The Army on Feb. 22 announced the award of its IT Enterprise Services-3 Hardware (ITES-3H) contract, an agreement worth $5 billion in task orders. Some 17 companies were selected for the award, including eight large contractors and nine small businesses.
The contract is the follow-on to ITES-2H, and the initial request for proposals dates back to 2012. As the Army carried out a multi-phase competition for the program, multiple rounds of protests to the Government Accountability Office set the award further behind schedule.
Thomas Neff, project director for Army Computer Hardware, Enterprise Software and Solutions (CHESS), which oversees the ITES programs, last year characterized ITES-3H as "a journey and not a destination" amid the legal wrangling. But in an interview with C4ISR & Networks' sister publication Federal Times, Neff also recognized the influence on industry the ITES programs – which also include services and software – carry with their awards.
"There's intense pressure on industry to win, particularly in the hardware space, to become a prime on a CHESS contract because it demonstrates through the source selection process that they have a team that understands Army requirements. And [that they have] built their team to deliver on that," Neff said. "But it makes it very hard for someone who is not a CHESS contractor to be successful in selling their products inside the Army…so that's certainly impacted how industry operates, from my perspective."
The Army selected from a pool of 50 bids, according to Washington Technology.
The eight winning large companies include:
- CDW-G, Vernon Hills, Illinois
- Dell, Round Rock, Texas
- GovConnection, Rockville, Maryland
- Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Services, Plano, Texas
- IBM Corp., Armonk, New York
- Telos, Ashburn, Virginia
- Unicom, Herndon, Virginia
- World Wide Technology, St. Louis, Missouri
The nine winning small businesses include:
- Affigent, Herndon, Virginia
- Dynamic Systems, El Segundo, California
- Force3, Crofton, Maryland
- Government Acquisitions, Cincinnati
- GTRI, Denver
- Intelligent Decisions, Ashburn, Virginia
- Iron Bow, Chantilly, Virginia
- MicroTech, Vienna, Virginia
- Wildflower, Santa Fe, New Mexico