Modernized Acquisition and Grants Automation Help NASA Manage Complex Programs—Like the Space Station


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)


NASA, which stands for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is an executive branch of the US government responsible for the nation's civilian space program and aeronautics and aerospace research.

Since February 2006, NASA's mission statement has been to "pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research."


In 2005 NASA found itself suffering from the following:

  • Limited enterprise-level visibility into acquisition and grants processing. 
  • Inefficient allocation of workload across multiple stove-piped systems.
  • Inaccurate financial reporting due to siloed legacy systems
  • Lack of compliance with federal and NASA acquisition regulations and guidance
  • Inability to consolidate staff and work in the NASA Shared Service Center
  • Also, a high percentage of contracting and grants officers were eligible to retire, putting a strain on the remaining workforce to meet these challenges.


Using PRISM COTS software!

NASA took a “big bang” approach to implementing PRISM including:

  • A rapid implementation schedule
  • Minimal change management
  • Simultaneous implementation of both PRISM Acquisition and PRISM Grants
    in a single instance at the Shared Service Center to serve all 1,000 end users
  • Integration with SAP (requisitioning is performed in the SAP application),
  • Also, a real-time XML interface to SAP R/3 was also created through SeeBeyond to pass financial and reporting data
  • Post-production focus has been on retirement of legacy applications, development of enterprise-wide reporting capabilities
  • Adopt 1,000 users over 12 month period of implementation, including BPR, training, and change management 


Over 1,000 NASA procurement professionals now use PRISM. Moving to PRISM gives NASA enterprise workflow, transparency, and real-time financial data as expected with any e-procurement application, however, it also enables them to handle their most complex activities—like the Space Station— in the same system. Post-production focus has been on retirement of legacy applications, and development of enterprise-wide reporting capabilities.