GSA seeks Connections ideas

Connections Web site

The General Services Administration (GSA)'s Federal Technology Service is looking for comments on a new contract to provide all of the voice, data and video network solutions needed in the modern agency.

The Connections draft request for proposals (RFP) released Nov. 5 covers everything from telecommunications equipment and call centers to videoconferencing and voice over Internet Protocol solutions.

The initial concept calls for agencies to acquire from one contract any or all of the network infrastructure services needed to support an entire office or building, according to the draft.

Vendors will be required to provide access to all these services over the Internet, including Web-based direct ordering, billing, trouble reporting and customer service. GSA is also requiring that vendors have a manual backup in case the online system goes down.

As part of the management of the contract, GSA will develop and maintain a Web portal that will:

* Provide customers with access to a database to help define requirements and identify the best solution.

* Link to contractor Web sites for access to all contract services.

* Provide information on customer requirements to all contractors in that customer's region to ensure competition.

* Maintain bulletin boards to provide customers and contractors with up-to-date information on the contract.

Comments are due by Dec. 4, and GSA will release the final RFP on Dec. 16. The agency expects to make the first awards for nationwide service in May 2002. Other awards will follow in July 2002 for international service and then for specific state or regional areas.

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