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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Dell fighting for lost Education Department data center contract

Dell is protesting a $225 million Education Department contract that it lost in its own back yard to HP Enterprise Services.

The win by HP effectively took away a contract Dell Services has held since it was known as Perot Systems. It was supporting the Office of Federal Student Aid with a virtual data center infrastructure based in Plano, Texas, where Perot was once headquartered.

HP won the contract, known as the Next Generation Data Center, on Sept. 28, according to the FBO.gov posting. Dell filed its first protest on Oct. 13. A second filing related to the protest was submitted to the Government Accountability Office on Nov. 16.

The second filing generally means that the agency filed a response to the protest and something in that response led the protester, in this case Dell, to file an amended protest.

With the second filing, GAO has set a deadline for a decision of Feb. 24.

Because there have now been two filings, this protest is likely to go the distance. Agencies generally issue corrective actions within the first 30 days of a protest being filed, so it looks the Education Department is standing by its choice of HP. And it looks like Dell isn't backing down from this fight either.

The contract apparently was issued under the CIO-SP3 contract, according to market research firm Deltek.

The Office of Federal Student Aid wants to move to a cloud environment for the 45 primary and 31 subsidiary systems applications currently hosted at the data center. About 75 percent of these can be migrated to a cloud environment. The rest are legacy applications that need to be modernized before they can be moved to the cloud.

The data center supports the processing of $150 billion in student loans, grants and other assistance. The office manages a $1 trillion loan portfolio.

Some of the services under this contract include transition services, program management, service delivery management, mainframe services, mainframe infrastructure, middleware support and operations, database administration, software licenses and management and other services.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Nov 19, 2015 at 9:33 AM

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