Army releases RFP for ITES-Hardware contracts

The Army released a request for proposals late yesterday for its $5 billion, Information Technology Enterprise Solutions-Hardware contracts.

The indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity ITES-2H contracts will run for five years and involve seven contractors, including two small businesses. Army officials determined, based on how companies responded to a recent "Advisory Multi-step" process conducted last month, that 14 vendors were "viable" as prime contractors to compete for work, according to Michelina LaForgia, director of the Army Small Computer Program.

"A lot of them are small businesses," LaForgia added. The Advisory Multi-Step process advises contractors whether the Army thinks they should participate in the ITES-2H solicitation; it doesn't prohibit companies from placing bids, even if service officials did not find them viable.

The hardware that ITES-2H will offer ranges from Unix platforms to Windows servers. It also covers all types of workstations and includes peripherals like printers, hardware accessories and networking equipment. LaForgia said the contracts will be awarded in late November.

ITES-2H is the second bulk-hardware contracting vehicle under the Army program. The first vehicle, ITES Functional Area 1 (FA-1), was valued at $500 million and awarded three years ago to four contractors: Dell, GTSI, Hewlett-Packard and Lockheed Martin.

Contracts for the separate Information Technology Enterprise Solutions-2 Services (ITES-2S) vehicle are still under Government Accountability Office review, following several award protests. GAO has until late October to rule on the protests.

The Army made awards to 11 companies under ITES-2S, which the Army will use to modernize and maintain its IT infrastructure. Services under ITES-2S include business process re-engineering, information systems security, information assurance, IT services, network support, systems operations and maintenance, program management, enterprise design, integration and consolidation, and education and training. The Army, Defense Department and other federal agencies order through ITES-2S by issuing task orders.

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