Government Contracts Tempt Suppliers

A slew of upcoming government opportunities beckons vendors large and small

October 8, 2005

2 Min Read
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Leading vendors of storage equipment are queuing up to bid on a handful of government contracts worth billions of dollars. Indeed, 2006 is shaping up to be a milestone in government IT awards.

Storage and managed security services, for instance, are being solicited by the U.S. General Services Administration as part of its Networx [sic] Government Wide Acquisition Contract (GWAC). The services are included in one of two RFPs for the Enterprise portion of the project, which is aimed at replacing older GSA procurement contracts FTS2001 and FTS2001. The goal is to create a network of services and technology encompassing multiple agencies.

The Networx Enterprise RFP was issued in May, and the due date for replies is October 24. The GSA recently expanded the money allocated for Networx Enterprise from $25 million to $50 million, to be distributed across a range of winners.

Another GWAC, Alliant, is a 10-year $50 billion project, which is accompanied by another $15 billion Alliant Small Business RFP. The actual RFP documents are still pending, and once the contractors are picked, separate "task orders" will need to be written to ink final deals. But at least 20 suppliers or groups of suppliers, will make the final cut, putting them in the running for a range of multi-agency IT services and products.

The U.S.

Department of Homeland Security has two contracts of interest to IT vendors. The EAGLE (Enterprise Acquisition Gateway for Leading Edge) solutions RFP went out September 29. It asks for a range of services and products that include systems integration, software development, operations and maintenance services, and testing and evaluation. A separate FirstSource RFP asks for related solutions from small businesses with 150 or fewer employees. Both RFPs are valued at $45 billion over 7 years. The award will be decided by March 15, 2006.An EAGLE Pre-proposal Conference, during which suppliers confer with the government to ask questions about the RFP, is set for October 18 in Washington.

These and other government contracts are drawing focused interest from the big storage names. A DHS Industry Day in August drew two representatives each from Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL), EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM). (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) sent one rep each.

Byte and Switch will continue to follow the progress of these and other government RFPs.

Mary Jander, Site Editor, Byte and Switch

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