AID awards contracts for global PC upgrades

The Agency for International Development last month awarded three companies contracts
worth $50 million in total to upgrade AID’s desktop systems around the globe.


Government Technology Solutions Inc. of Placerville, Calif., Vanstar Government Systems
Inc. of Fairfax, Va., and World Wide Technology Inc. of St. Louis will supply hardware and
software for the upgrade, said John Streufert, the agency’s IRM director.


“We’re putting in a year 2000 infrastructure because the existing automation
software is not Y2K-compliant,” Streufert said.


Under the indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts, AID will buy new PCs and
peripherals, including printers, optical character recognition scanners and network
adapters. The PCs will come with Microsoft Windows 95, which AID has the option of
upgrading to Windows 98.


The three vendors will supply different brands of products: Government Technology
Solutions will sell Hewlett-Packard Co. hardware, Vanstar will sell IBM Corp. hardware and
World Wide Technology will sell Compaq Computer Corp. hardware.


AID also is negotiating a fourth contract with Dell Computer Corp. A deal likely will
be ironed out by the end of the month, Streufert said.


Through the upgrade, AID plans to modernize 79 offices in Africa, Asia, North and South
America and Europe. The project will take several months, Streufert said.


AID offices will order products online via the vendors’ Web sites.


“We needed to provide an economic solution that was responsive to the special
needs of our agency offices in developing countries, which work under the most difficult
of conditions,” Streufert said.


AID will benefit greatly from the upgrade, Government Technology Solutions president
Robert Deitz said.


The agency now uses a variety of makers’ 486s, including Dell and other
IBM-compatible PCs running Windows 3.1, Deitz said.   

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