New SmartBuy deals on the way

Two new contracts under the General Services Administration's SmartBuy enterprise software licensing programs are in the works.

GSA officials plan to take an existing Defense Department agreement with IBM and extend it governmentwide. They also expect to call for bids on a new antivirus contract within the next 30 to 45 days.

The antivirus contract will be a multiple-award vehicle, said Bob Suda, assistant commissioner for information technology solutions at GSA. The number of companies included will depend on the number and quality of the bids received, he said.

The IBM contract under DOD's Enterprise Software Initiative establishes discounted prices for a long list of IBM products, largely centered around the DB2 database, the Rational family of development tools and the Informix suite of database server products, Suda said.

The details of extending the contract are being worked out now, and civilian agency officials should be able to begin using it within about 30 days, he said.

The existing contract provides everything that SmartBuy officials would have negotiated themselves, he added. "Why reinvent the wheel if you already have something done?" Suda said.

Tom Kireilis, SmartBuy program manager, said that some other Defense contracts might be similarly extended. "There's a decided effort to be co-branding these initiatives where they make sense," he said.

The SmartBuy program was slow getting started after officials began talking about it in 2003, but now it has begun to gain some traction, Suda said. Other SmartBuy contracts cover WinZip Computing's WinZip compression software, supply chain management products from Manugistics and geographic information systems from ESRI, among others.

"Customers are using them," he said. "The industry has actually been very positive about doing SmartBuy deals."

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