Status of SMART

E.O. 12958: N/A
REF: A) 05 STATE 013048, B) 03 STATE 284912, C) 02 STATE 195704

  1. Please provide wide dissemination of the information in this telegram.
  2. The purpose of this announcement is to provide an update on the status of SMART, the State Messaging and Archive Retrieval Toolset, which has been designed to consolidate cables, e-mails, and memos on a single platform integrated with a centralized searchable archive.
  3. Immediately after assuming her duties as the new Under Secretary for Management, Under Secretary Fore expressed her support for the effort to replace the existing messaging system. At her request, we are updating the 2002 study of options to meet the Department's needs while continuing to work with Northrop Grumman.
  4. The SMART concept was developed to support user needs and satisfy statutory requirements. The original premise of the system -- simple, secure, and user-driven -- continues to guide our effort.
  5. Through a competitive procurement to integrate commercial off-the-shelf products, Northrop Grumman was awarded a contract in November 2003 to develop a design- demonstration of its solution. As reported previously, its original solution was judged satisfactory by a Department Technical Evaluation Team and a user evaluation of 158 Department employees. Northrop Grumman subsequently proposed and the State Department accepted the recommendation to develop a hybrid solution including Outlook 2003 for desktop use and Outlook Web Access for travelers. That approach was endorsed by the Department's Steering Committee for Messaging and Interagency Collaboration in the spring of 2004.
  6. A scheduled pilot involving approximately 3,000 users was twice postponed first to provide upgrades to the state infrastructure, and subsequently because Northrop Grumman did not believe their solution was ready for the high standards for the acceptance tests.
  7. Earlier this year, Northrop Grumman named a new program manager who reorganized his team, proposed an iterative development schedule, improved quality control, and established a new schedule. The Department agreed to the delay.
  8. The current phase of development (Phase 1A) is expected to be completed by spring 2006. Representative users will have a hands-on opportunity to provide feedback and evaluation several times before acceptance. The first usability demonstration under Northrop Grumman's new leadership was held on June 29 and 30 with 15 State employees. The next two usability demonstrations are scheduled, in September and October, as new releases are ready. Qualification and acceptance testing will be conducted, including usability tests (with 24 to 32 State employees), performance tests, and technical tests.
  9. Phase 1 concludes when the SMART solution is connected to the State Department network and subject to another round of qualification and acceptance testing. If the Department's standards ("simple, secure, user-drive") are met, Phase 2 pilot phase will commence soon thereafter.
  10. Please see the SMART website at for a full description of the system including features such as search and retrieval, instant messaging, and collaboration software.
  11. Minimize considered.



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