Army program records brisk PC sales at end of fiscal '99

Army program records brisk PC sales at end of fiscal '99

By Bill Murray

GCN Staff

Even as they define user requirements for enterprise servers and network management software, Army Small Computer Program officials report that PC sales were brisk at the end of the fiscal 1999 buying season.

SCP officials process many delivery orders at the end of fiscal years, when many organizations have funds available. They also know Army organizations are free to purchase from other contracts, so they try to provide good service to attract buyers.

The Army has good demand for Pentium III PCs, said Lynda Cook, PC-3 product leader at the Army Small Computer Program at Fort Monmouth, N.J. The Pentium IIs 'won't be around much longer,' she said.

Some Army organizations continued to order Pentium IIs, including the Army forces in Korea. They ordered 400 Hewlett-Packard Co. PCs from Government Technology Services Inc. of Chantilly, Va., for $400,000 and 400 Compaq Computer Corp. PCs from International Technology Corp. of McLean, Va., also for $400,000, she said.

The Army in Korea has been 'very loyal to SCP contracts,' Cook said, and buyers particularly like the five-year on-site worldwide warranty that is a standard feature of the Army PC contracts.

Collection time

The Army Portable-3 contract raked in $1.5 million in sales from July 23 to Sept. 9, said Steve Miller, an SCP product leader. GTSI is primarily selling products from Panasonic Personal Computer Co. of Secaucus, N.J., while Intelligent Decisions Inc. of Chantilly, Va., is selling Compaq notebook PCs through its contract.

Infrastructure Solutions 1 (IS-1), which started in April, racked up $7 million in sales through early September, said Dee Wardle, an SCP product leader. Telos Corp. of Ashburn, Va., holds the single-award, five-year indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract, which is a follow-on to Telos' Small Multiuser Computer II contract.

With an expanded scope, IS-1 includes PCs, which agencies can buy if they bought a server with manageability features on SMC-II or IS-1, Wardle said. IS-1 also features more service purchase options'one can buy services by the hour, week or month, she said, and Telos can also provide service technicians who have high-level security clearances. 'That's been a popular feature' in the contract's first several months, she said.

Telos is supplying HP PCs and servers and networking products from Cisco Systems Inc. of San Jose, Calif., through IS-1. The contract has been popular in Army organizations in Germany and Korea.

'The prices are good, and they like the five-year, on-site warranty,' Wardle said. Buyers can order using IMPAC cards, via SCP's Web site and through regular purchase orders. The purchase orders can be sent via e-mail, fax and mail, she said.

The Enhanced Technology 1 blanket purchasing agreement is doing 'blockbuster' sales this year; sales increased from $4 million in 1998 to more than $13 million last year, Miller said. ET-1 features monochrome and color printers and plotters from HP, as well as hard drive, monitor, RAM and software upgrades for previous SCP contracts. GTSI and Comark Federal Systems of Chantilly, Va., had split the ET-1 sales nearly evenly.

'The vendors have been pushing their vehicles, and more people are becoming aware' of ET-1, Miller said.

Comark's sales have included consolidated Army buys of $2.7 million worth of electronic forms and workflow software from JetForm Corp. of Ottawa, Miller said. If SCP officials find that there are enough Trade Agreement Act-compliant vendors to make it worthwhile, they may add motherboards and processors to ET-1, he said.

By April 21, the Army will award the Maxis, Minis and Databases 1 (MMAD-1) contract, an IDIQ with a two-year base period and three one-year options, according to SCP's Web site, at www.pmscp.monmouth.army.mil. MMAD-1 will feature enterprise servers and workstations, including 64-bit Unix servers, according to the Web site. The contract will be open to Defense Department and civilian agencies.

MMAD-1 will include hardware, software, multiple database systems and multiuser operating systems. The contract will blend what is offered on the Navy's Database Machines-1 and Super Minicomputer II contracts. The Communications-Electronics Command Acquisition Center at Fort Monmouth will make the contract awards, said Yvonne Jackson, SCP product manager.

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