Marines ink $5.5 million order for 2,500 notebooks

Marines ink $5.5 million order for 2,500 notebooks

By Bill Murray

GCN Staff

Marine Corps officials recently bought 2,500 notebook PCs through a $5.5 million delivery order.

Micron Electronics Inc. of Nampa, Idaho, is shipping its Transport Trek II notebook PCs to 275 worldwide locations, said Al Cruz, the Marines' assistant program manager for common computer resources at Quantico, Va.

The Marines will receive 600-MHz Pentium III Transport Trek IIs that run Microsoft Windows 98 and have 128M of RAM, 12G hard drives, 56-Kbps modems, 24X CD-ROM drives, 10/100-Mbps network interface cards and carrying cases, said Todd A. Smith, a Micron spokesman.

Micron won the delivery order over three other vendors that hold blanket purchasing agreements with the Marine Corps Systems Command: Compaq Computer Corp. reseller CompUSA Inc. of Dallas, Dell Computer Corp. and IBM Corp. reseller McBride and Associates Inc. of Albuquerque, N.M., officials said.

The Corps make quarterly PC and server purchases through BPAs they negotiated last year, said Lt. Col. Matthew Ochs, deputy program manager for information technology for command, control, communications, computers and intelligence at Quantico [GCN, March 29, 1999, Page 32].

The service has purchased 30,000 PCs through the BPAs since Oct. 1.

'In my opinion, it's been nothing but successful,' Ochs said of the centralized procurement strategies. Corps officials get better quality machines for lower prices through the purchases, and the Marines have better asset tracking capabilities through the BPAs' provisions, he said.

Micron won the delivery order in part because it offered next-day replacement notebook PCs for machines that fail, with the same serial number on the replacement PC for better asset tracking, said Tony Colangelo, business development director for Micron's government subsidiary. The Transport Trek II features software that can diagnose problems with the PC and fix some glitches, he said.

The Marines will also receive at least a year of online training from Micron through the delivery order, Colangelo said.

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