Agencies transition slowly to Networx

Although the General Services Administration awarded the Networx network services contracts months ago, agencies are moving slowly toward making the transition from the expiring FTS 2001 contract onto the new one.

Karl Krumbholz, director at GSA's Network Services Programs, told an industry audience today that GSA has about 4.1 million records of services that need to be disconnected as a first step toward moving them to the new vehicle, or replacing them with upgraded services. Only 10 disconnections have been completed so far.

Krumbholz and other GSA officials spoke at the opening session of TeleStrategies, going on today and tomorrow in McLean, Va. Suss Consulting Inc. of Jenkinton, Pa., produces the conference.

Each record refers to an individual service, such as a local telephone connection, that needs to be disconnected. In some cases that only means moving the purchase terms to the new contract, and in other cases it means disconnecting the service, he said.

"To say we've got a ways to go is one way to say where we're going," he said, highlighting the amount of work remaining.

As of Feb. 19, agencies had issued 20 statements of work under Networx, he said. The 21 largest agencies will account for 95 percent of the work.

GSA awarded Networx Universal, a wide-ranging contract meant to cover a broad spectrum of agency needs, last March. It awarded Networx Enterprise, a companion contract intended for more localized and narrowly focused acquisitions, in May.

John Johnson, assistant commissioner at GSA's Federal Acquisition Service's Office of Integrated Technology Services, said GSA has left behind its old role as a telephone company providing local and long-distance voice services to agencies. Today, the agency provides contract vehicles for voice, data, satellite communications and infrastructure solutions to federal agencies spanning 191 countries.

"This is a very robust suite of contracts," he said of GSA's network and communications offerings.

On the horizon, he said, are initiatives on environmentally friendly data centers and "tele-COOP," an effort to develop telework programs for continuity-of-operations plans.

Right now, GSA is trying to figure out how to approach the "green" data center effort. "There are not metrics in place that we can grab hold of and say that's it," he said. "So we're trying to figure out what are those [best] metrics."

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

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