The General Services Administration is close to awarding a $50 billion contract for its Enterprise Infrastructure Solution (EIS), Bill Zielinski, assistant commissioner for category management at GSA, announced July 13.

EIS will help agencies address any needs regarding the modernization of telecommunications services. The solution will include catalog-based solutions that assist agencies’ mission success rather than generic technologies. It will also feature simplified pricing and enhanced management support. Industry service providers will have reduced entry requirements for services and geographic coverage, and fewer government requirements. The contract will be available for agency use in fiscal year 2017 and its term is 15 years.

“We at GSA can do a lot better to help agencies,” Zielinski said. “We are going to make sure that this EIS contract is defined as a best-in-class contract.”

GSA has partnered with the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of Management and Budget to ensure that the security requirements outlined in OMB memorandums and the policies introduced in the cybersecurity executive order are included in the EIS.

Zielinski said the contract will help move legacy IT systems to converged cloud environments, allow for more fully managed services, unify communications, enable mobility, and fulfill the cyber executive order’s requirement for more shared services.  It will reduce the Federal government’s cyber attack surface and leverage IT talent across agencies.

“Keep your eyes open for the announcement of the award,” Zielinski said.

The upcoming contract announcement coincides with the Trump administration’s support for modernizing legacy IT to improve the government’s customer service.

“We’re really good at creating something,” said Shane Barney, deputy chief of the Information Security Division at the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services. “We’re not really good at maintaining it over time and we tend to lose corporate knowledge of it for some reason.”

White House Office of American Innovation is focusing on improving customer service by improving IT through multiyear projects, Chris Liddell, assistant to the president and director of strategic initiatives, said at a Partnership for Public Service event on July 12. Liddell said these projects could last more than 10 years.

“Running infrastructure is a nightmare and frankly, government is not good at it. We suck at it,” Barney said.

Barney said that managing security in new cloud-based applications is “a billion times easier” than handling risks in data centers.

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Morgan Lynch
Morgan Lynch
Morgan Lynch is a Staff Reporter for MeriTalk covering Federal IT and K-12 Education.