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BEA enlisted for supply chain help

The software company wins two government contracts to help manage U.S. Air Force and Army logistics.

BEA Systems announced Tuesday that the U.S. Air Force has enlisted its technology to build a supply-chain portal to help manage troops in the field.

The infrastructure software company said the Air Force (USAF) plans to build the portal with the BEA WebLogic Enterprise Platform. The USAF hopes the portal will help it more easily manage the logistics of moving soldiers and equipment to any location.

"The (portal) has the potential to reshape Air Force logistics, allowing fewer people to move more resources around the globe in a more timely and mission-appropriate fashion than paperwork and phone calls," said Air Force Brigadier General Robert Mansfield, Jr. in a statement.

With the market downturn putting a squeeze on IT budgets, many technology providers have turned away from corporations to focus on government contracts.

BEA also announced Tuesday that the U.S. Army will use its WebLogic Enterprise Platform as a foundation for a new electronic military office to manage personnel information. The new application will provide the technical foundation for the Army's integration with, and eventual migration to, a new Department of Defense human resources system. That system is slated for use by 2006.

The Army hopes to begin using the online personnel application by the end of 2002.

The Army said it is using several legacy systems that require substantial money and personnel to use and maintain. The new application will replace 43 separate databases now in place. These systems also have limited interoperability and are prone to mixing up important data, the Army said. The Army said it is working with Mitre and EDS to build the application on BEA WebLogic.