Commerce makes plan to outsource PC work

Commerce makes plan to outsource PC work

Alan Balutis

By Frank Tiboni

GCN Staff

The Commerce Department has jumped on the seat management bandwagon.

Commerce plans to let a vendor manage 800 to 1,200 PCs at its headquarters and at small bureaus in the Herbert C. Hoover Building, said Alan Balutis, Commerce deputy chief information officer.

'I think seat management offers a tremendous approach to improve customer service,' Balutis said. 'It also lets you move to a set standard of hardware and software.'

Commerce plans to use one of the existing seat management contracts, possibly contracts awarded under the General Services Administration's Seat Management Program or the Outsourcing the Desktop Initiative for NASA.

Equal footing

The department's 14 bureaus have disparate technology; seat management will help put some of them on a level playing field, he said. It will also cut costs and improve customer service, Balutis said.

Commerce has completed a basic seat management review, receiving CIO Roger Baker's support for the project. The department will bring in a contractor next month to conduct a more thorough survey of the department's PC operations, Balutis said.

Commerce wants to issue a request for proposals by Sept. 30, but the RFP release will hinge on how quickly the department receives the study, he said.

Through seat management efforts, agencies turn over their PC operations to vendors. GSA and NASA have taken the lead in establishing governmentwide seat management contracts.

GSA is the first agency to use its Seat Management Program.

In January, GSA negotiated a $114 million Seat Management task order for Litton PRC to run PCs at GSA headquarters in Washington and the Federal Technology Service offices in Fairfax, Va., and Falls Church, Va. [GCN, Jan. 11, Page 1].

Center awards

NASA in October awarded a $154.9 million task order under ODIN to OAO Corp. of Greenbelt, Md., to run PC operations at the Johnson, Kennedy and Stennis space centers, and the Marshall Space Flight Center.

The agency also awarded a $19.6 million ODIN order to RMS Information Systems Inc. of Vienna, Va., to take over Goddard Space Flight Center's PC operations [GCN, Nov. 9, 1998, Page 1].

The Treasury Department last year began a seat management project at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and has issued a task order for a department pilot under the GSA program [GCN, March 29, Page 9].

The Interior Department may also try seat management at its headquarters with the goal of reducing the burden of maintaining the department's PCs, Interior CIO Daryl White said [GCN, April 5, Page 11]

'The contractor will be reviewing total cost of ownership,' Balutis said. 'It will be a fairly short-term study.'

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