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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

IBM wins sole-source contract to support ACE disaster recovery

IBM has won a five-year, $6.2 million sole-source contract to continue disaster recovering services for the Automated Commercial Environment contract, which the company first won in April 2001.

The ACE contract, which originally had a $5 billion price tag, has gone through many changes over the nearly two decades. Designed first as a system to smooth the importing and exporting of goods, ACE took on more anti-terrorism elements in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Its scope isn’t as broad now and it is back to processing trade activity. In 2013, IBM lost a recompete of the work to Lockheed Martin, but a series of bid protests and the Homeland Security Department’s decision to cancel the contract kept the work with IBM. At the time, the value of ACE was $67.8 million.

This new contract extends IBM’s work to provide a cloud-based disaster recovery services. In 2017, ACE experienced a several outages and DHS tasked IBM with creating a disaster recovery system.

IBM’s Federal Data Center in Raleigh, N.C., took on the work and over time, Customs and Border Protection, which oversees ACE, reconfigured its National Data Center production infrastructure to communicate with IBM’s data center. The two data centers are synchronized and configured to replicate data, patch and maintain production. The data centers will switch roles from primary to backup if the NDC went down, according to CBP’s justification documents.

Because of that close link, CBP said that it would be too expensive to move to another vendor. The agency said it would cost $2 million in labor alone.

The value of the sole-source contract was redacted in the filing posted on Beta.Sam.gov, but the value was available through the spending report in the Federal Procurement Data System.

Mark Rockwell, FCW senior staff writer, contributed to this story.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Oct 13, 2020 at 7:33 PM


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