2 vendors offer novel 2000 deal
- By Florence Olsen
- Jul 28, 1997
The financing plan, from DynCorp and Siemens Pyramid Information Systems Inc.,
leverages procurement reforms that give agencies more flexibility in spending operations
and maintenance funds for hardware, software and services, the vendors said.
DynCorp and Siemens Pyramid officials said the Army, Air Force and Defense Information
Agency are evaluating their systems to see which ones are suitable for rehosting under
the fixed-price, fixed-time program.
"We feel very confident that we can meet a 12- to 15-month time frame for
them," said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. John S. Fairfield, president of business
development for Air Force programs at DynCorp of Reston, Va.
The two companies will use their factory tools and software expertise to move mainframe
applications onto Siemens' Pyramid servers running Reliant Unix, which carries the Open
Group Ltd.'s X/Open Unix 95 brand.
The target operating system environment complies with the Defense Information
Infrastructure Common Operating Environment, Siemens Pyramid officials said.
The automated rehosting factory uses Siemens Pyramid utilities and the Platinum
Transcentury tool set from Platinum Technology Inc. of Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. DynCorp
provides an off-site, secure data center for the rehosting and year 2000 conversions.
To take advantage of the DynCorp-Siemens Pyramid plan, agencies would go through the
contractors' General Services Administration schedule contracts, which could be used for
the lease-to-purchase arrangement.
"There've been so many changes in acquisition that a lot of folks don't realize
they can do this," said Jonathan Butler, a marketing consultant for Siemens Pyramid,
a $68 billion corporation with U.S. offices in San Jose, Calif.
Siemens Pyramid has set aside "several hundred million dollars" in its credit
corporation to accept deferred payments for its hardware, Butler said.
Claude Garmon, director of GSA's Federal Acquisition Services for Technology program,
said he was not familiar with the companies' proposal. "Any new concept that has the
far-reaching implications this one has must be reviewed as a matter of course by our
policy and our legal office," Garmon said.
Fairfield, former Air Force deputy chief of staff for communications and information,
and two other retired generals now at DynCorp have spearheaded the effort to finance year
2000 and DII COE readiness, Butler said.
For the 12 to 18 months it will take DynCorp and Siemens Pyramid to complete the
rehosting and make year 2000 fixes, an agency would continue to pay maintenance costs on
its mainframe applications.
When the project was completed, the agency would shut down its mainframes and redirect
those maintenance funds into payments for the rehosting and year 2000 conversion.
Of the government's multibillion IT budget, the percentage earmarked for operations and
maintenance typically runs as high as 65 percent, leaving a smaller portion for enhancing
older applications, developing new ones and preparing systems for the century change.