GSA virtual data center deal sparks agency interest

The General Services Administration's Virtual Data Center Services program awarded to three computer services firms last month has already attracted interest from a number of agencies [FCW Feb. 17].

The data center program offers data processing outsourcing services and is open to all federal agencies. The program has a ceiling of $6 billion over its 10-year life. But the service is nonmandatory so the ultimate value of the contracts awarded to Computer Sciences Corp. SunGard Computer Services Inc. and Unisys Corp. is uncertain.

Agencies however are looking into the new services vehicle. "Agencies are expressing very strong interest in the contract " said John Ortego acting deputy director of GSA's Information Technology Integration Division (ITI) which will market and support the Virtual Data Center Services program. Ortego said the departments of Education and Labor elements within the Energy Department the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Aviation Administration have expressed interest in the program.

Under the GSA program agencies are able to purchase IBM Corp.-compatible Unisys Digital Equipment Corp. and Honeywell Inc. mainframe processing services and data center services such as printing and mailing. The processing will be performed at contractor-owned data centers. Among the three contractors a total of 18 data centers are available for processing services.

Four of those centers - two operated by CSC and two by Unisys - are outside the continental United States. Ortego said this feature and the program's ability to handle top-secret processing would appeal to Defense Department buyers.

DOD and civilian agencies are spending $2 billion annually on data center operations GSA believes. Ortego said GSA is aiming to gain 20 percent of that market a chunk that would represent $400 million a year and a "very big success." Over 10 years that would make Virtual Data Center Services a $4 billion deal.

But GSA will face competition for the government's outsourcing dollars from cross-servicing arrangements in which one agency takes on the data proc-essing chores of smaller agencies some executives contended.

"Under [indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity] contracts you never know for sure" about a contract's eventual value noted Marshall Henderson director of federal outsourcing for CSC's Systems Group. But he added that "there is a lot of pressure within government to look at outsourcing."

Lee Cooper vice president of business development at Unisys said the GSA program will deliver "tremendous cost-efficiencies and improved responses to user needs."

ITI will conduct task-order competitions among the three vendors and also will direct work to a particular vendor "if that is in the best interest of the government " a GSA statement noted.

CSC's team on the GSA deal includes System Development Corp. Huntsville Ala. Soza Fairfax Va. Linda Berdine Associates Fairfax and Comdisco Inc. Arlington Va. SunGard is teamed with GTE Corp. Chantilly Va. and Universal High-Tech Development Inc. Rockville Md. Unisys' subcontractors include Affiliated Computer Services Inc. Dallas Comdisco Q Systems and Horizon Data Corp.

Jo Anne Williams director of federal programs at SunGard said the contract is potentially the company's largest federal deal. She said the typical size of SunGard's federal outsourcing/disaster recovery pacts is $5 million to $6 million a year.


  • Contracting
    8 prototypes of the border walls as tweeted by CBP San Diego

    DHS contractors face protests – on the streets

    Tech companies are facing protests internally from workers and externally from activists about doing for government amid controversial policies like "zero tolerance" for illegal immigration.

  • Workforce
    By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

    At OPM, Weichert pushes direct hire, pay agent changes

    Margaret Weichert, now acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, is clearing agencies to make direct hires in IT, cyber and other tech fields and is changing pay for specialized occupations.

  • Cloud
    Shutterstock ID ID: 222190471 By wk1003mike

    IBM protests JEDI cloud deal

    As the deadline to submit bids on the Pentagon's $10 billion, 10-year warfighter cloud deal draws near, IBM announced a legal protest.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.