Antivirus SmartBuy deals in final negotiations

General Services Administration officials leading the enterprise software licensing program known as SmartBuy expect to have in place by the end of the month at least the first of five governmentwide deals with antivirus vendors.

Tom Kireilis, SmartBuy senior program manager, said yesterday that his office is evaluating proposals from five major vendors that serve the agencies.

GSA last fall announced on that they were negotiating with Computer Associates International Inc., McAfee Inc. of Santa Clara, Calif., Sophos AntiVirus Inc. of Wakefield, Mass., Symantec Corp. and Trend Micro Inc. of Cupertino, Calif.

'There are about 22 publishers of antivirus software, and the government buys five main ones,' Kireilis said during a panel discussion at the FOSE trade show in Washington sponsored by PostNewsweek Tech Media, parent company of Government Computer News. 'Antivirus is the first of a number of market spaces we are going to tackle over the next year. We are doing an analysis and then will talk to the companies in those spaces.'

GSA, with the help of the Defense Department, has signed six agreements so far with companies including Oracle Corp., Novell Inc. and ESRI of Redlands, Calif.

Kireilis said after GSA completes the deals with the antivirus vendors, geographic information system and database management system vendors are next on the SmartBuy agenda.

'We have ESRI and Oracle in the fold, and it is not to the government's advantage to only have those two under SmartBuy,' he said. 'We want to make the vehicle available to all vendors in that space because competition is good.'

Kireilis added that he is receiving less resistance from vendors than in previous years, but he still sometimes must point out that companies who do not want to get on SmartBuy likely 'will lose market share' in the long run.


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