DLA launches outsourcing initiative

Officials at the Defense Logistics Agency are planning to award a multimillion-dollar outsourcing contract by midsummer to a team of vendors that will consolidate and manage the agency's information system infrastructure.

DLA officials recently launched the Enterprise Data Center initiative to increase efficiency and cost savings and reduce information technology inventory and security vulnerabilities. DLA officials want to streamline the agency's disparate, global office system structure into a coherent regional one with network center hubs in the United States, Europe and the Pacific Rim, according to the request for quotations (RFQ). The agency operates more than 2,600 computer servers running older, proprietary applications, and officials want vendors to install new hardware using commercial software, the document states.

DLA stopped receiving bids April 16. Officials will finish evaluating them June 18 and award the contract July 19.

Agency IT officials declined to discuss the initiative because it's in the contracting process, DLA spokeswoman Marcia Klein said. But the RFQ explains why agency officials came up with the idea.

"DLA has come to the conclusion that there is a need to consolidate and outsource server and database operations from the current multidistributed data center approach to a logical Enterprise Data Center using a geographically dispersed data center approach," the RFQ states.

By hiring vendors to operate their networks, DLA officials can focus on their core mission: logistics support to the military, said Bob Guerra, a partner in the Washington, D.C., IT consulting firm Guerra, Kiviat, Flyzik and Associates Inc.

Government officials previously argued that those in industry did not understand the government's geographical dimensions and security requirements. But companies such as Computer Sciences Corp., IBM Corp., Lockheed Martin Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp. and Unisys Corp. manage systems for global companies and networks including the New York Stock Exchange, Guerra

said.

DLA will set aside 23 percent of the Enterprise Data Center program money for businesses that fit at least one of the following categories: small, disadvantaged or woman-owned. The contract covers five years with five one-year options.

The winner must deploy an initial network infrastructure with host and support services by February 2005 for four DLA sites and a fully operational network for the entire agency by August 2006, the RFQ states.

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Network operations

Defense Logistics Agency officials are looking for a team of vendors to set up an initial network infrastructure with host and support services at four agency sites by February 2005.

The sites include:

n Headquarters Information Technology Services and Defense Energy Support Center, at Fort Belvoir, Va.

n Defense Logistics Information Service and Defense Reutilization and Marketing Services, in Battle Creek, Mich.

A fully operational network for the entire agency will be deployed by August 2006. By that time, the vendors will consolidate and operate servers and databases in the European and Pacific Rim regions.

Source: Defense Logistics Agency

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