EDS collects Navy net services BPA

The Navy last week awarded a blanket purchase agreement (BPA) to Electronic Data Systems Corp. to provide local- and wide-area networking services to installations and commands across the agency.

Under the five-year program EDS will assist in the design development implementation and support of information technology initiatives carried out under the Department of the Navy Information Network Proj-ect Office (DON INPO).

The secretary of the Navy established DON INPO last January to consolidate existing Navy networks and create an agencywide information management infrastructure.

The Navy currently buys networking services through a variety of smaller vehicles.

Creating a central vehicle with the DON INPO BPA will enable Navy commands to carry out their work "in a more coordinated manner " said Cmdr. Phil Graham of the Naval Information Systems Management Center (NISMC).

This newest Navy BPA like others recently awarded for notebooks personal computers and workstations does not carry a specific dollar value. However the Navy anticipates a lot of business on the new vehicle."DON INPO is a strong program so as we go on we think [the BPA] will get a lot of use because many base commanders are looking for solutions and they don't want to go through the long procurement process" required to create their own vehicle Graham said.

For now the Navy sees the BPA as supplementing other services contracts but "if the BPA is as successful as we think it will be the reliance of [Navy] activities on existing contracts will be reduced " Graham said.Among the other vehicles the Navy uses is PC LAN+ a LAN and WAN hardware software and services buy awarded to EDS in October 1995. EDS is one of the primes on the Air Force's Unified Local-Area Network Architecture II contract for products and services.

EDS officially confirmed on Friday that it had been awarded a BPA but otherwise could not comment on the program. The Navy awarded the BPA based upon services and pricing on EDS' General Services Administration schedule contract.

In the near future NISMC expects to award broader services contracts to multiple vendors under a program formerly called Information Technology Support Services. Those BPAs are expected sometime early this year. However the Navy is waiting until more systems integrators have their services on the GSA schedule before making any awards NISMC said.

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