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Author's profile photo David Lincourt

Digital Transformation in Defense – Part 1 – The Connected Soldiers

Last week I participated in the US Federal Forum in Washington DC. Our team brought along four demos to showcase what is possible today to transform defense organizations to the digital area.

I will be sharing insight on these demos over the next few weeks in a four part blog series:

Simplification, innovation and transition to digital provides defense organizations the ability to re-imagine everything:

  • Re-imagine operating concepts: Achieve agility in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world by innovating and transforming to an outcome-based organization
  • Re-imagine procedures: Change or eliminate fundamental defense processes due to digitization
  • Re-imagine work: Step-change in improvements to existing procedures based on real-time information given to make the right decisions and drive immediate impact

For the Connected Soldier demo, we focused on collective training which is a fundamental part of the military preparedness cycle. This cycle typically begins with units focusing on individual skills. It then moves to integration of individual training outputs into collective unit training, and culminates with integration of unit collective training outputs into formation level collective training. Individual training provides individuals with military and trade or professional skills, but acquisition of such skills does not equate with operational preparedness. Individual training is only a building block. It must be integrated with collective training to be translated from skills to operational preparedness. For units deployed on operations the need for collective training is even more imperative.

More and more defense organizations have started to embrace live constructive training through the simultaneous involvement of real and virtual participants to push the boundaries of tactics, techniques, and procedures. But, for the most part, these sophisticated training environments live in islands of their own. They are rarely integrated with enterprise systems, let alone with the broader defense network.

Our demo began with a live constructive combat assault training exercise. It is performed while recording geo-location and physiological sensors on a squad of soldiers and their equipment. The SAP Digital Platform immediately detected that a soldier from the squad was positioning themselves in the wrong location to provide the necessary covering fire. As soon as the drill was completed, their Squad Leader had the ability to provide a thorough and objective (i.e. founded on data) debrief on their physical and tactical performance. They could replay the combat assault and show exactly what when wrong and what corrective action they needed to take.

Digital Soldier.png

Transparent to the Squad, the SAP Digital Platform monitored the consumption of ammunition, fuel, etc and automatically triggered their replenishment through the extended supply network. Further, once the squad completed their training, the SAP Digital Platform training and qualification records of the individuals and the Force Element were updated.

In short, the end-to-end collective training of the soldiers has been re-imagined.

I invite you to learn more about achieving agility in a volatile, complex, and ambiguous world  by reading our newly published Digital Defense White Paper.

Lastly, I invite you to attend  SAPPHIRE NOW + ASUG Annual Conference May 17-19, 2016 in Orlando, Florida and in particular session IN34737 “Link Soldiers Digitally”.


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