As previously reported, the IT Modernization (ITM) project released the Invitation for Bids (IFB) on 29 April 2015. The main contract of ITM includes delivering the foreseen data centres, local nodes and service operation centres, and associated integration and migration activities.
In order to walk prospective bidders through the solicitation requirements and explain the procedures they must follow for submitting their bids, the Agency held a Bidders Conference in Brussels, Belgium, on 1 and 2 June. The contract included both implementation activities and follow-on contracted logistics support (CLS), which represents up to €178M of business over the next 10 years.
The General Manager, Mr Koen Gijsbers, opened the conference and highlighted the following key points to the prospective bidders:
- This is NATO's flagship IT project that has the interest of all 28 Nations;
- The benefits to NATO are savings, services better protected against cyber-attack, higher and measurable levels of service with greater flexibility and resiliency;
- The project faces many challenges including a wide geographic scope consisting of 44 locations across Alliance nations' territory, an aggressive schedule, a high degree of automation in order to reduce manpower numbers and skills while delivering higher levels of service; the high pace of technology change that must be accommodated, and the migration of running services from the old infrastructure to the new;
- ITM is industries' opportunity to propose to NATO their best and most innovative solutions, as NATO will need the most talented and most creative team on the job, not only at bid time, but throughout delivery;
- In order for the project to succeed a high degree of transparency and trust will be required;
- NATO and the winning bidder will enter into a long term partnership that must be based on honesty if it is to endure and succeed;
- NATO is looking for a trusted long-term partner, with whom we can share our success.
The one and a half day conference was well attended by over 150 representatives from 70 companies. Day one focused on the ITM scope and vision, contractual aspects, bid preparation and submission expectations and technical requirements. The morning of 2 June was dedicated to answering questions from industry. The NCI Agency was pleased to hear compliments from industry about the organization of the conference from both a conduct and content perspective.
A key aspect of the conference was the introduction to industry of the new NCI Agency IT Modernization team. Mr Frank Mikla is the new NCI Agency Programme Lead for ITM, while the Project Manager is Mr Łukasz Sokołowski.
With the completion of the Bidders Conference the Agency will continue to answer requests for clarifications from industry and anticipates bid closing on 23 July 2015. The next work package to be launched is the single procurement vehicle for NATO for client devices. This is an important component of the ITM project and is expected to be under competition later this year.