Draft Networx RFPs issued

Networx Universal draft RFP

General Services Administration officials have issued draft requests for proposals for two Networx telecommunications contracts.

Networx Universal and Networx Enterprise are expected to take over from the current FTS 2001 contract and several smaller vehicles beginning in 2006. Networx Universal covers global services, while Networx Enterprise is for smaller and more localized offerings. Through multiple meetings with vendor and agency officials, GSA officials have been trying to shape the contracts to accommodate advancing technologies, convergence of voice and data services, and changes in the telecommunications industry that could occur during the next several years.

Warren Suss, president of Suss Consulting Inc., said he was beginning to analyze the draft requests, which GSA officials released today. The agency faces a steep challenge, he said.

"GSA has added a number of new services on Networx that are not currently on the FTS 2001 contract," he said. "Some of these services, including some security services and some of the managed application services, are difficult to define in a standardized way because they are generally provided in more of a customized environment."

However, he added, officials issued the drafts before Nov. 1, as they had promised, and "it looks like a pretty mature document."

GSA officials will host a public meeting Nov. 5 to begin the next round of discussions with anyone interested, which is expected to lead to the final requests for proposals next spring.

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