DISA, IBM in pact for collaboration services

The Defense Information Systems Agency has hired IBM Corp. to provide collaboration services under the Net-Centric Enterprise Services program.

Under a $17 million contract announced today, IBM will bring instant messaging, text chat, Web conferencing, whiteboarding and application sharing to the Defense Department.

In addition to this contract, DISA also plans to acquire a second, commercially managed collaboration service to promote competition between the service providers, according to an agency release. Defense users will eventually choose which provider works best for them.

Collaboration is one of nine core services that make up the NCES initiative. The others are applications, discovery, enterprise service management, mediation, messaging, security, storage and user assistance.

Last month, DISA awarded a $1 million contract to Merlin Technical Solutions Inc. of Greenwood Village, Colo., to provide service-oriented architecture governance products for the agency's Net-Enabled Command Capability and Net-Centric Enterprise Services initiatives.

Merlin Technical Solutions is functioning as an integrator under the DISA contract, using SOA management tools developed by Systinet Corp. of Burlington, Mass.

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