Three companies win SmartBuy deals

Three companies have won blanket purchase agreements under the General Services Administration's SmartBuy program to sell a McAfee security package and related services to government agencies, McAfee said this week.

The agreements were reached in December 2006, but were only recently announced.

"We have been surprised that the announcement has been delayed," said Mike Carpenter, vice president of McAfee's federal group. "We've had a formal SmartBuy deal in place and have actively been obtaining business since the end of December."

The award means civilian and defense agencies may purchase all McAfee anti-spyware, anti-virus, anti-spam, firewall and intrusion prevention software at discounted prices through the resellers.

The three winners are CDW Government Inc., Vernon Hills, Ohio; En Pointe Technologies Inc., El Segundo, Calif.; and Softmart Inc., Downingtown, Pa.

Federal agencies that purchase McAfee's advanced security suite, which includes its Network Access Control, must do so through a SmartBuy BPA, unless the agency can provide compelling justification to purchase it elsewhere, according to GSA.

Launched by the Office of Management and Budget in 2003, SmartBuy is a governmentwide software enterprise-licensing program that uses the government's purchasing power to lower software costs for all agencies. GSA manages the program and has signed SmartBuy agreements with a variety of vendors to provide automated messaging, database management, geographic information systems and networking infrastructure software.

The SmartBuy program allows agencies to meet the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) requirement to use Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 certified encryption modules in their security products.

The McAfee security package employs FIPS 140-2 compliant cryptography modules as required by FISMA.

"Beyond cost savings, purchasing through SmartBuy will eliminate software license duplication, consolidate annual payments and simplify license management, saving agencies considerable time and administrative effort," Carpenter said.

GSA is currently negotiating a BPA with Symantec Corp. GSA spokesman Jon Anderson said that as far as he knew, McAfee and Symantec were the only suppliers of FIPS 140-2 compliant anti-virus software. According to GSA, Symantec and McAfee software rank among the top 20 most widely used applications in government.

Jason Miller, news editor for Government Computer News and Federal Computer Week, contributed to this story.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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