NCOIC to Help NATO Ensure Interoperability in Multi-National IT Network

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Network Centric Operations Industry Consortium announced it will work with NATO Allied Command Transformation on an initiative to enhance interoperability for NATO's Federated Mission Networking [] (FMN) capability, which is being developed to support command and control and decision making in future operations through improved information sharing. []

Through the Interoperability Verification [] (IV) Initiative, NCOIC will assess the evidence of interoperability of different solutions and whether they meet FMN needs. Having this evaluation before products and services are purchased can assist FMN affiliates (NATO, its 29 member-nations and mission partners) reduce cost, delays and risk in the development of the FMN environment.

When FMN affiliates get products and services that work together before acquisition, they can lower or eliminate the investment needed for integration. NCOIC has shown that fixing interoperability issues after system acquisition can add up to 40 percent in integration costs.

The interoperability assessment will be based on a vendor's product testing that takes place as part of the normal quality manufacturing process. NCOIC will evaluate the integration risk based on how well the product's attributes meet FMN interoperability needs, how easily it can be implemented and whether participants can interoperate.

"NCOIC verification will help companies understand interoperability is a basic requirement and that products are more likely to be acquired if they have test evidence confirming it," said Tip Slater, NCOIC chief financial officer. "Verification won't create significant costs and will enable businesses to deliver on the basic FMN interoperability requirements."

NCOIC expects interest among businesses in Europe and the U.S. that want to be part of this effort and anticipates the marketplace will expand with more qualified vendors representing all FMN participants. The consortium has restructured its membership categories to enable more providers to take part in the Interoperability Verification Initiative. It is holding a kickoff meeting [] on September 13 to present details to government and business leaders.

The IV Initiative builds on a five-year collaboration between NCOIC [] and NATO to create cross-domain interoperability [] in support of NATO's 2030 vision. In 2012, NCOIC reviewed multi-national technical, cultural and business issues within NATO and recommended a secure, integrated-cloud environment to serve military and civilian users. Most recently, NCOIC completed a study for NATO ACT [] describing the "art of the possible" for 21st century command and control using industry best practices, and outlined methods, processes and recommendations to achieve it.

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