Army inks nine to PC pacts

Army officials Monday selected nine vendors to offer PCs and accessories to the service for three years.

The blanket purchase agreements have an estimated value of $300 million, according to Vera Davis, division chief for the Army Communications-Electronics Command Acquisition Center-Washington.

Under the Army Desktop and Mobile Computing-1 BPAs, each vendor had to offer at least a 2 percent discount off its General Services Administration contract pricing for services and at least a 4 percent price break for products, she said.

The Army selected the following vendors for ADMC-1

* CDW-G Corp.

* Comark Inc. Government and Education Sales.

* ComTeq Federal Inc.

* Dell Computer Corp.

* GTSI Corp.

* iGov.com.

* Intelligent Decisions Inc.

* Micron Government Computer Systems Inc.

* PlanetGov.

The Army Small Computer Program at Fort Monmouth, N.J., will manage the BPAs, which feature three-year, on-site worldwide warranties, Davis said.

Army buyers aren't required to purchase through the ADMC-1 contracts, which are open to all federal agencies. ADMC-1 will replace Army Portable-3, which expires in July, and PC-3, which ends next year.

"Finally, they got some competition on a semi-exclusive account," said Alan Bechara, vice president of Comark Government and Education, referring to GTSI's sales dominance on the Army PC-3 and Portable-3 contracts.

Vendors could bid on as many as 11 product areas or "modules" for ADMC-1, Davis said. The modules included economy and professional-class desktop and notebook PCs, Apple Computer Inc. products, Palm Inc. organizers, Research In Motion Ltd. BlackBerry products and ruggedized notebook computers.

Army officials decided not to select any vendors for two areas — desktop PCs powered by Advanced Micro Devices Inc. processors and "pocket PCs."

Davis wouldn't confirm which vendors the Army selected for particular modules, but he expects Dell and Micron will sell their own PCs.

Bechara said Comark will sell Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. notebook PCs and Acer America Corp. desktop PCs through its ADMC-1 BPA. His company outsells GTSI on the Army Enhanced Technology-1 BPA for Hewlett-Packard Co. printers, software and accessories, he said.

CDW-G will sell Compaq Computer Corp. Deskpros, as well as Apple and BlackBerry products, said Don Tiaga, the company's senior programs and contracts manager.

IGov.com will sell IBM Corp. desktop and notebook PCs at a 10 percent to 12 percent discount, said Brad Mack, the company's vice president of sales. "This is a license to hunt," he said, meaning that iGov.com will have to compete for individual delivery orders, such as the Army's planned buy of 40,000 workstations for its Global Combat Support System-Army program.

ComTeq Federal will sell Compaq Deskpro EX and Presario PCs, said Lynn Runnels, the company's business development manager. ComTeq is offering a 15 percent discount off its GSA IT schedule contract pricing, he said.

According to industry sources, GTSI will sell HP PCs and Panasonic ruggedized notebooks. PlanetGov will sell Gateway Inc. PCs, and Intelligent Decisions is offering Sony Electronics Inc. products. Officials at those companies didn't return phone calls in time for this report.

Only one vendor that bid for ADMC-1 didn't get selected for any of its modules, Davis said.

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