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FCW : October 2016
ITES-3H FOCUSES ON INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS HE ARMY’S ITES-Enterprise Hardware Solutions contract began life humbly enough in 2003. It was originally a component of an $800 million contract vehicle to support the Army Infostructure Transformation program. The ITES contract is now in its third itera- tion—a sprawling $5 billion contract that is the principal resource for the Army’s IT system needs. ITES-3H, awarded in February 2016, is the vehicle through which the Army and other government agencies buy a wide range of commercial Unix and non-Unix servers, desktop computers, notebooks, workstations and the printers and other peripherals that go along with them. It’s a source for storage systems and networking products as well. The five-year ID/IQ contract also includes software and services that make purchases end-to-end solutions that will integrate seam- lessly into the Joint Information Environment (JIE), which the Army considers fundamental to its future warfighting goals. According to its statement of work, ITES-3H requires delivery of a “well-rounded, total solution that uses standard inter faces that can be interconnected in unlimited configurations to satisfy multiple user requirements.” As a mandated resource for Army buyers, it’s also taking on other IT products such as multifunctional devices (MFD), which up to now have had their own ID/ IQ contract. Beginning Nov. 1, 2016, all MFD requirements will be fulfilled through ITES-3H, says the Army. As Army CHESS is the mandatory source for commercial information technology hardware and software purchases, ITES-2H was a success- ful contract within the Army, says Kathy Gaston, Program Manager for DOD contracts at CDW-G. That success will likely continue with ITES-3H. CDW-G, an incumbent on ITES-2H, and was one of the 17 awardees in the February ITES-3H announcement. “Holding ITES-3H is imperative in order to be relevant to the (Army) customer base,” she says. “Other agencies having the ability to order off the ITES contract again makes it even more attractive. Non-Army agencies can achieve savings for their IT procurements with the ease of use of 3H.” That popularity also contributed to a raft of protests that slowed the eventual award of ITES-3H. When ITES-2H was awarded in 2007, it was intended to be a five-year program. ITES-2H was extended four times, eventually closed off to all buyers except those from the Army as it reached its initial spend limit. By the end of its performance period in June 2016, it had posted business worth slightly less than $7.5 billion, more than $1 billion over its initial order ceiling. The initial RFP for ITES-3H, pub- lished more than four years ago, called for a slightly bigger contract of eight awards. That’s two more than for ITES-2H, and they were to be split equally between large and small businesses. In the end, 17 companies were awarded con- tracts, with nine going to small busi- nesses. One benefit of additional awards is increased competition, which should be good for ITES-3H customers. On the other hand, whether or not non-Army buyers come back to the contract in the numbers with which they went to ITES-2H is an open question. “Prior to ITES-2H authorized users being restricted to Army only, approximately 15 percent of CDWG’s 2H orders were from non- Army customers,” says Gaston. “Hopefully, we’ll see some of that business coming back to ITES-3H, but that depends on changes in contracting that have occurred since non-Army agencies were permitted to use 2H. Some non-Army agencies are now required to use their own mandatory contracts.” As with other contracts, ITES-3H has the capability and flexibility to add new products and new technologies as needed, and will undoubtedly be tested over the next few years. As with other government organizations, the CDW-G DELIVERS The Army ITES-3H contract continues to evolve to keep pace with technological trends. SPONSORED CONTENT ITES-3H has the capability and flexibility to add new products and new technologies as needed, and will undoubtedly be tested over the next few years.
September 30, 2016
November and December 2016