Army finalizing RFPs for big dollar multiple-award contracts

Thomas Neff

The Army plans on releasing two requests for proposals for the third iterations of its Information Technology Enterprise Solutions Services and Army Desktop and Mobile Computing 3 contracts by early January.

The multi-billion dollar, multiple-award indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contracts will target a wide range of products and services from printer setup services at single bases, to global enterprise class storage anywhere Army service members are stationed.

ITES3S will operate for nine years and have a ceiling of $20 billion with a specific target for awarding contracts to 14 small businesses along with a host of large businesses. ADMC3 will run for 10 years with $5 billion ceiling, said Tom Neff, the project director at CHESS, on In Depth with Francis Rose,

The new contracts are being sponsored by Computer Hardware and Enterprise Software Solutions (CHESS) at the Program Executive Officer  Enterprise Information Systems.

Neff said that trends for the new crop of proposals  likely will center around migrating Army applications to the cloud, mobility and cybersecurity.

“We’ve tried to emphasize corporate experience around those [topics],” Neff said. “We’re trying to attract the vendor community to propose teams that have demonstrated some experience … around cyber, around cloud, big data analytics and not just the traditional premise delivery of highly qualified people that are working on an installation.”

One target area of vendors Neff said he’d like to see apply for contracts are those in specialized markets with products that offer major support on the battlefield.

“There’s a great uptick in the Army wanting tablets — particularly semi-ruggedized tablets … that they can take out with them to the motor pool, or out for a field exercise and not worry about it being damaged beyond the point of use,” Neff said. “Some great small businesses that make some fairly niche products around ruggedized laptops … have carved out good relations with their customers and delivering great solutions at reasonable prices and supporting them when there’s problems with the equipment.”

With specific award targets in mind, CHESS wants to make sure small businesses have a chance to apply and win the upcoming contracts.

“A lot of times large companies are the incumbents when it comes time to re-compete something. If the buyer is not willing to be transparent with potential offers out there, it will be very difficult for them to dislodge an incumbent,” Neff said.

He added that vendors, Army engineers and small businesses all help CHESS provide the best services available to those in the military.
“If they weren’t performing, frankly the customer, what they would remember is, I bought that stuff from CHESS and it didn’t work out,” Neff said. “In the end, its the great stuff that industry makes and delivers that it was makes CHESS successful.”

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