Commerce commits to desktop outsourcing

The Commerce Department will kick off its desktop outsourcing program this

month by selecting a vendor from a small business services contract for

a pilot project.

Commerce expects to release a statement of work within the next week

for a seat management pilot, in which the department will outsource full

responsibility of 200 desktop systems within the Office of the Secretary

to a single vendor. An additional 800 seats from the office will be added

in fiscal 2001, after the pilot is over.

The pilot is scheduled to run four to six months and will give the department

data on "how best to manage and implement the program," said Alan Balutis,

deputy chief information officer at Commerce. "The pilot will not be a "yea"

or "nea" evaluation on seat management."

In fiscal 2002, Commerce expects to roll out an additional 3,400 seats

to cover the entire department headquarters building.

Instead of using existing governmentwide outsourcing contracts, Commerce

plans to fulfill its seat management needs through the Commerce Information

Technology Solutions (Commits) program, which is a governmentwide IT services

contract specifically for small businesses. Commerce last summer awarded

29 contractors pieces of the estimated $1.5 billion program.

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