EIS buying patterns start to emerge

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The majority of 100 agency solicitations for the General Services Administration's $50 billion, next-generation telecommunications contract have included some kind of advanced networking plans, according to a new study released by ACT-IAC.

Of 109 solicitations that have completed GSA's in-scope review process, according to the ACT-IAC case study of GSA's Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) contract, 79 agencies plan to include or expand Ethernet or VoIP in their solicitations, while 27 of those included Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) capabilities.

The study, released by ACT-IAC's Institute for Innovation this week, also said the 37 EIS task orders awarded in the last year had a combined ceiling value of over $7.4 billion.

Topping the list of awards were the Department of Interior 's January 2020, $1.6 billion task order for core network services and access services and the Department of Justice's July 2019 $981 million task order for a next-generation communications platform for IP voice, data, security, cloud access and professional services for 120,000 employees

Other orders included the Social Security Administration awards to Verizon and CenturyLink. Verizon won a $544 million order and CenturyLink got a 1-year, $470.3M order for Wide Area Network and related high-speed network services. The SSA also awarded MetTel a $255 million contract for local, long distance, and access management

The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) awarded a $75 million task order in January 2020 to CenturyLink for secure connectivity to the DoDEA learning network. It was the first EIS award by the DOD.

GSA's departing Assistant Commissioner, Office of IT Category, Federal Acquisition Service, Bill Zielinski said COVID and congressional oversight are challenges for EIS in the future.

Zielinski's last day at GSA is June 5, as he leaves to take a new job as CIO for the city of Dallas.

"Among the challenges are the immediate needs that all agencies are facing with COVID-19, the associated legislative requirements, the changing nature of work, and the increasing demands on agency infrastructure," he said.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.

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