Greg Wenzel serves as a senior vice president within Booz Allen Hamilton’s Strategic Innovation Group, where he leads the firm’s C2ISR Mission Systems solutions for Defense Department clients and focuses on applying emerging technologies to help solve client business needs.
On Friday, Wenzel will moderate an Association for Enterprise Information industry day at Booz Allen’s headquarters focused on “defining the future” of C2 and battlespace awareness from intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
Wenzel told ExecutiveBiz that collaboration and alignment within industry and with the public sector is critical as wartime spending is over and “the question becomes – where are we going to spend the precious resource we have.”
“It is a challenge to sustain what we have and be able to modernize on a dwindling budget,” Wenzel said. “Quick reaction capability on a limited budget is one of the pressing challenges government is running into.”
Wenzel said there are major benefits for adopting an enterprise approach to C4ISR, which can enable agencies to reuse C4ISR components across their enterprises, rather than “having to build their own duplications and acquiring stovepipe solutions.”
In addition to opening up more resources to be dedicated to “truly unique white spaces,” such as a missing piece on a very specialized sensor, “it is helpful when finding the bad guys that all of the pieces of the puzzle are integrated– we have a smarter fighting force.”
With the need to continually sustain systems, an enterprise integrator could emerge, as government operates its architecture and processing platforms on open standards that allow any industry participant to plug in.
“The government should design and own the specifications that systems plug into,” Wenzel noted.
With budgets as they are, some government would need engineering support when “designing” their interfaces as part of this integration. That’s one area where Booz Allen is positioning itself, Wenzel said – “to help the government design for the DCGS community, and do that in the joint command and control space… truly helping them to become interoperable.”
“We’ve invested in a lot of platforms to collect additional data,” Wenzel said. “We found that cloud initiatives are collecting data, but there is a need for decision-making analytics. Instead of being inundated with data, we need to have actionable intelligence – we need to know what we can do with all that information.”
“Those are the two opportunities where Booz Allen is focusing a lot of strategic innovation and resources, approaches and technologies.”
Wenzel said the Booz Allen-sponsored industry day is an inaugural one within AFEI’s C4ISR group and will aim to “create a dialogue where government and industry leaders address some of their top challenges and their visions going forward.”
“That’s the value proposition, being a broker to facilitate a dialogue and get an industry consensus. Industry and government may have differing opinions and inputs,” Wenzel added. “There needs to be an open dialogue between government and industry so when we’re faced with top issues, it is more productive and efficient.”
“For example, what I suspect will come out of the AFEI Industry Day discussion is a description of the Defense Intelligence Information Enterprise and how industry can help the government be successful in that venture,” Wenzel said. “
There is a framework to get the ISR programs to be better integrated with information sharing. And it looks like the C2 guys are looking to leverage that also. Call it purposeful coincidence.”