A 15-state alliance selects Dell Computer Corp. to supply computer systems

A 15-state alliance has selected Dell Computer Corp. to supply computer systems to the association in an agreement that offers government and education agencies at the city, county and state level a single cooperative purchasing contract.

Dell, based in Round Rock, Texas, will create an online store for the Western State Contracting Alliance (WSCA) where members can receive technical support and purchase the company's entire line of products and services. The contract is Dell's first multistate agreement.

"We wanted to get our members the best quality computer products at the lowest prices," said Terry Davenport, senior information systems procurement specialist in New Mexico, who closed the deal for WSCA. "It's a base contract for everybody," he said, adding that the different WSCA member states need to meet different statutory requirements and currently are at different stages in that process with their providers. "Right now, all the states are looking at it and we're in a sign-up period," said Davenport.

WSCA members can receive World Wide Web-based support including automated detection, diagnosis and resolution through Dell's OpenManage Resolution Assistant. They also can use the Internet to purchase systems, track orders and use online reporting functions through their personalized Dell Online Store.

Davenport said the states of New Mexico and Nevada already are using the online store, and that even if certain states choose not to make procurements through the Dell deal, many are still allowing municipalities within their states to take advantage of the agreement.

"WSCA created a way for its members to receive better value and increase their purchasing power through this unique multistate contract," said Ro Parra, senior vice president for Dell Public Americas International Group. "Its membership worked hard to bridge the gap between the states and their individual purchasing environments."

The contract was administered by New Mexico on behalf of WSCA member states, which include: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

"Our goal is to have all 15 states using it to make procurements, but we knew that wasn't going to happen in the first year," Davenport said.

More information about the contract is available online at www.state.nm.us/spd/WSCAmain.html.

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