DISA seeks collaboration tools for NCES program

The Defense Information Systems Agency has issued a request for quotations for the collaboration service portion of its Net-Centric Enterprise Services program.

The RFQ, released Friday, is expected to build upon lessons learned from the Next Generation Collaboration Services pilot, which was awarded in October 2004 to provide an enterprisewide, commercially managed collaboration service.

Quotes are due Jan. 10, 2006. DISA will evaluate submissions in two phases. The first phase will assess written quotations to determine which vendors should be further considered for the agency's comprehensive evaluation process. During the second phase, DISA will conduct functionality evaluations and make on-site visits, according to the RFQ.

DISA is looking for collaboration tools that are scalable, accessible from any commonly used desktop configuration and available through a Web browser interface. The collaboration tools should also offer Web conferencing, session management, text messaging, whiteboarding, application sharing/broadcasting and audio capabilities.

According to the Statement of Objectives, DISA plans to award collaboration service contracts to two vendors "to foster competition while providing DOD users with their choice of service" on the unclassified network. The two vendors also will provide services on the classified network.

"It is DOD's intention to pay the two service providers based upon the frequency with which their services are utilized," the statement reads.

NCES is considered one of the major components of the Global Information Grid, DOD's global network for both classified and nonclassified data. NCES will cover nine core services: applications, collaboration, discovery, enterprise service management, mediation, messaging, security, storage and user assistance.

Dawn S. Onley is a senior writer for Washington Technology's sister publication, Government Computer News.

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