The Problem

The US Marine Corps, needed to create a new and innovative technology-based solution to connect multiple geographically dispersed groups through an online portal community of interest (COI) which would replicate a traditional Family Readiness Office (FRO) virtually. The new portal would serve the functions of the Family Readiness Office, thus preparing and equipping military families to successfully meet the challenges associated with a military lifestyle. It needed to be designed so Unit Commanders could communicate, in real time, with Marine Units, Marines, and Family Members. Leadership provided the vision to modernize the current archaic program methodology to support the US Marine Corps more efficiently. The Marines required a purpose-built portal that would enable ease of access based on specific roles, which was securely accessible by geographically dispersed groups. A primary concern was the consolidation of a large and variant data pool. The sensitive Marine data was spread across multiple applications hosted by other stakeholders, where it needed to be protected, normalized, customized, and shared. The end result was a single portal enabling real-time communication in an efficient, user-friendly manner.

Performance

Three Wire put in a place a transformative technology platform, in 90 days, which closed the technology gap, while offering the US Marine Corps the newest in secure, reliable, and reusable Open Source Software (OSS) frameworks. The highly specialized agile scrum teams have developed the roadmap to iteratively deliver and support modern, open source, cloud-hosted, secure, data agnostic application modules. The final product exceeded the US Marine Corps’ intent to enhance two-way unit, Marine, and family communication. The Three Wire team created multiple access levels for users, accommodating unit-based customization and updating. Analytic reporting functions, which captured access and real-time usage patterns, were also built into the portal’s back end.

The Three Wire team incorporated numerous technologies into the portal, including a content management system, document download center, full text and contextual searching capabilities, globally searchable individually customized unit sites, modular design and module reuse. In an effort to enhance user comfort and understanding, team Three Wire also integrated leading edge social media capabilities, along with ongoing usage monitoring. Role-based authentication was also integrated into this project across the entire web system, from a granular to a global level. Team Three Wire also created a significant training module as part of the project to ensure both user understanding and a positive experience.

The Agile and OSS methodologies allow easy application transition and modernization as the systems grow and mature. Commanders know and understand that Units, Marines, and Families all have different information access to information, as well as different information needs. The portal was designed so that the OSS technology stack behind the scenes incorporated a big data, analytical methodology architecture. The Marines can not only separate information, but also use state of the art analytics and modern algorithms to increase the value of the information turned into intelligence to facilitate key decisions. The Three Wire solution enabled the US Marine Corps, for the first time, to offer up-to-date information to Soldiers and Family Members allowing them to access what they require on a 24/7 basis, with the convenience of a single location. This has allowed decision makers to use a data-rich feature set to ensure that portal content remains relevant. Team Three Wire was also able to offer the eMarine a consistent web interface amongst units, which simplifies the user experience.

Included in this solution is a mobile-based component that Three Wire built into the portal. Because Marines and Marine Families are dispersed, constantly moving, and in need of rapid information and communication, in real-time, adding a mobile component was a logical addition to the eMarine solution. Facilitating multi-way communication, with multi-lingual capabilities built in, is a tremendous difference for military units and their families. Content and system functionality, with role-based permissions and data-driven analysis, enabled a friendlier portal user experience.

Results

The eMarine web portal, architected with the user experience, sustainability, and a customized user experience in mind, was designed based on a modern, and data driven architecture. Completed within the required 90-day time period, eMarine is used by Marines and Marine Families throughout the world. The portal was designed so individual units could manage and maintain their own “mini portals” within the confines of eMarine. Adding customization and reporting technologies added another layer of success for the US Marine Corps eMarine Portal. By building an OSS modern portal based on these benchmarks, Team Three Wire was able to modernize the program, while enhancing its security and architecting its future. The legacy customized framework, which consisted of multiple sites and information repositories did not meet the Family Readiness requirements and was no longer relevant. eMarine is responsible for the most significant tool within the US Marine Corps, communication.

As a result of this augmentation, the US Marine Corps can now redirect and dedicate limited resources to creating customized content and enhancing the artificial intelligence of the system itself. It can also reach and communicate with US Marine Corps Units, Marines, and Marine Families in a time-sensitive, user-friendly manner; getting the information out in a timely fashion is critical. The portal was purpose-built, with the underlying technology stack (under the hood) scalability, flexibility and interoperability to drive an incentive for all Agile development teams to enhance the capabilities of this state of the art portal. The solution promotes Agile development and leadership teams to not only work with, but more importantly, embrace technologies and capabilities we have not begun to imagine. The end result is a sustainable, flexible, user-friendly portal which bridges communication between Commanders, Units, Marines, and Marine Families in an efficient, accessible, secure manner.