NASA poised to spend billions to consolidate IT services

Space agency issues RFP for services that could be worth $2.5 billion

NASA has issued a final request for proposal for a menu of information technology services such as e-mail, security management, instant messaging and mobile communications. Estimates have pegged the work as worth $2.5 billion.

The project, Agency Consolidated End User Services (ACES), is designed to consolidate services across NASA into one agencywide solution. The requirements are currently met through the Outsourcing Desktop Initiative for NASA, the ODIN contract.

The ACES contract is expected to be biggest of five contracts that NASA plans to issue as part of its Information Technology Infrastructure Integration Program (I3P) acquisition to consolidate the agency's IT and data services.

Market research firm Input puts the total value for the five contracts, based on NASA’s draft RFPs, at $4.3 billion. Input said ACES’ value is $2.5 billion based on information in the draft RFPs.

According to the final RFP, the winning contractor will be responsible for a range of services including:

  • E-mail and collaborative calendaring services:
  • Active Directory services.
  • Security management including IT security, emergency management and preparedness, and data at rest services.
  • Software license management: The contractor shall provide a fully managed and supported shared license infrastructure.
  • Instant messaging services.
  • Mobile communications device services such as cell and smart phones.

The RFP was posted Jan. 25 on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site and companies have until March 24 to respond.

NASA said its goals for ACES are to:

  • Consolidate the provisioning of end-user services into a single agencywide solution.
  • Ensure the solutions that NASA end-users have enable the agency to accomplish its goals.
  • Better NASA’s IT security posture.
  • Improve the management of NASA’s IT infrastructure.
  • Provide a way for NASA’s end-user services to adapt to support emerging mission requirements.

NASA plans to award a single, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity, firm-fixed-price contract for ACES. Companies are expected to submit a proposed price for the work as part of their proposal. The agency plans to award a contract that could last up to 10 years with a base of four years and the possibility of two three-year options.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

Reader Comments

Tue, Feb 9, 2010

This is going to test the mangagement underpinnings of NASA. This type of program BACKFIRED on the Navy .. even today they do not know how to 'change course' with a decision they made 9-10 years ago. Why should it be any different at NASA? TOO bad..TOO many tax dollars again

Wed, Jan 27, 2010 Tim Washington DC

One wonders if NASA has looked at the lessons learned from the Navy on the NMCI program. I think both EDS (now HP Enterprise Services) and the Navy had a very rough time making this sort of contract work. I expect the bidders will appropriately build in an incredible "risk" premium in their pricing. At the same time, NASA program management on this scale will tested. I presume if they can send men to the moon and back, this should look easy!

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