Air Force taps four vendors for workstation BPA

Air Force taps four vendors for workstation BPA

By Bill Murray

GCN Staff

The Air Force last month negotiated four blanket purchasing agreements for high-end workstations.

The Standard Systems Group at the Gunter Annex of Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., set deals with Compaq Computer Corp., GTSI Corp. of Chantilly, Va., Logicon Inc. of Herndon, Va., and World Wide Technology Inc. of St. Louis, said Stephen Sigler, acquisitions chief for SSG's Commercial Information Technology Product Area Directorate.

Buyers will receive discounts ranging from 9 percent to 40 percent off the companies' General Services Administration schedule pricing, said Teresa Harris, information technology tools contracting officer at SSG. The BPAs include workstations from Compaq, Gateway Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc.

Logicon is selling IBM workstations that run IBM AIX and Microsoft Windows NT, and Gateway systems running NT and Linux workstations from VA Linux Systems Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., said Sharon Payne, a Logicon marketing manager.

From GTSI, agencies can buy single- and dual-processor HP Enterprise systems running HP-UX, said Jim Dunn, the company's vice president of business development. GTSI is also selling IBM IntelliStations with single and dual Pentium III and Pentium III Xeon processors.

Compaq is selling Alpha workstations running Tru 64 Unix and Pentium machines running Windows 2000 or Linux. The systems comply with the Defense Information Systems Agency's Common Operating Environment specifications, said Tom Simmons, director of federal sales.

Cheaper and easier

The BPAs will replace indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts awarded in March 1996 to Sun Microsystems and Hughes Data Systems of Irvine, Calif. Those contracts expire next year.

SSG's Harris called BPAs 'the most appropriate acquisition approach' for workstations, in part because it costs less to negotiate BPAs than a requirements-based IDIQ contract, and it's generally easier to add new products.

SSG issued its bid information in mid-March. The BPAs, which are open to buyers governmentwide, have a two-year base period with three one-year options. Their combined value is $140 million.

SSG officials next plan to negotiate BPAs for supplies and accessories such as hard drive upgrades, monitors, memory and assistive equipment for disabled users.

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