Nine companies to share $1.8B SEWP II contract

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center last week selected nine winners for the four-year $1.8 billion follow-on to the popular Scientific and Engineering Workstation Procurement. Open to the entire government SEWP II will provide up to 34 000 Unix workstations peripherals and networking components.

Of the companies selected seven were incumbent vendors - Sun Microsystems Inc. Hewlett-Packard Co. IBM Corp. Silicon Graphics Inc. Digital Equipment Corp. Government Technology Services Inc. and Unisys Government Services Inc. New for SEWP II are Compaq Computer Corp. and Sylvest Management Systems Corp. The nine companies have been notified verbally by NASA officials.

The contract includes three new offerings that were not available on the $827 million SEWP I pact awarded in 1993: geographic information systems workstations administrative file servers and supercomputers.

The majority of the SEWP I incumbents were selected for the same category in SEWP II. The only difference was that Digital was the sole general workstation provider in SEWP I with GTSI providing X terminals and printers and Unisys providing networking equipment as part of the general workstation portion of the first contract.

Also there was no real-time workstation contract awarded under SEWP II. The SEWP I real-time contract with Concurrent Computer Corp.'s Computer Systems Division will remain in effect until February 1998. The networking winner of SEWP II is expected to be named this week.

In addition to NASA nine civilian agencies are participating in SEWP II. These agencies will be provided a target purchase figure that has not been released according to Leigh Anne Giraldi assistant branch head for ADP procurement at Goddard Greenbelt Md. "If somebody wants to come in with a $1 billion order I don't think we would want to do that " Giraldi said.

Ordering for SEWP II equipment is expected to begin in early November.

Sylvest vice president Rene LaVigne said SEWP II will be able to compete effectively against other governmentwide contracts because of NASA's willingness to waive the procurement fee and because of the electronic purchasing process incorporated into the contract. "It's probably the most complete buying opportunity " he said. "It covers all facets of open systems and network solutions in our computing environment."

LaVigne said SEWP II which will be worth between $100 million and $200 million to his company ranks as Sylvest's second largest contract.

Sun was awarded two contracts one for software development and another for computer-aided design electronic circuit design workstations. Company officials estimated that the contracts combined will be worth more than $100 million and that Sun will provide 40 percent of the 34 000 workstations during the span of the contract.

John Leahy Sun's group manager of government affairs said the impact of SEWP II will be enhanced greatly by the participation of non-NASA agencies. SEWP I was closed to non-NASA customers in late 1994 after non-NASA purchasing exceeded the 20 percent cap. It was reopened to other agencies earlier this year.

Unisys which will provide workstations along with Compaq and Digital is the only systems integrator designated under the general-purpose workstation portion of the contract. A Unisys official said the contract will be worth about $50 million to the company.

Charlie Trentacosti marketing manager for HP's federal government business unit said HP will offer mechanical CAD software and hardware as well as GIS workstations as part of the contract. He said each of the two classes under which HP was selected would be worth a minimum of $50 million to the company.

In addition to NASA agencies participating in SEWP II include the Environmental Protection Agency the General Services Administration the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the departments of Commerce Interior Justice Treasury Transportation and Health and Human Services.


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