SEWP II sets new sales pace at six-month mark

Buoyed by simple ordering procedures and aggressive marketing NASA's Scientific and Engineering Workstation Procurement II (SEWP II) follow-on is posting sales that dwarf the original workstation procurement. SEWP II sales have reached almost $100 million in its first six months an increase of 76 percent compared with SEWP I sales during the same period in 1996.

According to the most recent statistics compiled by NASA SEWP II orders through June 26 totaled $97.3 million compared with SEWP I total purchases of $55.5 million for the first six months of 1996. The wide array of products including Unix and Microsoft Corp.'s Windows NT and the structure of the contract have contributed to the early success of the $1.8 billion follow-on said Doug Hanson SEWP II program manager. SEWP II which is open to the entire federal government provides workstations peripherals and networking gear. SEWP I was closed to non-NASA agencies in late 1994 after non-NASA purchasing exceeded the 20 percent cap it was reopened to the entire government early in 1996. "SEWP I limited the ability for federal agencies to use SEWP - it was on then it was off then it was on. Now it's open to everybody " Hanson said.

Agencies that have placed the largest orders under SEWP II include NASA which has placed 1 386 orders totaling $65 million the Navy which has placed 25 orders totaling $15 million and the Commerce Department which has placed 37 orders totaling $3.5 million. The Army also has bought $3.5 million in equipment after canceling its own workstation procurement which had been snagged by a successful protest last year.

Kevin Adams director of civilian programs at Government Technology Services Inc. said SEWP II sales have "exceeded my wildest imagination." GTSI holds the SEWP II contract for administrative file servers and supporting equipment and is an incumbent contractor from SEWP I. Initial SEWP II sales are even more remarkable compared to the first six months of SEWP I. Adams said SEWP II sales for the first six months of 1997 are up 670 percent compared with SEWP I sales for that time period in 1993. SEWP II sales for the first six months in 1997 have increased 270 percent compared with 1994 sales for the same period. Adams attributed some of the sales increases to a new ordering process that the contract recently began offering to agencies. A surcharge for non-NASA SEWP II customers used to require an extra form for agencies to fill out in addition to their order form. That surcharge form has been eliminated and vendors collect the surcharge directly from the agencies. This has resulted in a much shorter order processing time period - sometimes as short as one day.

GTSI in recent weeks has become the first SEWP II vendor to begin accepting credit card orders from agencies. Digital Equipment Corp. one of three concerns that were awarded general-purpose workstation contracts under SEWP II also has exceeded its sales expectations said Tom Wolf federal program manager for Digital's federal government region. Digital's sales in the first four months of SEWP II have exceeded its sales posted during the last 12 months of SEWP I Wolf said. Wolf attributed part of the sales surge to NASA's increased marketing efforts to inform agencies of the details of the contract. Customer tendencies to purchase total information technology solutions also have bumped up sales.

Other SEWP II prime vendors include Compaq Computer Corp. Cray Research Inc. Sun Microsystems Inc. Hewlett-Packard Co. IBM Corp. Silicon Graphics Inc. Sylvest Management Systems Corp. and Unisys Government Services Inc.

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