Eight worthy contenders

San Diego County's mega outsourcing deal attracts industry heavyweights

San Diego County IT Outsourcing Project

Estimated value: About $875 million

Term: Seven years

Proposals due: Aug. 30

Project award: Dec. 5

Contract signed: Jan. 6, 2006

What the contract will do: San Diego is recompeting the outsourcing of its IT and communications infrastructure as well as management of its applications. In evaluating bidders, the county is focusing on the team's ability to manage the county's existing portfolio of about 600 applications and transform business processes associated with mobile computing, enterprise applications and back office functions.

Qualified primes: Accenture Ltd., Affiliated Computer Services Inc., CGI-AMS, Computer Sciences Corp., EDS Corp., IBM Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp. and Unisys Corp.

How they qualified: Each contractor needed more than $1 billion in annual sales; each certified that neither the company nor its officers had been criminally charged or indicted in the last three years; and the company could not have defaulted on a government contract in the same period. Each must have an active state and local IT outsourcing contract worth more than $20 million and experience in two of the five IT outsourcing "frameworks": desktop, network, applications, help desk and data center support services.

"The last-minute discussions and mating dances are going on right now amongst some of the companies that are qualified as primes." ? John Nyland, IBM

IBM

San Diego County has qualified eight systems integrators to compete for the renewal of its seven-year, $875 million enterprisewide IT outsourcing project scheduled for award later this year.

The companies are Accenture Ltd., Affiliated Computer Services Inc., CGI-AMS, Computer Sciences Corp., EDS Corp., IBM Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp. and Unisys Corp.

The county ultimately expects to get bids from five or fewer teams, said San Diego County Chief Information Officer Michael Moore.

"Some of the companies may elect not to bid as primes and join other teams. They don't have to declare their team until they submit their bids," he said.

In addition to the primes, another group of contractors are expected to enter the fray as subcontractors, Moore said.

John Nyland, public sector general manager for IBM Global Services, said he expects to see the field narrow to three to five teams.

"We're getting fairly far along in the schedule," he said. "The last-minute discussions and mating dances are going on right now amongst some of the companies that are qualified as primes."

Nyland said IBM will bid as a prime contractor, but he declined to name its partners.

Proposals for the project are due by Aug. 30. Industry observers expect the primes to begin announcing their teams in June.

CSC is the incumbent prime contractor, and Science Applications International Corp. of San Diego is a key subcontractor on the current outsourcing project, a seven-year deal that will expire next year.

Moore said the scope of work for the county's new outsourcing contract is essentially the same as the last one, including areas such as networks, applications, desktops, help desk and data center support services. However, the focus on the new contract has shifted away from infrastructure consolidation to business process transformation, he said.

San Diego County will evaluate the teams not only on how well they can manage the county's portfolio of more than 600 applications, but also on how they plan to transform business processes associated with mobile computing, enterprise applications and back office functions.

Based on its discussions with the county and its review of the request for proposal, IBM believes San Diego County is looking for a contracting team that knows local government inside out, and can help the county improve service delivery to citizens as well as business processes, Nyland said.

"This is a very forward-thinking customer," he said. "They are trying to take their business to the next level and are looking for creative ideas and innovation to do that."

To qualify as primes, each company had to have more than $1 billion in annual sales and certify that neither the company nor its officers had been criminally charged or indicted in the last three years, nor had the company defaulted on a government contract in the same period.

They also had to have an active state and local IT outsourcing contract worth more than $20 million over the past year, and experience in two of the five IT outsourcing "frameworks": desktop, network, applications, help desk and data center support services.

The winning team will be selected Dec. 5, and the contract signed Jan. 6, 2006, in conjunction with the County Board of Supervisors' first meeting of the year, San Diego's Moore said.

CSC initially told county officials it was not going to bid again on the project when the request for information was released in February, but "had a change of heart during the RFI period," Moore said.

CSC declined to comment for this story or say whether it will bid as a prime in August.

Moore said he believed the reason the company initially wasn't going to pursue the opportunity was that it was already flush with federal IT contracting work. But the company may have changed its mind because it was so heavily invested in the project and because IT outsourcing remains a profitable business line.

"I believe it was a strategic business decision on their part," he said.

Senior Writer William Welsh can be reached at wwelsh@postnewsweektech.com.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

What is your e-mail address?

My e-mail address is:

Do you have a password?

Forgot your password? Click here
close
SEARCH
 Top 100 Slideshow
contracts DB

Trending

  • Dive into our Contract Award database

    In an exclusive for WT Insider members, we are collecting all of the contract awards we cover into a database that you can sort by contractor, agency, value and other parameters. You can also download it into a spreadsheet. Read More

  • Is SBA MIA on contractor fraud? Nick Wakeman

    Editor Nick Wakeman explores the puzzle of why SBA has been so silent on the latest contractor fraud scandal when it has been so quick to act in other cases. Read More

Webcasts