NIH Buffs Up Its ImageWorld

NIH Buffs Up Its ImageWorld<@VM>NIH ImageWorld 2 Program<@VM>Awardees for ImageWorld 2 New Dimensions Contract

Leamon Lee

By Patience Wait, Staff WriterOfficials with the National Institutes of Health are confident that the expanded ImageWorld program will be more successful than its predecessor in generating revenue for the 23 vendors selected last month for the ImageWorld 2 New Dimensions contract.The original ImageWorld governmentwide contract is a five-year deal running through August with a ceiling of $5 billion. The NIH, Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies use it to acquire electronic imaging system support services. However, ImageWorld never lived up to its potential, generating only about $256 million in awards to date, according to agency records."We didn't know a whole lot about imaging at the time," said Leamon Lee, director of the NIH Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center. "The focus then was on the paperless office, scanning, the area of business office functions. This time we hired a consultant, talked to over 20 industries as well as users in the government, to find out what [they] would like the market to bring in the way of imaging."As a result, the ImageWorld 2 contract, awarded Dec. 21 to 23 contractors, was expanded to 10 years and $15 billion. Under the contract, vendors provide off-the-shelf hardware and software and the services needed to support them for applications such as document management, conversion and storage, business process work flow and imaging. Lee said the contract's three major components ? business, medical and geographic systems ? make it a more attractive acquisition vehicle for many more federal agencies. The medical and geographic systems areas were not part of the original ImageWorld contract.Ray Bjorklund, vice president of consulting services for Federal Sources Inc., McLean, Va., said the ImageWorld2 contract could be less about imaging and more about creating another vehicle for electronic government. "If you were a user with [an e-government] requirement and not particularly technologically savvy, you could cobble together a solution on the GSA schedules," but the ImageWorld2 contract would be an easier solution, Bjorklund said.Lee attributed much of the original ImageWorld's struggles to its existing in the shadows of NIH's other, more successful, governmentwide contract, Chief Information Officer Solutions and Partners, a five-year program with an $11 billion ceiling. Thus far, federal agencies have awarded contracts totaling about $1.25 billion under CIO-SP, according to NIH records."In CIO-SP, we primarily had all the ranges and aspects of information technology at the time, five years ago, that we could think about," Lee said. "CIO-SP always got more visibility than ImageWorld ever did."The original CIO-SP contract was awarded to 20 prime contractors at almost the same time as the first ImageWorld. Now it, too, has been extended as CIO-SP 2 Innovations and is recast with greater emphasis on e-government.The new CIO-SP 2 contract runs for 10 years with a ceiling of $19.5 billion, and was awarded to 48 businesses, including more than half of the original contractors. It is a vehicle to provide IT integration and outsourcing services to agencies throughout the federal government. Services include outsourcing data centers and IT operations, integration services, telecommuting services and security. It expands the selection of products and services, and adds new task areas."It's a very wide-ranging services and information technology contract," said Gus Gulmert, manager of corporate communications with Logicon Inc., one of the CIO-SP 2 contractors. "One distinction is the emphasis on new technologies, reflected in the task areas of digital government, ERP [enterprise resource planning] and critical infrastructure and protection and information assurance."NIH is one of four federal organizations authorized by the Office of Management and Budget to administer governmentwide acquisition contracts, or GWACs, such as ImageWorld 2 and CIO-SP 2. NIH is managing two of the largest contracts out there, each addressing IT needs."These are separated into two contracts, because that's the trend in the business world today," Lee said. "Initially people tried to get us to combine the two, but it's sort of like two different industries out there."Walt Davis, senior vice president of marketing for Computer and Hi-tech Management Inc. of Virginia Beach, Va., said there is not as much difference between the IT and health care industries as there once was. His company is one of the winners of ImageWorld 2."The information technology industry is literally just flowing into all aspects of the health care industry. I see those two industries, considered separate, merging together," he said. Because of this confluence, being a contractor on ImageWorld 2 will allow the company to capitalize on its IT expertise while working with scientists, statisticians and others with strong medical backgrounds to meet the specialized needs of federal health care agencies, he said.The prospects for both NIH contracts are very good, even with potential overlap between them because of their shared IT orientation, said Jeffrey Westerhoff, vice president and program manager for CIO-SP 2 at SRA International of Fairfax, Va. SRA also was a holder of the CIO-SP 1 contract."Back in 1996 when the ImageWorld contract and CIO-SP contract came in, procurement reform was something new in the government. Nobody knew what impact it would have and how the departments and agencies would react to having these governmentwide contracts," he said. "In the past five years, [NIH] has improved upon both of those contracts ... I would envision they would be even more successful because NIH has had that five years."
NIH ImageWorld 2 Program
Contract Length: 10 years

Potential Value: $15 billion

Type: Multiple-award, 23 contractors

Services: Imaging, document and information management in three areas

  • Business
  • Medical
  • Geographic
With off-the-shelf offerings
  • Hardware
  • Software
  • System solutions
  • Service
Awardees for ImageWorld 2 New Dimensions Contract
A-Tek Inc., Columbia Services Group Inc., Communications Resources Inc., Compusensor Technology Corp., Computer and Hi-Tech Management Inc., Criticon, Daly Computers Inc., Dataline Inc., Doxsys Inc., Enterprise III Systems Inc., High Performance Technologies Inc., Information Systems Solutions International Inc., Infotech Enterprises Inc., Integic Corp., Kathpal Technologies Inc., MTS Technologies Inc., Pegasus Global Corp., PIXL Inc., Progressive Technology Federal Systems Inc., PSINet Consulting Solution, ROH Inc., Scientific Technology, Universal Hi-Tech Development Inc.

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