State awards messaging deal to Northrop

The State Department has awarded a contract worth a potential $237 million over 10 years to Northrop Grumman Information Technology to modernize the department's messaging and archival retrieval system.

The contract is initially worth $3 million to design and demonstrate a fully secure and integrated messaging system. It has a potential value of $237 million over 10 years if all options are exercised.

Known as the State Messaging and Archive Retrieval Toolset (SMART), the project will replace the agency's fragmented messaging systems and improve employees' ability to access information to analyze foreign policy issues.

"We are proud to have been selected by the State Department to support [its] core vision for SMART, to develop an easy-to-use, secure and user-driven system to support the conduct of foreign affairs through modern messaging, dynamic archiving and information sharing," said Kent Schneider, president of Defense Enterprise Solutions at Northrop Grumman IT.

Team members for the project include Advanced Research Technologies Inc., Allied Technology Group Inc., BEA Systems Inc., Computer Information Specialist Inc., Integrated Technologies Inc., Crius Inc., Data Systems Analysts Inc., DigitalNet Inc., Bantu Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Worldwide Information Network Systems Inc.

The SMART system is intended to replace existing messaging and e-mail systems, incorporate document management and retrieval, and build a foundation for knowledge management.

Approximately 3,000 employees are scheduled to use the system in June 2004 in a pilot project. Worldwide deployment is slated for January 2005 for more than 46,000 employees.

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