GSA Releases Governmentwide Seat Management Services Contract RFP
October 9, 1997
Contact: Bill Bearden
Washington, DC -- The U.S. General Services Administration has announced the release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a governmentwide Seat Management Services Contract which is intended to give government agencies a new way of acquiring and managing the full spectrum of desktop computing resources.
GSA's Federal Technology Service, Information Technology Integration office intends to acquire desktop computing as a unified service encompassing the management, operation, and maintenance of the desktop, peripherals, and its associated network infrastructure. Seat Management Services will support general purpose, scientific and engineering, and mixed environments and will be available to all Federal agencies -- civilian and military. Seat Management Services will include all the essential components and resources to service and maintain the desktop computing environment to include COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) hardware and software services. These services include the upgrade of technology to meet client requirements for desktop computing support.
In announcing the RFP, Charles Self, assistant commissioner for ITI said, "Desktop computing can be delivered more effectively and efficiently through outsourcing of the full desktop. The potential for saving millions of dollars is enormous."
Under the Seat Management concept, the government will acquire integrated services and the required components to include general purpose desktop computers, servers, and associated peripherals; high performance computational systems and associated peripherals; local area and wide area network capabilities; COTS software; help desk services; maintenance; design and installation; and training.
GSA's objectives are to acquire quality desktop computing services as a utility in an integrated fashion through a single source and, to achieve cost savings based on the private sector's ability to attain and manage assets.
Preceding the solicitation, the Seat Management Program Office held discussions with more than 30 companies, including many small businesses, and worked with the vendor community in crafting a solicitation. The services mimic industry practices for providing Seat Management in an integrated fashion which are delivered as a pure service. This will be a multiple award, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract.
"Seat Management is a revolutionary approach for acquiring desktop computing," said Program Manager Wanda Smith. "The Seat Management concept has been tried, tested, and accepted in the private sector. The challenge is to infuse industry practices within the government to achieve the full life cycle benefit of Seat Management."
GSA is undertaking this governmentwide Seat Management initiative because:
Traditional desktop support is fragmented with different sources for hardware/software, integration, management, help desk, maintenance;
The desktop is transitioning from a simple individual work station to a mission critical information and communications tool;
Technology is changing so rapidly it is difficult to keep all key components current simultaneously;
Desktop support is becoming more difficult due to newer sophisticated and complex technologies;
Within the government, there is limited access to expertise needed to support new technological environments;
Costs of asset ownership and maintenance are rising and difficult to control;
Measurable returns on information technology investments are not easily defined;
The proliferation of vendors and vendor products make it difficult to establish and maintain a common operating environment;
Network security and reliability are poor;
Packaged tools and software rarely match mission requirements; and
Increasing levels of lost productivity are occurring as desktop management responsibility is forced back to desktop users.
Under the Seat Management concept, government users will achieve cost savings by moving to a more common operating environment within an organization; reducing dependencies on old technology; migrating from expensive labor-intensive, on-site support to remote support using state-of-the-industry automated tools; and by becoming a user rather than an owner of hardware and software.
This contract is evolutionary in nature and may incorporate advances in technology in order to reduce costs, increase efficiency and performance, or for other reasons advantageous to the government. Evolving standards such as changes in technology, protocols, and standard software will be incorporated into the contract as they impact desktop computing environments.
The RFP will be released in two phases. Vendor technical responses to the Phase 1 RFP are due November 3, 1997. Vendor technical and price responses to the Phase 2 RFP are due approximately 45 days after Phase 2 RFP release. ITI plans to award the contract in March 1998. This multi-year effort has the potential of being a multi-billion-dollar contract.
A pre-proposal conference is planned. For additional information, please contact Mary Doherty, Contracting Officer on (703) 756-4170. The solicitation is available via the Internet (at http://www.gsa.gov/iti).
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