Four integrators awarded services BPAs worth $100M

The Army last week awarded service-wide blanket purchase agreements to four systems integrators to provide services ranging from business process re-engineering to outsourcing.

Computer Sciences Corp. Electronic Data Systems Corp. IBM Corp. and Unisys Corp. were awarded the BPAs known collectively as the Army Corporate Enterprise Solutions (ACES) program. The Army's Communications-Electronics Command (Cecom) Acquisition Center Washington awarded the contracts and the Army's Small Computer Program will manage them.

Like most BPAs ACES is open-ended and no dollar value has been attached to the program. Sources close to the contract however estimated the BPAs could be worth in excess of $100 million.

The BPA holders will offer services in four areas: BPR information security Year 2000 and outsourcing.

A Nonmandatory Vehicle

Lt. Col. Mary Fuller product manager at the Small Computer Center said interest has been growing in Year 2000 and outsourcing services and the Small Computer Program decided to "come up with a vehicle that could address these services for all the Army [rather than having] each post camp and station doing [its own] BPAs."

ACES provides services similar to those offered under other Defense Department contract vehicles including the Defense Enterprise Integration Services II program and the recently awarded $650 million Strategic Business Process Re-engineering pact.

But Fuller said she believes Army organizations will prefer to use the Army vehicle which is nonmandatory. "The Army focus is going to guarantee to the Army customer that it meets Army requirements " she said. She said the Small Computer Program will ensure that contractors offer solutions in accordance with Army architectural standards and guidelines.

"There is something to be said for having control over your own destiny " said Bob Dornan senior vice president of Federal Sources Inc. "There's nothing wrong with agencies customizing their agreements for their particular requirements."

Jim Schraeder business-area manager for services at IBM Global Government Industry said agencies "are more confident using their own vehicles." He expects the Army to use the BPAs before considering other vehicles offering similar services.

Earl Gayler manager of business development for information technologies at Unisys' Federal Systems Division added that the critical nature of such issues as Year 2000 and outsourcing led the Army to pursue a dedicated vehicle.

Fuller said the Year 2000 component of the pact will cover such areas as assessment remediation and testing. She said the intent is to make ACES the Year 2000 "contract of choice" for the Army. Similarly the Navy is positioning its Information Technology Support Services BPAs as the service's source of Year 2000 support.

Widening Outsourcing Services

Outsourcing services meanwhile will span the desktop to the data center Fuller said. She said activity will focus on projects in which contractor personnel manage government-owned equipment as opposed to situations in which data processing is shifted to contractor-owned facilities. But if the Army seeks to privatize data processing ACES could move in that direction too she added.

The information security component will include such services as vulnerability assessment. And BPR services "could be a catalyst" for the other parts of the contract Fuller said. A BPR exercise for example could lead to an outsourcing decision.

Rick Rosenburg vice president of Army programs at EDS said the BPAs are significant in that they enable the Army to "procure multiple kinds of services through one contractual vehicle and four world-class suppliers."Pete Hedges group director of business development for Army programs at CSC expects ACES to be a good vehicle for CSC noting that the company already does work for Cecom in the fields of outsourcing and the Year 2000.The services program is a departure for the Small Computer Program which is best known for its portfolio of hardware contracts.

"The Small Computer Program has traditionally been more of a product-oriented vehicle " Fuller said. The group has been involved with software support and integration services but last winter began to explore the possibility of offering a wider range of services she said.


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