field faster. Fortunately, at least one important piece is already in place. "We are at a place in time right now where ... leadership lines up pretty well for improving processes," he explained. Necessary alterations include better discussions between government and industry to define requirements. The Army also should accept different data from vendors if it shows that performance in an evaluation could benefit troops. This change would save costs over time and field technologies faster.
Gen. Moran is a fan of the Army's Network Integration Evaluation construct. He believes there is "gold at the end of that rainbow" and some contracts will emerge out of the next round of evaluations. Gen. Moran also touts indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contracts, which give the government flexibility and allow industry room for innovations and improvements to products.
To affect real change in procurement, Congress also must participate in discussions.