Seat Management: What it is and how it works
- By Diane Frank
- Jul 24, 2000
Seat management refers to outsourcing desktop computers and their related
software, hardware, maintenance and help desk support.
The difficulty in hiring and retaining federal information technology workers
has pushed some agencies to shift dwindling IT personnel from providing
basic maintenance of desktop computers — a relatively routine task — to
other functions that may be more directly related to an agency's mission.
The General Services Administration's Seat Management contract offers
agencies a way to outsource PCs and laptops, operating systems, maintenance
and upgrades, and help desk support. Some agencies have used the Seat Management
contract to outsource entire networks and enterprise software systems.
Participating agencies define the level of service they want to support
their users and their missions. Contractors propose the level of technology
needed to meet the level of service requested. Service level agreements
are tightly defined and often include a desired response time for help desk
support and a percentage for network reliability.
Seat Management task orders, however, do not supplant the need for program
managers, whom agencies are still required to employ. Program managers are
usually in charge of adjusting to the changing needs of federal users and
working with the contractor to add services when new needs arise.