Army preps transformation contracts

The Army is readying a network management contract and is planning for a new enterprisewide IT acquisition vehicle

The Army's Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems soon will award a network management contract for an ongoing transformation pilot program, and it also is forming a plan for a new $500 million enterprisewide information technology acquisition vehicle.

Speaking May 29 at Army IT Day in McLean, Va., program executive officer Kevin Carroll said that a pilot program is progressing nicely at Military District of Washington (MDW) to standardize desktop computers and servers on software based on Microsoft Corp. Windows 2000 and Active Directory.

Under a contract awarded in March, a team lead by Telos Corp. is assessing the viability of migrating Army users to Active Directory, which enables systems administrators to manage systems on a network and control who can access particular resources. If it bears out, the contract, which could exceed $6 million, includes options for installing the software on more than 26,000 server and desktop systems.

The next step in that project is to upgrade 10,000 MDW users to the new system and award a network management contract for that installation. Proposals for that contract are due June 2, and the award is expected in mid-July, said Carroll, whose office is responsible for about 40 percent of the service's $5 billion IT budget and is charged with leading the Army Enterprise Infostructure Transformation (AEIT) effort.

For the AEIT work, the Army Small Computer Program and the Communications-Electronics Command Acquisition Center-Washington began the Information Technology Enterprise Solutions acquisition. ITES originally was announced as a follow-on to the Army Consolidated Enterprise Solutions-1 blanket purchase agreements and the Infrastructure Solutions-1 indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract, but it will eventually consolidate other contracts as well. ITES is designed to "meet the evolving requirements for commercial IT products and services to support the Army's worldwide mission," Carroll said.

The IDIQ contract will have a $500 million ceiling with one base year and four one-year options. The Army will employ a modular approach on the vehicle with three contractor awards per module: enterprise total solutions, commodity servers and corporate services. Contractors can bid on one or multiple modules, Carroll said.

ITES will include:

* Commercial items.

* Departmental and enterprisewide 32-bit servers.

* Enterprise storage devices.

* Managed desktop and portable computers.

* Operating systems.

* Peripherals.

* Local- and wide-area networking infrastructure (hardware and software).

* Associated documentation, engineering and support services (classified and unclassified).

* System upgrades, training and leasing to meet worldwide Army requirements.

A final draft of the contract is being worked on and should be ready by the end of July, with a request for proposals coming in the fall and a formal award expected in January 2003, Carroll said.

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