DLA eyes seat management

The Defense Logistics Agency plans to outsource desktops and a broad range of support services for at least 2,400 users at its headquarters, with the possibility of expanding the program to more than 41,000 agency users nationwide. That would make the deal the largest seat management effort in the Defense Department to date.

Carla von Bernewitz, chief information officer at DLA, said last week at the Industry Advisory Council's Executive Leadership Conference in Richmond, Va., that the agency is considering purchasing outsourcing services from the General Services Administration's information technology schedule.

DLA recently completed a total cost of ownership study to determine desktop costs, but von Bernewitz said cost-cutting is not the driving factor to outsource. She said the main objective will be to increase worker productivity and performance. Some of the improvements will come from standardizing technology used throughout the organization, she said.

Although many agencies are considering using the GSA Federal Technology Service's Seat Management contract or the Outsourcing Desktop Initiative for NASA (ODIN) for outsourcing desktops and services, DLA plans to use GSA schedule vendors, von Bernewitz said. She said many of the IT functions and resources the agency uses are run by other DOD organizations, and the schedule provides more flexibility than the Seat Management or ODIN contracts to accommodate DLA's varied needs.

Army Col. Tom Brown, director of DLA's Information Support Office at Fort Belvoir, Va., said the agency has conducted a down-select of interested bidders and eliminated one of the 12 bids received because the vendor did not have the type of external help-desk support infrastructure in place that DLA requires. Although the initial requirement calls for seat management services only at DLA's headquarters battalion, "the [vendors] have to be able to show the ability to grow the program," Brown said.

According to Brown, DLA will seek 24-hour, seven-day-a-week help-desk support, local-area network administration services, as well as device and service monitoring, fault detection with auto-fixing and notification service, security and network penetration testing, and general remote administration.

"What we have today is [a situation where] everybody does their own thing," Brown said. "We're trying to get this all under control and into a manageable configuration process."

To accomplish that goal, Brown said, DLA plans to administer the program through seven centralized regions that have as a technology bridge a common configuration for desktops, networking and support. "Ultimately, I hope we get to the point where the contractor is doing the work and we're doing the long-term planning," Brown said.

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