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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Air Force makes NetCents 2 awards, now what?

The Air Force moved ahead late Friday afternoon and has made its second attempt to award the $6.9 billion NetCents 2 Products contract, naming eight prime contractors late Friday afternoon.

The multiple-award task order contract was originally awarded last year to nine companies but after 11 other companies filed protests of the award, the Air Force quickly backed off and rescinded the awards.

The contract is designed to be the Air Force’s mandatory IT products contract to provide commercial off-the-shelf products in areas such as networking equipment, servers/storage, peripherals, multimedia, software (not included on other enterprise licenses), and identity management/biometric hardware and associated software. The contract has a three-year base period and three more option years.

The winners of round two are:

  • Ace Technology Partners LLC., Arlington Heights, Ill.
  • CDW Government LLC., Vernon Hills Ill.
  • CounterTrade Products Inc., Arvada Colo.
  • FedStore Corp., Rockville Md.
  • General Dynamics IT, Needham Mass.
  • Intelligent Decisions Inc., Ashburn Va.
  • Iron Bow Technologies LLC., Chantilly Va.
  • World Wide Technology Inc., Maryland Heights Mo.,

After the debacle of last year’s awards, protests and withdrawal, you would hope the Air Force has made a pretty bullet proof decision this time around. But one executive from a losing team predicted more protests will be filed, even though he said it was too soon for his company to decide.

Undoubtedly there are some very unhappy companies out there. Consider that of the original nine winners, only four won in the second round: Ace, Fedstore, GDIT, and Iron Bow. Losing out this time around are Blue Tech Inc., Global Technology Resources Inc., GTSI, M2 Technology and Red River Computer Co.

Of the 11 protestors from last year, only World Wide Technology and CounterTrade Products were successful this time around.

Some of the other companies that protested may have withdrawn from the competition over the course of the last year or were deemed outside of the competitive range, but it is worth reminding everyone who the other protesters were:

  • Integration Technologies Group Inc.
  • MicroTechnologies LLC
  • Dell Federal Systems
  • Sterling Computers Corp.
  • Harris IT Services Corp.
  • immixTechnology Inc.
  • Insight Public Sector
  • FCN Inc.
  • Presidio Networked Solutions

Some pretty marquee names have been left on the sidelines. As my source said, “I guarantee you someone will [protest.]

So I stand by my comments in the blog I wrote Friday as I awaited word of the awards: Is the NetCents 2 merry-go-round about to start again?

Hang on. We are about to find out.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Apr 20, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Reader Comments

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 R Walker Virginia

No, the products were current when the bid was written and they did not want to change the entire list. There may be some products that were end of life, but at least on our bid list, nothing was not available at this time. This was not a "catalog" bid so these products won't go into a catalog and that was acknowledged at the beginning, so everyone knew that. You couldn't go so low as to be judged not responsible though. As I said, we received EN's after we changed a few products in the second FPR and we fixed them and were good and so we did not change anything for the third and final FPR because we did not want to risk more EN's. As I said before, we will not be filing a protest, as the boss and lawyers agreed that there was really no basis, unless they tell us something dumb in our debrief, which is certainly possible but unlikely.

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 R. Walker Virginia

The products would not be purchased as they were listed and the directions said so, but the products are not all discontinued and dead. They just did not want to completely do a new list of products, although we could have done that easily since it took a year for the new award. While I would be very interested in a new competition, I don't think they will buckle this time since everything that was done was done so for fairness and was overly generous to the losing bidders the first time. As a former winner, we thought we would be cushioned and probably took too few steps while others may have completely reconfigured their bids and we had 2 chances to get it right.

Mon, Apr 22, 2013

Is it really true that there was no downside to bidding low because the products on the bid list are now fairly old and unlikely to be purchased? Wow! What, then, is the point of the exercise?

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 R Walker Virginia

We are doing just that, but we thought that as an original winner, we would have been somewhat "protected" to avoid protests, but our lawyers are looking at it and while I cannot speak for their knowledge, I can't see how we could do that and not get told to "pound sand". I guess we move on. At least we didn't completely staff up for the contract so nobody has to get fired.

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 Nameless Contractor

GTSI must be kicking itself, since they got rid of all the talent who won it for them the first time around. Obviously no one was left to answer the clarifications who had a clue. Can you imagine losing out on a billion-dollar share of a $6-7 billion contract you had already won? Amazing.

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