Systems integrators jockey for spots on DEIS follow-on

Six systems integrators leading massive teams of subcontractors last week submitted bids on the Defense Information Systems Agency's $3 billion DEIS II procurement.

DEIS II is the follow-on to the $1.2 billion Defense Enterprise Integration Services contracts awarded in 1993 to BDM Federal Inc., Boeing Information Services, Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) , Electronic Data Systems Corp. (EDS) , Lockheed Martin Corp. and Unisys Corp. All six firms bid DEIS II, and DISA is expected to make four to six awards, industry sources said.

The sweeping popularity of the original DEIS contract made the sequel a must-bid situation for the primes and a hot ticket for other integrators seeking subcontractor roles.

"They saw what happened last time," said Bob Dornan, senior vice president of Federal Sources Inc. Orders on DEIS accumulated so quickly that it soon became apparent the program would exhaust its ceiling years before the expiration date.

DEIS' ceiling was expanded by $250 million last year. Accordingly, teams pursuing DEIS II have 20 to 50 subcontractors each, sources said. Unisys last week disclosed its bidding team, which features 39 firms. The Unisys lineup includes PRC Inc., Systems Research & Applications Corp, AT&T, GTE Corp., Lucent Technologies Inc. and Oracle Corp.

The team also includes small, disadvantaged businesses (SDBs), including Amerind, System Resources Corp. and User Technology Associates. The DEIS II requirement for SDBs is 20 percent.

"We value all the members of our team and treat everyone fairly," said James McGuirk, president of Unisys' Federal Systems Division. "We think that has helped us attract high-quality, large and small companies to our DEIS II team."

CSC, the leading vendor in terms of sales on DEIS, has pulled together a team of at least 40 subcontractors, according to sources. The company's teammates include Andersen Consulting, Hughes Information Technology Systems and Science Applications International Corp., sources said. CSC would not comment on the composition of its team.

EDS' subcontractors include Coopers & Lybrand, Harris Corp., Information Management Consultants Inc., Logicon Inc., Robbins-Gioia Inc. and TRW Inc., sources said. EDS did not provide information on its team last week.

Boeing is bidding with Wang Federal Systems and George Mason University, sources said. Boeing officials could not be reached for comment.

BDM's DEIS II team members include CACI International Inc., Northrop Grumman Corp., IBM Corp., NCR Corp., Texas Instruments, American Management Systems Inc. and Price Waterhouse.

Lockheed Martin's teammates on the original DEIS were Booz-Allen & Hamilton Inc., Digital Equipment Corp. and KPMG Peat Marwick. A spokeswoman was unable to confirm whether those firms are on Lockheed's DEIS II bid.

Steve LeCompte, vice president of IDC Government Market Services, said the large DEIS II teams could prove "a nightmare to manage for a prime contractor.

"It would be difficult to keep 40 subcontractors happy with work, and [it would also be] a major program management job to allocate the work and keep the quality of work up," LeCompte said.

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