All Eyes on This Georgia Peach

All Eyes on This Georgia Peach

Steve Lesueur

Some call it the clash of the titans. Systems integrators and communications companies are battling to see which kind of company is best qualified to be prime contractor on government contracts that combine telecom and information technology services into a single contract.

The best example of this type of convergence contract is the $6.9 billion Navy-Marine Corps Intranet project. Electronic Data Systems Corp. heads up the NMCI team, which also includes telecom provider WorldCom Inc. for the wide area network.

The newest convergence battleground is Georgia, where the state is planning a $2 billion outsourcing contract it is calling the Convergent Communications Outsourcing Project. The contract is expected to include voice, video and data communications, distributed computing, two-way radio and mobile communications.

Four companies and one team have pre-qualified to bid on the project. Some companies are best known for systems integration, others for communications. The companies are Motorola Inc., Science Applications International Corp., TRW Corp. and WorldCom.

The team is made up of Lockheed Martin Corp., AT&T Corp., BellSouth Telecommunications Inc. and EDS. Georgia officials said there is no prime contractor on this team. The team is the prime.

That's one way, I guess, to avoid a clash of titans.

Just as federal agencies have their eyes on the NMCI program, state and local governments are expected to follow closely the progress of the Georgia project to see whether it's a model they want to emulate.

Staff Writer Bill Welsh has the details in our top front page story.


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