Michigan Saves More By Offering Less

Electronic Data Systems Corp. announced recently that it saved Michigan almost $4 million by narrowing state employees' choice of PCs to a single desktop and a single laptop.

Under a master contract EDS (www.eds.com) holds with the state for end user computing and networking supplies, Michigan employees could choose from among products offered by AST Research Inc. and Dell Computer Corp. Last fall EDS and Michigan's Department of Management and Budget (www.state.mi.us/dmb/index.htm) pared options to a single manufacturer -- Dell -- and released early financial results tied to that decision: The state saved $3.7 million over the past fiscal year.

"This kind of standardization allows us to reduce costs for the state in two ways," said Rick Kursik, vice president at EDS. "No. 1, it is an excellent way to secure volume discounts for the state. This way, they can do a better job of forecasting for the manufacturer. Also, it cuts back on the soft-dollar costs and total cost of ownership issues. Plus, the selection is easier."

Dubbed the Consistent Client Architecture-Hardware, the program is scheduled to expire in the next several months. There is no word so far on a replacement contract, Kursik said.

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