GSA Buyer's Guide Intro

In our third special supplement this year on contract options for federal information technology buyers, we've saved the largest for last. After Defense contracting vehicles and governmentwide acquisition contracts, we now turn to the General Services Administration's multiple-award schedule. The schedule comes the closest to being a complete one-stop shop for agency program managers by providing a breadth of products and services that no other source can truly match.

As our stories reveal, GSA is not without competition in the federal technology market. It faces a number of agency monsters — contracts that in some cases are tailored to specific market

areas, such as high-end technology or security solutions. And buyers face other financial and logistical trade-offs when making decisions about where to take their IT business. The GSA Buyers' Guide attempts to help you make these decisions.

The good news is that as these contract vehicles are positioned and adapted for the changing requirements of government IT buyers, the better the average government customer is served. More choice usually means better supplies and services, and the current IT market is more differentiated than ever.

To help sort all this out, the supplement leads with a snapshot of the latest trends in the GSA schedules program. Grouped together with spot analyses of developments that you should be aware of, these include a look at IT services, an update on electronic procurement and several administrative features of the GSA schedule that might make a difference to you.

In this supplement, we have continued to arrange our tables and charts in ways that are more meaningful to individual government buyers. Now you will be able to first identify a product area and then see who is offering it, instead of the other way around. We hope this more closely mirrors the way you buy and becomes more useful in your professional IT shopping.

This guide lists the top 500 contractors, based on fiscal 2002 revenue (as reported by Eagle Eye Publishers Inc.), which reflects approximately 75 percent of schedule business. The chart listings are drawn from GSA's IT contractor database.

Please let us know what you think of this approach and how it could be improved. In the meantime, we hope it helps you make more informed and effective purchasing decisions.

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