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Cover Story Transition schedule


VITA is transitioning its IT services from Northrop Grumman to multiple vendors in three waves. Companies already have been selected for the first wave, and procurement has begun under the third wave. All services are scheduled to transition by the completion of the contract in mid-2019.


Waves Service Messaging 1 IB M mainframe


MSI (multi-source service integrator)


2 Server/storage Security 3


Desktop (computers, laptops, iPads)


March 2016 May 2016 September 2016 November 2016 January 2017 Q1 2017 December 2016 Q1 2017 August 2017 October 2017 Data/voice networks February 2018 April 2018


1 Schedule has been delayed because of disagreements between VITA and Northrop Grumman Source: www.vita.virginia.gov


Integris Applied also said that VITA


should begin transitioning services away from the Northrop Grumman contract in phases, or “waves,” rather than waiting until the contract expires in 2019. The report concluded that approach


would require upfront investment but most likely would be cost-neutral because of savings recouped in new contracts. When notified of the state’s new


approach, Northrop Grumman said it would not apply to be a prime contrac- tor under that system. The company also warned that the wave approach could cost Virginia $135 million to $200 million and threaten the jobs of its 600 employees working on the VITA contract. Northrop Grumman points out in a


letter dated May 12 that the new system also does not offer a competitive advan- tage to suppliers that agree to provide jobs in Virginia. In addition, Northrop Grumman


argues that Virginia’s IT infrastructure will be less secure under multiple ven- dors. “There is significant risk in this plan since there are few instances of mature [multi-source service integrators]


24 JANUARY 2017 January 2017 TBD TBD TBD July 2019 July 2019 TBD: To be determined RFP issue date Responses due Service commence February 2016 April 2016 September 20161 The new framework includes at


least seven contracts for IT services, with separate vendors providing services rang- ing from email messaging to data and voice networks. VITA plans to move IT services to


new vendors in three waves (see chart on this page). Procurement already has been completed for the first wave: HP Enterprise Services was awarded a $34.7 million contract over five years to provide an IBM mainframe system, and Tempus Nova, a Denver-based company special- izing in Google enterprise solutions, has received a $5.3 million award over five years to provide messaging, including email and related services. As the first part of the second wave,


VITA is reviewing candidates for the multi-source services integrator, or MSI. Requests for proposals (RFPs) were scheduled to go out in December for a security provider and January for a server and storage provider. RFPs for the third wave, which


models in the market, and the current architecture is not designed to be disag- gregated to multiple providers,” Chris- topher T. Jones, president of Northrop Grumman Technology Services, said in the letter. Under the state’s new approach, one


new vendor will serve as a multi-source services integrator, whose responsibilities will include coordinating the services under the new IT model. Northrop Grumman also contends


the new model will transfer performance risk to Virginia and make the state’s IT system more vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks. “This creates an architecture where security becomes only as strong as the service with the weakest posture,” Jones writes.


The wave approach Transitioning Virginia’s IT is a


massive undertaking. Virginia’s infrastructure provides IT


for 63 state agencies, which have 55,500 computers, 59,000 email accounts, 27,000 printers, about 95,000 desk and cell phones and 1.75 petabytes of data. (A petabyte of data is equal to 1 million gigabytes.)


includes a purchaser of PCs, laptops and tablets and the provider of voice and data networks, are scheduled to be issued in late 2017 and early 2018. That wave would be implemented when the Northrop Grumman contract ends in 2019. First-wave plans, however, already


have hit snags. Mainframe services are scheduled


to begin switching to HP next Janu- ary. During the procurement process, however, Northrop Grumman declined to release some information about sub- contracts with other companies, saying it was proprietary information. JLARC says not having that information could result in higher costs for Virginia. Disagreements over information


sharing could have an even greater effect on higher-cost services, such as server and data storage, according to JLARC’s September memorandum. While the mainframe is still sched-


uled to transfer from Northrop Grum- man to HP in January, the switchover of messaging services has been delayed. “Because we’ve had some challenges, we’re going to delay its implementation until after the General Assembly [session this year],” says Moe. Disagreements that have erupted


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