IBM lands SmartBuy deal with GSA

The General Services Administration has hooked a big one for SmartBuy, its enterprise software licensing program.

The agency announced last week in a notice that it will establish a governmentwide deal with IBM Corp. for software including Rational, Informix and DB2.

Under the agreement, GSA said IBM will provide licensed products, technical support, consulting and training services.

GSA also announced it is negotiating a SmartBuy deal for antivirus software. The agency, though, would not confirm the name of the company. In its FedBizOpps notice, GSA said the vendor is on the Federal Supply Service's Schedule 70.

The contract with IBM would be GSA's fifth enterprise deal. The first four vendors brought onto SmartBuy are ESRI of Redlands, Calif., Eyak Technology LLC of Anchorage, Alaska, Manugistics Group Inc. of Rockville, Md., and Novell Inc. The most recent deal was set last October with Eyak Technology for its WinZip compression software.

IBM also would be the first major federal contractor to agree to a governmentwide deal for software products. GSA ranked IBM as the third-largest software vendor to agencies, behind only Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp. Agencies bought $94.7 million worth of software directly from IBM off FSS Schedule 70 in 2004, but that does include software sales by resellers and integrators, said Ray Bjorklund, senior vice president and chief knowledge officer for Federal Sources Inc. of McLean, Va.

"This is a good deal for the government and the contractor," Bjorklund said. "The vendor gets a sense of their potential market and the deal creates a much easier way for agencies to order at a lower price."

IBM was No. 11 on Washington Technology's 2004 Top 100 ranking of federal prime contractors.

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