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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

First SI steps up as bidder on $50B EIS contract

It looks like the General Services Administration is going to get their wish of having at least one non-telecom player on its $50 billion replacement of the Networx contract.

Harris Corp. confirmed that they planned to bid as a prime on the contract, but they declined to name teammates or how they will meet the mandatory requirements of the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract.

GSA recently released the draft request for proposals and during a press briefing talked about how they feel the structure of the contract will attract bidders beyond the five telecom players currently on Networx – AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, CenturyLink and Level 3.

The agency has designed the contract to be more flexible and adaptable than Networx, which should benefit vendors and government buyers.

It’s not a complete surprise that Harris is the first systems integrator to step up as a bidder on EIS.

In 2002, the company won the Federal Aviation Administration Telecommunications Infrastructure contract, a $3.5 billion contract to provide the voice and data communications backbone for the FAA including air traffic control operations.

Originally a 15-year contract, it has been extended and will stretch out to 2022.

With its of track record on the contract and the high availability requirements of the FTI network, Harris should be a strong candidate for EIS.

But they don’t own a telecommunications network and partnered with several telecommunications companies to win FTI including several that went onto be primes on Networx: Verizon, Sprint, Qwest Communications, which is now CenturyLink, and Bell South and SBC Communications, which went onto merge and morph into AT&T.

So, I’ll be curious to see whom Harris teams with for EIS. They told me they might be ready to announce that news in the coming weeks. Right now, they are still combing through the draft RFP.

Stay tuned.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Mar 05, 2015 at 9:32 AM

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