USDA Kicks Off Bidding for Second Round of IT Overhaul Contacts

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The program will be a model for other agencies to surge outdated IT into the 21st century.

The Agriculture Department officially kicked off bidding for the second round of contracts in its IT Centers of Excellence program this week.

The department released contracts to support five critical IT areas highlighted during the first phase of the initiative—cloud adoption, infrastructure optimization, customer experience, service delivery analytics and contact centers—and an additional contract to bolster the agency’s program management office, FedScoop reported Thursday.

Under the solicitation covering cloud adoption and infrastructure optimization, “a pool of awardees” would be responsible for migrating thousands of applications from some 20 data centers to the cloud by the end of fiscal 2019. The document also reiterated Agriculture Chief Information Officer Gary Washington’s plan to consolidate dozens of agency data centers down to just two facilities by September 2019.

That contract would run 12 months with an option to extend an additional 12 months, according to the solicitation.

The requests for proposal were posted on the General Services Administration’s eBuy website—which isn’t available to the public. FedScoop reportedly obtained the documents through an anonymous source.

The White House, in December, chose Agriculture as the guinea pig for the centers of excellence program, which aims to bring agencies’ outdated IT systems into the 21st century.

During phase one, vendors developed strategies for tackling issues within each of the five focus areas and created best practices so other agencies could follow suit. Once selected, phase two vendors will work with Agriculture and GSA to execute those strategies.

Industry has until Aug. 10 to bid on the projects. In June, GSA and Agriculture officials said they plan to have the final contracts awarded by the end of fiscal 2018 next month.

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