NETCENTS-2 has become more than just a way to procure network-centric products at competitive prices. Because of the way it is structured, it is also known for being flexible and fast.

This contract format is the follow-up to the successful NETCENTS contract. It’s required for the Air Force and available to other agencies. It focuses on products in specific areas. Through this contract vehicle, agencies can buy a variety of networking equipment, and associated software, delivery, warranty, and maintenance.

This is not, however, the contract through which to procure desktop or laptop computers, printers or cell phones. Those items are best purchased through competitive commodity buys.

According to the Air Force, the goal of the products portion of NETCENTS-2 is to provide a full range of products to support net-centric operations and missions. It is also designed to support the Defense Department’s goals related to Joint Vision 2020.

Unlike other contract vehicles, in which products are often listed in a catalog and agencies must buy from that catalog, the scope of the products available through NETCENTS-2 are much broader. Agencies specify the product and capability requirements and NETCENTS-2 products vendors can compete or bid for every order. This helps the government customers reap the benefits of competition and price breaks that usually occur at the end of each product year or cycle, says Robert Smothers, Enterprise Services Branch Chief.

The products available through NETCENTS-2 include:

Network Equipment: This category includes everything from network devices and appliances to switches, hubs, gateways, routers, firewalls, bridges, repeaters, wireless networking devices and microwave radios. It also includes satellite communications terminals, adapters, all associated cabling, interface cards, multiplexers, VoIP, modems, cabinets, converters, network security appliances and Global Positioning System timing systems.

Servers/Storage: This category includes all types of servers (tower, rack-mount and blade), virtually all operating systems used with servers, Network Attached Storage (NAS), Storage Area Networking (SAN) devices, hard drive/tape drive array, external hard drives, optical drives, CD, DVD, tape storage media and portable storage devices.

Multimedia: This includes everything related to multimedia, from standalone displays and DVD players to video teleconferencing equipment, text and audio devices, still image devices, animation, video and interactive media.

Packaged software: This category includes COTS software sold independent of hardware, yet related to net-centric mission areas. It also includes storage, database, messaging, backup and recovery, archiving, compliance, provisioning, patch management, asset management, data visualization, business analytics, information assurance and development tools, and virtualization software management.

Identity Management/Biometric Hardware and Associated Software: This includes electronic fingerprint images, iris images, facial recognition, hand geometry, speaker recognition, multi-modal biometric jump kit, smart card readers, fingerprint readers, palm vein authentication and PKI/CAC devices.

Peripherals: This broad category includes a host of items including:

  • processors with different clock rates
  • memory modules and upgrades
  • video, network interface adapter, and memory cards
  • cabling and power supplies
  • processor/motherboard upgrades
  • faxes, printers and scanners
  • web, network and wireless cameras
  • switches, keyboards, mice, computer speakers, replicators
  • replication equipment
  • standard and touchscreen monitors