EDS tappedfor Telistelecom pact

The Energy Department last week selected Electronic Data Systems Corp. for a $600 million telecommunications contract that covers everything from supplying network interface cards to operating entire networks.

Under DOE's Telecommunications Integrator Services (Telis) contract EDS and its team of subcontractors will provide a product catalog of 15 000 items. The team will build networks out of those components and help DOE roll out a still-evolving departmentwide information architecture. In addition to products Telis will offer a broad range of services including network engineering installation maintenance and operations. The pact which will span voice data and video technology will be open to other agencies in addition to DOE.

DOE chose EDS for the contract over AlliedSignal Inc. and Booz-Allen & Hamilton Inc. EDS' subcontractors on the deal include GTE Customer Networks Inc. which will provide installation and maintenance services and Lucent Technologies Inc. which will provide professional services. Other subcontractors include Macfadden & Associates Inc. Silver Spring Md. and Native American Sales Inc. Englewood Colo.

An EDS spokesman valued his company's portion of the contract at $350 million during its five-year life. Telis is the first DOE-wide communications support contract said Stanley Wujcik DOE's project manager for Telis. "Telis will provide the tools to migrate networks to a departmentwide architecture" that is being developed he said. "We are aiming to standardize the backbone infrastructure. In the past networks were built for specific applications now we want applications to run on open networks and migrated to backbones that support them.""They were looking for a contractor who could work with them in all of their field offices and actually facilitate the rollout of their new information architecture " said Dave McGill director of business development for DOE at EDS.

Use of Telis is mandatory only for DOE headquarters in Washington D.C. and Germantown Md. EDS subcontractor GTE will serve as the telecommunications integrator for the headquarters facilities. The company had performed this work under a contract that expired in September 1995 and continued to provide personnel under an interim contract held by Booz-Allen according to Jayson Schwam major accounts executive at GTE.

The pact is optional however for other DOE facilities across the country. "DOE recognizes that the field organizations are very autonomous " McGill said. "It's up to them to use it."

Telis is significant in its attempt to achieve economies of scale and provide a cost-effective telecommunications vehicle across various labs and other parts of DOE said Warren Suss president of Warren H. Suss Associates. "But how widely this will be used will depend on the effectiveness of the EDS team to address the unique needs of the different lab environments " he said.

DOE labs Suss added are used to conducting their own procurements for telecommunications services and they still have existing contracts in place.

Indeed DOE field facilities employ about 50 networking contractors. As those contracts expire EDS will have a chance to win the work but there are no guarantees.

"If we can provide service at better value we will pick [the business] up " said Ken Bassmann the Telis program manager at EDS.

The General Services Administration's Federal Computer Acquisition Center conducted the Telis procurement and will continue to manage it this will include awarding task orders. Wujcik said it made sense to ask Fedcac to manage Telis because of its expertise in handling large procurements.

D. Jeanne Davis the contracting officer for Telis at Fedcac said the agency used procurement procedures that it had not used before. It pre-qualified bidders released a statement of objectives instead of a statement of work and used the Internet bulletin boards and e-mail more than it ever has in the past.

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