FMS-ACES kicks off competitive prototype

The combined FMS-ACES product office and functional office team at the March 25 competitive prototype kickoff at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. (Credit: Rachel Phillips, FMS-ACES)
Mission Area
Rachel Phillips, FMS-ACES Product Office
April 23, 2024

On March 25, 2024, Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems’ (PEO EIS) Foreign Military Sales – Army Case Execution System (FMS-ACES) product office kicked off its competitive prototype phase by inviting two vendors to develop demo products as part of FMS-ACES’ Other Transaction Authority solicitation process.  

The vendors will develop their prototypes through August 2024, culminating in technology demonstrations in which the Army will select the best solution for the FMS community and its stakeholders. The vendors will have to show that their FMS-ACES prototypes can successfully plan and perform case lifecycle processes, including case initiation, case implementation, logistics, financial execution and forecasting activities to the extent necessary to process basic case, line and requisitioning for Cooperative Logistics Supply Support Arrangement case type scenarios.  

At the prototype kickoff event, PEO EIS Acting Assistant Program Executive Officer Aric Sherwood told attendees that FMS-ACES is the first Army defense business system to be in the Software Acquisition Pathway (SWP) from inception. As the Army looks to sunset its existing case management system, which is over 40 years old, said Sherwood, vendors need to engage the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command. 

“FMS-ACES is looking at our vendors to attack the current problems with modern solutions using an Agile approach,” said Sherwood. “For PEO EIS, a guiding principle in Agile is about getting value to users in the form of working software as quickly as possible.” 

During the competitive prototype phase, FMS-ACES — which is part of EIS’ Defense Integrated Business Systems (DIBS) portfolio — will assess the vendors iteratively, with informal and formal reviews at the conclusion of sprints and intervals. Future sprints will have user stories within Jira that will determine requirements to be prioritized.  

Following the prototype kickoff, FMS-ACES immediately began planning interval (PI) planning sessions with both vendors, and sprint “0” kicked off April 1 with infrastructure set-up and organization. FMS-ACES Product Lead Kelly Rutherford said she was 100% confident her team was ready to roll up its sleeves and support the competitive efforts, while establishing the foundation for the execution phase.  

“The unique approaches to the individual PI planning efforts will be fun to watch,” said Rutherford —"especially how each matures over the next five months between the PI planning, sprints and sprint reviews.”    

DIBS Deputy Project Manager Daryl Lewis said FMS-ACES is trying to determine the best solution for the Army, and the SWP will help ensure the acquisition organization has the right long-term partner to address the requirements and needs of the U.S. Army Security Assistance Enterprise. 

“We are all working and operating to ensure things are put together at the speed of relevance,” said Lewis. 

One of FMS-ACES’ key stakeholders is its operational sponsor, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Defense Exports & Cooperation (DASA DE&C). Sandra Long, senior advisor for defense exports at DASA DE&C, also made remarks at the prototype kickoff.  

“There is a bigger process that will go into our Army Security Assistance Enterprise reformation,” said Long. “FMS-ACES is part of that reform to make sure we have the information technology systems and integrated data to support senior leader decision-making.” 

Meeting the need for the system to manage data across the full spectrum will enable senior leaders to have FMS information at their fingertips. Ultimately, the business processes selected for implementation as part of the prototype process will become the foundation for future FMS-ACES development and will support FMS objectives and goals.  

Those objectives and goals, according to Long, include “ensuring we know what's going on in our enterprise, what cases we have, what partner nations they're with, and how we move those cases forward with speed while integrating FMS with other department systems.” 

For more information about FMS-ACES, visit their web page. 




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