Signal wins Senate pact

Signal Corp. has won a five-year contract worth an expected $100 million to maintain the Senate's information technology infrastructure and provide help-desk support to all its offices, the company announced May 28.

Under the contract, Fairfax, Va.-based Signal and its subcontractors — Hewlett-Packard Co. and Interstate Van Lines Inc. — will provide IT installation and maintenance, help-desk support, and acquisition and inventory services for hardware and software for the Senate's 9,000 computers and 1,000 servers. The computers and servers are in the Senate's Capitol Hill office buildings and in 450 field offices across the United States.

Signal officials were especially pleased about the win — the largest contract in company history — because Signal competed for the Senate contract in 1998 and lost to Affiliated Computer Systems Inc.

"When we didn't win last time, [Signal president and chief executive officer] Roger Mody resolved that we were going to go after it again and win it," said Bob Smith, the company's chief administrative officer.

Signal will staff the help desks and install and maintain IT equipment on Capitol Hill, while HP will provide hardware installation and maintenance for both Capitol Hill and field offices, Smith said.

As part of its duties under the contract, Signal will replace and upgrade the Senate's desktops and peripherals, according to Kimball Winn, director of IT support services in the Senate Sergeant at Arms office.

The contract also provides for adding other products. "If you're asking if [Signal and its subcontractors] will move beyond the desktop [local-area network] arena," Winn said, "I believe there is that possibility as well, but we don't have any plans for that at the moment."

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