Virginia getting comfortable with seat
- By Eric Kulisch
- Nov 12, 2000
Virginia technology managers advised officials from agencies, institutions
and local governments to conduct detailed cost/benefit analyses before purchasing
new computer equipment or seat management services.
The message was delivered Nov. 8 during a briefing session in Richmond
to acquaint state employees with how to obtain seat management services
under a new statewide contract. Three other sessions were held across Virginia
before the contract was finalized Oct. 1 with DynCorp, Unisys Corp. and
ACS Government Solutions.
Seat management refers to turning over ownership of every desktop computer — or seat — to a vendor who assumes total responsibility for related software,
hardware, upgrades, maintenance, training, support and disposal services.
Virginia is the first state to offer such a complete desktop outsourcing
solution statewide and to local governments. An agency or locality determines
which vendor offers the best solution for its needs and simply issues a
The Seat Management Vendor Information Day last week focused on the
importance and process of carrying out total cost of ownership evaluations,
said Bette Dillehay, deputy secretary of technology. "It is very difficult
to define what is the best seat arrangement without understanding where
the benefits exist," Dillehay said.
State agencies and institutions, such as colleges and universities,
are not required to outsource their computer operations. But before buying
any new equipment or selecting seat management, they must conduct a study
to determine the life-cycle costs for each method of equipment support,
Virginia created an Office of Seat Management to help agencies understand
the process and make their choices. "It's impossible for anyone to anticipate
all the issues that will arise, but we're moving forward with this in very
much a stakeholder environment," Dillehay said.