A new day for IDIQs

Commentary: If the Defense Enterprise Information Systems contract were a person, it would be one proud grandparent today

Nick Wakeman

If the Defense Enterprise Information Systems contract were a person, he or she would be one proud grandparent today.

When it arrived on the scene in 1993, it was one of the first indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts. Its ceiling was about $900 million over six years, almost a rounding error to the huge IDIQ contracts that followed it.

In this issue, we examine the latest IDIQ, or task-order, contracts from the Defense Department and the military services. The trend today is that these contracts are bigger ? the largest has a $41 billion ceiling ? and broader. The government buys services through these contracts for a wide range of traditional information technology and systems integration work along with other professional services.

Contractors can't afford to ignore them if they hold any hope of being a prime contractor in the government market.

Also in this issue, we launch a new monthly column on business development by Bill Scheessele, a consultant who helps companies train their business development teams. His column will appear in print and online offering advice and tips on this ever crucial aspect of government contracting.

Associate Editor Michael Hardy provides a look at how Sun Microsystems Inc. dropped its General Services Administration schedule and what it means to Sun and its partners. Although Sun's schedule business isn't large, dropping it is still a bold move. The question remains: What will it accomplish?

Another noteworthy story is by Staff Writer Alice Lipowicz, who interviewed Daniel Renaud, who is in charge of the Transformation Office at the Citizenship and Immigration Services agency. He tells us one of his biggest challenges isn't technology; it's convincing the skeptics in his own department.

As always, we look forward to your feedback.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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