HP, other vendors sign $500M deal with Army

FRAMINGHAM (10/02/2003) - Four technology vendors have signed a contract worth a combined maximum value of US$500 million over seven years that gives them the right to sell enterprise technology to the U.S. Army.

The contract, which became effective Wednesday, was awarded to Hewlett-Packard Co., Dell Inc., Lockheed Martin Corp. and government reseller GTSI Corp. in Chantilly, Va., according to a statement from HP.

The agreement allows organizations across the Army to purchase commercial servers, workstations, desktops, notebooks, storage systems, networking equipment, operating systems and commercial software applications, peripherals, and related IT services from the vendors.

Bruce Klein, vice president of HP Federal, said the Army is refocusing its IT vision and is looking to solve various enterprise problems through a single contract.

According to Klein, the Army has in the past used individual contracts to purchase technology, with one contract for PCs, another for low-end servers, another for higher-end servers and others for storage and even software and services.

"This is an attempt to consolidate all of those contracts into one contract ... so we can go in there and help them solve their complete mission-critical problems, and they can buy off one contract vehicle instead of multiple ones," Klein said.

He said the Army wants to move to a more agile IT operation and a concept called Network Centric Warfare. The contract is a key part of the Army's high-profile Army Knowledge Management transformation plan, aimed at moving toward a network-centric, knowledge-based force, he said.

With the new pact, the Army has a contract under which it can buy all the infrastructure and services it needs. "They've realized they need to take more of an enterprise look at the organization to ... make sure they have the ability to buy enterprise solutions that include the complete suite of infrastructure -- from PCs to servers to storage to software," he said.

Klein said the move will save the Army both time and money because it will no longer gave to process separate purchase orders for different systems. "That's all time and money," he said.

Officials at the Army couldn't be reached for comment.

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