IBM announced Feb. 18 that the U.S. General Services Administration has awarded the company a $74.4 million contract to modernize the federal government's acquisition and procurement system.
The contract, which will run over an eight-year period, calls for IBM to "modernize the system that federal agencies and their suppliers use to source equipment, supplies, information technology (IT) and telecommunications services," the company said in a news release.
Essentially, "IBM will work with the GSA to design and develop a standard IT architecture that will support the agency's Integrated Acquisition Environment (IAE), which is used by hundreds of thousands of civilian and defense employees, as well as companies doing business with the federal government and other interested parties. The project will include the integration of nine key GSA applications into a single system-based on open-source software-designed to simplify the entire acquisition and procurement process. This integration will allow the GSA to provide a one-stop online resource where federal agencies and suppliers can access information ranging from approved products and services and existing GSA contracts to contractor registrations and certifications, project reports, and federal business opportunities."
"The GSA continues to play a central role in transforming the government's procurement process, making it easier and more cost-effective for federal agencies to acquire products and services," Charles Prow, managing partner of IBM Global Business Services, Public Sector, said in a statement. "IBM is very pleased to support this important initiative."
The modernization effort also involves Northrop Grumman, Vertex Information and Computer Consulting Services (VICCS) and Collins Consulting as subcontractors. The project is "part of an ongoing effort by the GSA to ... improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance the quality and accessibility of services to federal clients. By streamlining and consolidating current IAE applications into the new standard architecture, the GSA could realize significant operating cost savings," the IBM release said.