GCN: Why do you think agencies
are moving away from clone PCs, or what you call white boxes?
NEWGAARD: You see it on many of the procurements coming outclearly theres
an intent. Through the input stage, agencies either use guidelines or they dont.
The residual value of a Compaq product in the marketplace has important ramifications
for seat management and leasing. You get a better return on your investment.
GCN: Is Windows NT scalable
enough and stable enough to satisfy mission-critical needs within federal agencies?
NEWGAARD: I do not know the answer to that. That would be better addressed to Microsoft
GCN: But the products and
services that you now offer let you move beyond NT into Unix and other areas, right?
NEWGAARD: The DEC legacy systems have had a substantial penetration in agencies
GCN: Do you have any sense of
how your company will fare in Air Force PC buys?
NEWGAARD: We have a group of people focused on it, and weve been giving our input
to [the Air Forces Standard Systems Group] about best practices that we see
displayed both commercially and federally.
We hope that Compaq will be in a position to provide support for our products.
GCN: Where do you see the trends
in procurement reform going over the next two years? Do you think things will swing back
closer to where they were two years ago?
NEWGAARD: Where do you think things were two years ago, as a reference point?
GCN: Before the maximum ordering
limits were removed, there wasnt as much business going through General Services
Administration schedule contracts. More of it was going through IDIQ contracts.
NEWGAARD: I think theres a lot of benefit in procurement reform for both the
customer and the contractor. It potentially reduces a lot of bidding and proposal costs
that were created years ago by the procurement system.
Reform also presents some unique marketing requirements, in that the decision-making
authority has been pushed down into the government organizations. It creates unique
support requirements for the government that they werent used to when they were
deploying common systems.
Thats going to have to continue to be flushed out as we move through the next
fiscal year or two, to receive the financial benefits given the reduction in the
government work force.
A lot of the increase that you see on GSA schedule business is just a shifting, if you
will, from the IDIQ world. That is not too terribly bad in any sense. It allows for a
quicker technology refreshfrom what we see.
GCN: Is your business being
affected either positively or negatively by agencies year 2000 readiness work? Are
agencies ordering more or fewer machines?
NEWGAARD: Its difficult to ferret out whether it is in response to year 2000 or
to planned technology turns. Certainly weve seen a lot of attention given to 2000
upgrades for desktop and server systems to ensure readiness.
Were helping our customers identify any systems that we need to work with them
GCN: Do most agencies have a
lifecycle plan for their PCs and servers?
NEWGAARD: I believe they do. If you check most agencies information technology
Web sites, they have a pretty detailed plan of public record.
For example, I believe chief information officer Gloria Parker has one up for the
Housing and Urban Development Department.
Theyre all aggressively publishing those documents, so the public can see
whats going on, as well as their industry partners.
GCN: Did you bid on both Army
PC-3 and Portable-3 directly?
NEWGAARD: I can tell you, no, were not bidding directly. [Intellisys Technology
Corp. of Fairfax, Va., bid Compaq products and won a share of PC-3.]
GCN: How important is it to you
to win an IDIQ contract like that?
NEWGAARD: We have a long legacy of supplying on IDIQ contracts, particularly to the
Army. Its important that we work with the government in solving its IT needs.