Bay pursues GSA sked

For the first time in many years Bay Networks will hold its own General Services Administration schedule and will appoint and manage agents to sell the company's products to government users.

Bay's new GSA schedule program will help the company increase its schedule revenue and take advantage of what the company sees as a booming schedule business.

Bay has yet to determine its GSA agents. Barry Morris vice president of Bay's federal region said there will be only a handful of agents chosen including two or three national agents. This will help Bay control pricing and keep resellers from competing against one another.

The agent program will help support Morris' goal to increase the company's GSA schedule revenue by 13 percent during the next fiscal year. While the company's business through large systems integrators and 8(a)s grew significantly during the last few years "we didn't see that much upward growth in our GSA" schedule business Morris said. He attributed this in part to the fact that Bay offered products on GSA schedules at a very small discount.

The new agent program will mean more aggressive GSA pricing on Bay products but still allows large system integrators to make their margins Morris said

. Morris expects GSA business to represent 22 percent of fiscal 1997 revenue for Bay's federal region which the company projects will be around $135 million. Revenue for the company's federal region in fiscal 1996 reached $122 million. However Bay's GSA schedule business represented only 9 percent of that or $11 million.

"An increase from $11 million to $30 million is a big jump " Morris said. "To hit my goal we need better market coverage and agents that have a presence in key federal locations and knowledge of Bay products. The value add is for agents to help the end user who doesn't have the expertise."

Bay "wants to select several agents with nationwide presence" and additional "geographic agents" specific to particular areas Morris said.

Currently The Presidio Corp. is the only company that holds a letter of supply from Bay. Their contract will expire next year at which point it will be evaluated Morris said.

Idea Catches On

The GSA schedule should be more attractive now for users interested in Bay products. "Users have a vehicle with everything on it now including support and maintenance which has never been on it before " Morris said. "New technology is available faster."

Al Young director of acquisition at IDC Government said more vendors are taking advantage of the GSA schedule business because it is fast and easy particularly for smaller buys.

Because there is increased competition on governmentwide acquisition contracts and indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity deals vendors need to make their products as widely available as possible he added. The GSA schedule is one way to do that.

Just because a company makes its products available on the schedule or through other contracts doesn't mean that the orders will come in.

"Companies need to have a marketing strategy " Young said. "If they don't then they're at risk.

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