STATEMENT OF SCOTT A. GAYDOS
APPLICATIONS SERVICES EXECUTIVE, EDS, AN HP COMPANY
SENATE COMMITTEE ON VETERANS' AFFAIRS
MARCH 25, 2009
Mr. Chairman, Senator Burr, distinguished members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to discuss EDS' role in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Paperless Delivery of Veterans Benefits Initiative. EDS is pleased to support our nation's Veterans and is committed to success for the overall initiative. My name is Scott Gaydos, and I am the Applications Services Executive for the Veterans Affairs/Military Health program at EDS, an HP Company. My company has a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure and is among the world's largest IT companies. Hewlett-Packard Company (HP) focuses on simplifying technology experiences for all of its customers, which range from individual consumers to the largest businesses to the federal government.
We are proud of our contributions, specifically working side-by-side with VA since 1997 to evolve the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) into one of the world's premier electronic health records. As we partner again with VA, this time to improve the benefits claims process, we strive to facilitate the successful design, acquisition, and implementation of enabling information technology within a transformed business process that is sequenced for maximum benefit to Veterans. VA required an industry partner to help guide the overall technical aspects of the program focused on objective, quantifiable, and measurable positive results. This role, labeled the Lead Systems Integrator Contractor (LSIC), is being fulfilled by EDS, an HP company.
ROLE OF THE LSIC
As the LSIC for the Paperless Delivery of Veterans Benefits Initiative, EDS is assisting VA in defining the overall system solution, developing functional requirements, developing Program Office planning and guidance, and defining systems architecture. As system components are developed, the LSIC will assist in installing and integrating components into the solution, as well as testing, operating, maintaining, and transitioning the system solution to the Government. In developing the overall program and end-state solution, the LSIC will be separating the solution construction into incremental release packages that focus on services provided to the Veteran. These release packages will be developed by a separate Application Developer Contractor (ADC). After Government selection of the ADC, the LSIC's primary role will be to provide systems engineering support throughout the system development life cycle of the program. At the conclusion of each release cycle, the LSIC will receive release packages from the ADC, integrate them into the overall solution architecture, and test the packages. A third company, the Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) contractor will perform independent assessment of the release and the LSIC will then work with the Government to support the deployment of each iterative release. Steady-state operations and maintenance services will be furnished by the Government.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS TO DATE
EDS understands that the goal of VA's strategic plans is to enhance the delivery of benefits to our nation's Veterans and their beneficiaries. Achieving VA's measurable goals, such as improving claims processing times, increasing accuracy through technology, and enhancing business processes to accelerate the overall claims workflow, requires large-scale business process and technology transformation.
At the start of the LSIC contract in October 2008, EDS immediately began working closely with the Veterans' Benefits Administration (VBA) and VA's Office of Information and Technology (OI&T) to prepare program office guidance, elicit and validate requirements, and initiated a well-founded, integrated set of suggested improvements that will feed into a roadmap for success. Focus groups have been formed with each VBA Line of Business toward this ultimate goal. EDS has worked closely with these focus groups to understand the detailed mechanisms of each Line of Business and how they interact.
EDS and VA have worked through the initial phases of discovery, enterprise analysis, and technical opportunity analysis in order to assess and align the current "as-is" environment with the business requirements and potential technical solutions. Together, we have identified business value drivers and critical success factors, assessed the "as-is" enterprise situation, documented business requirements, and are currently forming the vision of the anticipated enterprise architecture. These efforts will help guide the program to a design and transformation strategy that will be sequenced into an integrated delivery blueprint. The establishment of sequencing will be focused on the benefit to Veterans, and on the measurable and demonstrable improvement of service using state-of-the-art technologies in areas such as high-speed scanning, enterprise content/image management, correspondence management, rules-based workflow and decisions support, and creating a secure Veteran-focused web portal built over a service-oriented architecture (SOA). The transformation strategy will include sequencing tactical short-term projects while laying groundwork for strategic long-term projects in order to demonstrate measurable progress. This Paperless Initiative delivery blueprint will also integrate with existing infrastructure and ongoing parallel efforts in the portfolio of VA projects to reach the desired end-state.
PLANNED TECHNOLOGY COMPONENTS
State-of-the-art technologies are required to assist in reducing the inefficiencies in the claims process resulting from the handling and movement of large volumes of paper. Current technology components envisioned for the future architecture include:
Veteran Facing Portal - enables Veterans and Veterans' representatives to conduct benefits activities via the Internet.
Internal Facing Portal - enables VBA employees to process benefits through electronic access to necessary information (e.g., electronic images, or electronic data) for claims processing.
Enterprise Content Management (ECM) - provides a reliable, cost-effective, computer-based utility and the necessary network services for managing the extremely large numbers of electronic images to be captured and accessed anywhere they are needed.
Correspondence Processing - provides a simple, accessible, computer-based utility for creating and managing form letters and generating output fulfillment packages.
Workflow and Rule-Based Decision Support - enables configuration and change of rules-driven processes in the portals and their utilities throughout their lifetime. Workflow capabilities allow for the routing of workload within Regional Offices and across geographic regions.
SOA, ESB, and Data Integration - SOA standards enable integration within the mission of VBA as well as federation with other Governmental entities and with private facilities. The Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) provides management services for SOA where needed, particularly for federation. These and other technologies support Data Integration to a level not previously feasible.
The sequencing of the program is currently envisioned in multiple, iterative, and incremental stages. Early stages will focus on establishing the necessary foundation and infrastructure to support the solutions deployed to Regional Offices and throughout the organization to manage and support large numbers of electronic images to be captured, transferred, and accessed anywhere as they are needed. Early stages also include plans for an enterprise solution to capture paper as electronic images, significantly increasing control, speed, and flexibility. A Veteran Facing Portal will also be implemented to enable Veterans to check the status of a claim and eventually to submit a claim with electronic supporting documentation. Future stages will combine other elements of the technology solution, including the capture of all information as data for maximum reliability and consistency and for VA employees to access Veteran claim information at any location to assist in processing claims.
EDS will coordinate with the business and technology organizations to identify the timing of when new releases will be implemented to facilitate a smooth, well-managed transformation. As the LSIC, EDS will work closely with VA to identify capable developer contractors who will use agile methodologies to execute on the architectural blueprint and sequence plans.
INCORPORATING EXISTING VA INVESTMENT
EDS is working with other Government partners to ensure that the work of the LSIC incorporates existing Government investment. For example, EDS, Booz Allen Hamilton, and MITRE recently accompanied VA personnel on a site visit to the Providence, RI Regional Office, which has been selected as VA's Business Transformation Lab. The improvement in claims processing times enabled by best practices under development at this lab will provide valuable design recommendations into the overall Paperless Delivery of Veterans Benefits Initiative. EDS will continue to work closely with Booz Allen Hamilton to identify the strategy and timing of rolling changes into the organization so that we will be able to leverage their knowledge and recommendations to VA. Additionally, MITRE's deep involvement with VBA is proving valuable to understand and execute the LSIC contract in order to provide the most value to the business.
EDS is proud to be part of a key initiative that will enrich the services provided to Veterans and assist in the transformation of VA into a 21st century organization. We are committed to the success of the overall initiative and look forward to continued partnership with VA to enable positive claims processing reform.
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