Virginia re-ups CGI-AMS for e-procurement work

(UPDATED) Virginia has renewed a contract with CGI-AMS Inc. to run the state's electronic procurement portal.

The five-year, $65 million contract extends a deal that CGI-AMS, then known as American Management Systems Inc., signed with the Old Dominion in 2001. Fairfax-based CGI-AMS is a unit of CGI Group Inc. of Montreal.

The portal, known as eVa, is powered by technologies from CGI-AMS and Ariba Inc., Sunnyvale, Calif.

Gary Lambert, CGI-AMS vice president of spend management solutions, said that when the company was hired by Virginia, consolidated procurement portals were a leading-edge technology application for state governments.

Before the system was created, 171 agencies, institutions and other public entities in Virginia used a variety of desktop applications, automated purchasing systems and manual processes for procurement. The patchwork system did not allow information-sharing or joint purchasing, according to state and company officials.

The state has since used the secure electronic portal to process more than one million orders for $10 billion in goods and services.

The system assists all phases of the procurement process, from managing requests and solicitations to evaluating responses. It also is used in the state's efforts to electronically manage vendor invoicing, online ordering and contract management.

Lambert said the market for e-procurement solutions is growing as state governments are realizing the need for measurable data to assess their purchasing.

State governments in recent years have focused on revamping procurement processes through strategic sourcing, which involves consolidating purchases, analyzing the market and determining the lowest cost supplier for goods and services.

Now they want to assess their progress, Lambert said, so states are moving quickly to adopt systems that will help compile objective data. "In many instances right now, people don't have the tools," he said.

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