EDS captures Postal Service support services contract

The U.S. Postal Service Friday awarded Electronic Data Systems Corp. a contract potentially worth $200 million over 11 years to provide support and network management services for the agency's infrastructure programs.

Through the Distributed Systems Operational Support (DSOS) contract EDS will support users and monitor the servers local-area networks and network devices associated with programs under USPS' Associate Office Infrastructure (AOI) program.

These include the Point of Service One contract which will put state-of-the-art retail terminals in post offices nationwide. EDS will also support users under the soon-to-be-awarded Managed Network Services contract which will build a nationwide network infrastructure to deliver standard applications and services to post offices.

EDS will staff USPS' Central Management Facility in Raleigh N.C. From this center the vendor will provide centralized services that include a user help desk configuration services security management remote database monitoring and management.

"DSOS will be a hub that will have to interface with many other contractors to be successful " said James Healy manager of product operations at USPS. "What we're requiring EDS to do is unique. We've never centralized monitoring and managing of the distributed systems that we're going to install" using the USPS infrastructure.

EDS will be the main provider of operational support to users of the AOI program. The company will support AOI operations and maintenance and coordinate and facilitate the activities of other USPS contractors.

"As the USPS rolls out the AOI there will be a requirement to coordinate activities and that's what one of our roles will be " said Tim May director of business development for USPS at EDS. "For example when contractors put new technology into post offices like POS clients and LANs that infrastructure is what DSOS will monitor and manage."

Initially DSOS is expected to manage and monitor systems in 7 000 post offices nationwide but there is the potential to grow this significantly - up to 40 000 locations serving 800 000 employees - in the future. The contract has a three-year base worth $42 million with four two-year options.

Unsuccessful bidders on DSOS are believed to include Computer Sciences Corp. DynCorp and CDI Managed Information Services.

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