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By GCN Staff

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No brand names...unless it's Google

I'm frankly not sure where I stand on the "no-brand-names" requirement the Office of Management and Budget has been pushing on agencies. Basically, OMB doesn't want agencies specifying technology brands in their requests for proposals. Specifically, chip-maker Advanced Micro Devices was tired of reading solicitations that asked for Intel processors and, perhaps justifiably, made a substantial fuss. (Last year, when the Office of Federal Procurement Policy issued its first no-no memo on the topic, GCN found more than 109,000 instances of agencies looking for Intel Pentium processors on FedBizOpps.gov.)

If I'm buying a new PC for home, or 100 new PCs for my organization, and I know I like, say AMD's Opteron processors, with their direct connect and hyper transport technologies, I think I should be able to ask the guy at CompUSA or CDW-G to show me all their AMD Opteron-based systems. But I understand we're talking about spending other people's money--lots of it--when it comes to government IT, so I tend to side with OMB.

Which is the long way of saying some of us at GCN were bemused to see a solicitation posted Tuesday on FedBizOpps. It appears the Navy Warfare Development Command wants an enterprise search appliance, capable of handling 500,000 documents with two years of support plus updates. But the command doesn't want just any search appliance, such as the Thunderstone Search Appliance, which they could buy off GSA's Schedule 70. According to the request for quote, it's looking for "Quantity (1): Google Search Appliance GB-1001."

Quotes are due August 2.

No biggie? It's just a one-off? And hey, OMB was thinking of $25,000+ procurements when it issued its no-brand-names guidance.

But according to Google itself, an appliance that searches 500,000 documents starts at $30,000.

An e-mail sent to the contracting officer asking how the Navy's Google RFC fits into the no-brand-names framework was not immediately answered. We'll keep you posted.

Posted by Brad Grimes

Posted by Brad Grimes, Joab Jackson on Jul 27, 2006 at 9:39 AM


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