Situation: The Natick Contracting Division (NCD) was in need of dedicated IT support for over 100 personnel. Reliant on the Director of Information Management (DOIM) office, there was often a significant delay in answering help desk support tickets. In many cases, ticket response time was over 48 hours. As the administrators of the Army’s contract writing system, nearly every task is time sensitive – there was very room for error never mind, downtime. NCD’s core mission requires a live environment for acquisition personnel that work within the PD2 and PADDS contract writing systems. Furthermore, the entire team lacked 24-hour daily access to all necessary systems. To further exacerbate the problem, the average wait time from the local Directorate of Information Management (DOIM) contact for trouble ticket responses was over 48 hours per ticket – completely unacceptable when considering NCD’s requirements.

Action: AVATAR Computing embeds a highly qualified and well vetted staff of Help Desk personnel within the Acquisition Center with the objective of addressing slow ticket response time, hardware and software inefficiencies, and process gaps. The staff chosen to address these challenges brought areas of expertise and skillsets that enabled them to quickly establish a help desk support system that instantly reduced response time.

To further enhance efficiencies, AVATAR Computing designed a custom management workflow to help identify problematic trends with hardware or software solution. Prior to resolving these issues AVATAR introduced a thorough quality control process to ensure any solution would be well vetted and ultimately address the issue.

As a trusted resource, AVATAR Computing’s Project Task Lead began attending all Configuration Control Boards, Information Assurance Boards, Automation Plan Reviews, Infrastructure Reviews, and Validation & Verification of Contract data calls. Additional responsibilities of AVATAR Computing include: working closely with the Natick Army Labs – Logistics Division to provide system configuration
management of all NCD Hardware procurements, and tracks Hardware Assets using REDBEAM (Asset Tracking Software). AVATAR Computing directly interfaces hardware vendors on behalf of NCD to manage Warrantees, Service Contracts, and Maintenance Schedules.

High Standards & Integration:
• AVATAR Computing integrates with the local DOIM requirements for scheduled maintenance outages to mitigate the risk of resource availability issues.
• All NCD hardware is filtered through AVATAR Computing Help Desk personnel for end user implementation after proper imaging, and necessary installs to support existing U.S. Army compliance standards.
• Upon retirement of aged and expiring systems, AVATAR Computing performs data backup, transfer, and cleansing of all system prior to the release at the Logistics division.
• AVATAR Computing administers U.S. Army Gold Standard protocol, and executes directives in conjunction with Information Assurance policies in all deployment efforts.
• AVATAR Computing Provides administration support for both PD2 and PADDS contract writing systems, and acts as the POC for upgrades and troubleshooting.
• AVATAR Computing has implemented solutions for travel and work-at- home needs to include hardware and remote access to required systems.
• By designing a network resource directory for housing all NCD documentation, AVATAR Computing managed the Security effort to access the resource from both on-post duty stations and off site remote offices.

Results: AVATAR Computing continues to excel in support of the NCD mission, providing critical support on a daily basis to a diverse range of issues with a high level of dedication and integrity. As a result of this exceptional service record, the Natick Contracting Division workforce enjoys a <1% downtime. Due to the high level of satisfaction, AVATAR Computing has been asked to expand similar support functions to a Satellite office of the Naval Health Research Center, at Natick Soldier Systems Command, Naval Base Point Loma, San Diego, CA, as well as, remotely support NCD’s personnel at Fort Belvoir, VA, Orlando, FL.

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