Input: 2006 top federal contracts boon for subcontractors

Three major federal contracts worth a total of $4.35 billion will offer ample subcontracting opportunities to IT product companies next year, according to a new report from the market research firm Input Inc.

The Integrated Wireless Network (IWN), Americas Shield Initiative (ASI) and Purchase of Computer Hardware and Software 3 (PCHS-3) all share common themes centered on scalability, interoperability and security, and together offer a high number of potential subcontracting opportunities, the Reston, Va., firm said this week.

The three contracts cover a variety of missions and customers.

The exact nature and number of subcontracts that will be awarded under these large-scale contracts is hard to determine at this stage, Input said, but it is almost certain there will be numerous subcontracting opportunities to tap new technologies and strengthen security.

"The winning prime contractors will rely on product technology vendors as teaming partners to win initial awards, and to join the team as subcontractors in the years down the road as the programs unfold," said Darren Bezdek, Input's manger of subcontract opportunities.

IWN is a collaborative effort by the departments of Homeland Security, Justice and Treasury to provide a nationwide federal wireless communications service.

ASI has been rolled into a larger border security initiative and will meet the need for a wide variety of remote detection devices?including video cameras, sensors and the latest advancements in surveillance technologies?spanning 6,000 miles of U.S. land borders and 2,000 miles of coastal borders.

PCHS-3 is Veterans Affairs contract for IT hardware, software and peripherals.

Companies with security offerings likely will see the biggest opportunity for subcontract work as safety, system integrity and security continue to be among the most important factors surrounding IT and communications solutions.

Product companies that continue to innovate stand to reap the greatest rewards, Bezdek said.

"The government will increasingly move away from stovepipe solutions and gravitate toward the products that are both backward compatible and have the capability to be built upon in the future," he said.

About the Author

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

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