The Department of Defense has significantly reworked its massive next-gen office project by reversing plans to hand the work over to a single systems integrator and break it up into smaller batches.
Defense has spent the past six years modernizing its office environment to eliminate the need for personnel to use separate PCs to connect to different networks and to better support the realization of their future technological vision.
It partnered with Thales in 2012 for a 1,200-seat pilot of its proposed new model, but the project did not progress due to what Defense insiders called an ill-defined tender for work, as well as an underestimation of the funds required to complete the project.
The initiative includes the deployment of thin client workstations to the organization’s 116,000 workstations so that staff can access both “secret” and “restricted” networks from one screen. It also involves an upgrade to Windows 7 and Office 2010.
Defense initially awarded the contract to five vendors on its exclusive AMSPA panel, asking Accenture, CSC, IBM, HP and BAE Systems to advocate to become the prime contractor for the desktop redesign.
However, iTnews understands that vendors shrank from the risk of the massive project, and Defense was unable to name a single systems integrator that they considered to be good value for money.
This meant that the agency was forced to rethink its approach to the project and come up with a proposal that it would act as the project manager, while the vendors took on separate slices of the work.
IBM, Accenture, HP, Fujitsu, Lockheed Martin and PriceWaterhouseCoopers have now been tasked with delivering work packages that showcase their particular strengths.
The Defense declined to specify the work each would undertake.
“Service providers have been identified to deliver project components, based on demonstrated experience and a track record of success in implementing relevant initiatives in the defense environment,” said a spokesperson.
He also declined to provide the overall cost of the project or the values of individual contracts. The department received $ 500 million over the next ten years in the federal government’s white paper for this effort.
However, according to the government tendering website, Lockheed Martin was awarded a $ 148 million contract for its work on the end-user IT deal.
Accenture got a $ 90 million deal and Fujitsu got $ 9 million for its work. HP was awarded a $ 42 million contract. All contracts are for two years.
The ministry also declined to detail the technology it had chosen for the new environment.
It only said it would include a “mix of traditional heavy clients, thin clients and mobility solutions” as well as a “contemporary desktop operating system and office productivity suite.” The ministry had previously reported a plan to upgrade to Windows 7.
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