Air Force group sets five BPAs for networking products

Air Force group sets five BPAs for networking products

SSG takes less than two months to negotiate agreements, which have estimated value of $140 million

By Bill Murray

GCN Staff

Continuing its push to create specialized buying vehicles, the Air Force Standard Systems Group recently negotiated five two-year blanket purchasing agreements for networking products.

Federal Data Corp. of Bethesda, Md.; Force 3 Inc. of Crofton, Md.; Government Technology Services Inc. of Chantilly, Va.; Unisys Corp.; and World Wide Technology Inc. of St. Louis received the BPAs. SSG negotiated the contracts, which have a total estimated value of $140 million, under the Air Force's Information Technology Tools program.

Vendors submitted bids in November, and SSG took less than two months to negotiate the BPAs, which are open to all Defense Department agencies.

Two of the vendors, Force 3 and World Wide Technology, are 8(a) vendors. The Air Force let bidders team with vendors that were not on their General Services Administration Information Technology Schedule contracts, which gave smaller companies a better chance of participating, said James Dunn, vice president of business development at GTSI.

Through its federal Web site, Unisys will sell networking products from Cabletron Systems Inc. of Rochester, N.H.; Cisco Systems Inc. of San Jose, Calif.; 3Com Corp. of Santa Clara, Calif.; and Transition Networks Inc. of Minneapolis, said Mark Root, a company spokesman. Unisys will ship products within two days of receiving an order, he said.

GTSI will sell the wares of 20 vendors, which account for 22,000 products. The networking BPA is the third BPA the company has negotiated with SSG at the Gunter Annex of Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.

Besides products from Cisco, 3Com and Lucent Technologies Inc. of Murray Hill, N.J., GTSI also will sell firewall and intrusion detection software from Axent Technologies Inc. of Rockville, Md.; Network Associates Inc. of Santa Clara; and V-One Corp. of Germantown, Md.

Force 3 will sell products from Alcatel Internetworking of France, Cisco, Compaq Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., Extreme Networks Inc. of Cupertino, Calif., Marconi PLC of London and Nbase-Xyplex Inc. of Littleton, Mass.

Some of the new manufacturers, such as Extreme and Foundry Networks Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., were more aggressive in their proposals than more established companies, said Gary Brown, Force 3's vice president of sales. 'Foundry is a leader in Gigabit Ethernet, and we certainly intend to pursue that market.'

The Air Force systems buying organization has posted information about the networking BPAs on the Web.

More details are available at www.web1.ssg.gunter.af.mil/CIT-PAD.

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