Herkules (IT project)

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BWI headquarters in Meckenheim - Merl

HERKULES was a project of the German armed forces to standardize and modernize their non-military information and communication technology (ICT) and to introduce SASPF . It started at the end of 2006 and was completed on schedule on December 27, 2016.

All Bundeswehr locations were equipped with new ICT by 2012 and have been operated by BWI since then . Over the course of ten years, a total of 140,000 computer workstations , 7,000 servers , 300,000 landline telephones and 15,000 mobile telephones at 1,500 locations in Germany were set up on a common system basis.

Invitation to tender and project award

The tender for the project envisaged equipping all Bundeswehr locations with new information and telecommunications technology and operating the infrastructure for a total of 6.65 billion euros. To this end, the Federal Ministry of Defense and a private-sector consortium have set up their own joint venture, in which the consortium held 50.1 percent and the ministry 49.9 percent.

In July 2004, the Ministry of Defense broke off negotiations with the Isic 21 consortium (consisting of the companies CSC , Mobilcom and EADS ) about the HERKULES IT project, which had been ongoing since 2002, with no result, because the consortium did not exceed the cost limit of 665 million euros / Year could provide.

As a result, negotiations were started with the TIS bidding consortium. This consortium initially consisted of T-Systems (one of the three main companies of Deutsche Telekom AG ), IBM , and Siemens Business Services (SBS). However, Telekom withdrew its participation on the grounds that a consortium leader would have to be present for such a large project and also referred to its experience from the toll debacle .

After the offer delivered by the remaining consortium SI (SBS and IBM) on 23 March 2005 by the Federal Office for Information Management and Information Technology of the Bundeswehr was classified as negotiable, the negotiations began on 24 May 2005. In September 2006, were planned costs already 7, 1 billion euros. The budget is evenly distributed over the entire project duration of 10 years. On December 13, 2006, the project was finally approved by the Bundestag budget committee.

On December 28, 2006 the contractor consortium SI, consisting of Siemens Business Service GmbH & Co. OHG (SBS) and IBM Deutschland GmbH (IBM), announced that the Federal Office for Information Management and Information Technology of the Bundeswehr had officially awarded the contract for the HERKULES project to have.

The joint venture BWI Informationstechnik GmbH was founded on the same day and later incorporated into BWI GmbH . Siemens and IBM participated as equal partners with a total of 50.1 percent: Siemens held 50.05 percent and IBM 0.05 percent of the shares. The remaining 49.9 percent were held by the Federal Republic of Germany. According to Siemens, it was the largest order in the company's history. According to the newspaper Financial Times Deutschland , Siemens received 60 percent and IBM 40 percent of the order value. The HERKULES project is currently the largest PPP project in Europe.

On November 22, 2007, Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung inaugurated the new HERKULES headquarters in the North Rhine-Westphalian city of Meckenheim .

The premise of the project was the adequate LAN - cabling . The BWI was also commissioned to organize the expansion. In 2009 it became known that the project costs were supposed to increase by a further 700 million euros to 7.8 billion euros, mainly because the LAN cabling in many locations was worse than assumed during the contract negotiations.

In May 2010 , Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg criticized the other costs of the project to the press : “The cost increases at HERKULES, around 700 million euros, are unacceptable. [...] A cost cap is unavoidable, and it has to be clarified which units the system really needs. ”It was possible to completely avoid these impending cost increases.

According to the Handelsblatt in 2010, users and project managers complained about frequent malfunctions and system failures in an internal report by the Ministry of Defense on the practical test. After these initial difficulties, Bernhard Rohleder, managing director of the IT association Bitkom, described the project as a success model in an interview in the Handelsblatt in February 2014. In a user survey published by the Social Science Institute of the Bundeswehr in 2012, the majority of users said they were satisfied with the IT project: their IT situation at work has improved significantly since the IT was modernized.

On December 27, 2016, the HERKULES IT project ended as planned. The services agreed in the HERKULES contract were provided by the BWI service group, so that the Bundeswehr has a consolidated, standardized and centralized IT infrastructure. On December 28th, the BWI companies became 100 percent federal companies and received a follow-up order for the operation and further development of the Bundeswehr IT. The companies of the service group were merged with each other in 2017 and renamed to BWI GmbH.

Project flow

The ten-year term was divided into three phases:

  • Migration phase (organizational structure) = actual operation: During this time, the actual operation continued. Gradually, technology, personnel, third-party contracts and Bundeswehr systems were brought together. The migration phase came to an end in 2007.
  • Modernization of communication and information technology = mixed operation: The integration phase started in 2008 and included the conversion of the Bundeswehr IT into a performance-oriented, modern target operation. In August 2012, target operation was achieved in around 98 percent of the properties.
  • Operating phase with support and maintenance of the system = target operation: After the migration and integration phase, the entire non-military information and communication technology (ICT) of the Bundeswehr is up to date. Since then, the systems have been monitored and maintained.

The modernization of the IT and communication landscape includes, among other things:

Prizes and awards

As part of the “Efficient State” administrative congress in May 2011, the Bundeswehr and the BWI service group were awarded the Public Private Partnership (PPP) 2011 innovation prize in the “Information Technology” category for the joint HERKULES project. The prize is awarded annually by the Federal Association of Public Private Partnership and the authorities Spiegel .

On November 20, 2012, BWI Informationstechnik GmbH received the Service Desk Award for the construction and operation of the Bundeswehr's User Help Desk (UHD) as the best UHD at the 16th IIR Technology Service Desk Forum in Mainz.


According to Siemens IT Solutions and Services , the 45-year-old Bundeswehr telephone system in Manching was replaced in 2008 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Bundeswehr modernization: Billions in order for Siemens and IBM. In: Spiegel Online . December 13, 2006, accessed June 10, 2018 .
  2. http://www.tagesspiegel.de/wirtschaft/herkules-auf-fuer-siemens-und-ibm/v_print/792234.html
  3. Financial Times Deutschland, December 28, 2006 ( Memento of January 8, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  4. http://www.reservistenverband.de/php/evewa2.php?d=1343047840&g2=1&menu=0240&newsid=1294
  5. T. Jungholt, CC Malzahn, T. Krauel: Mission in Afghanistan: Guttenberg expects even more dead. In: welt.de . May 2, 2010, accessed October 7, 2018 .
  6. http://www.general-anzeiger-bonn.de/lokales/wirtschaft/nachrichten/Meckenheimer-IT-Dienstleister-behaelt-Sieben-Millionen-Euro-Etat-article36641.html
  7. http://www.handelsblatt.com/politik/deutschland/bundeswehr-millionen-it-projekt-herkules-wird-zum-debakel/3421532.html
  8. http://www.genios.de/presse-archiv/artikel/HB/20140204/-es-gibt-auch-projekte-die-gut-lauf/3AE75645-095B-4235-B028-16D622F50C27.html
  9. Make one out of two: BWI companies merge to form BWI GmbH Der Tagesspiegel. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  10. http://www.sowi.bundeswehr.de/portal/a/swinstbw/!ut/p/c4/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP3I5EyrpHK94uyk-OLyzLziEiAnMbukNDUnJ1UvzL7W8OCexpES_INthREz
  11. Archive link ( Memento of the original from June 24, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.europaeische-sicherheit.de
  12. http://www.service-desk-forum.de/pressemitteilungen/t-systems-und-bwi-informationstechnik-gewinnen-den-service-desk-award-2012/#more-3248