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10 27 2021

NATO Agency seeks industry services for network protection

The NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency) is seeking to establish agreements with commercial providers for Palo Alto Networks appliances (physical and virtual) and support.

The Agency's NATO Cyber Security Centre protects NATO networks 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There is a growing demand for more hardware from Palo Alto Networks to enhance NATO's cyber defences.

NATO Agency seeks industry services for network protection

"This project will provide NCI Agency with the ability to flexibly purchase commercial equipment, while applying additional security features. With this contract, we can increase our cyber security footprint to meet future requirements, while enhancing NATO's cyber resilience," said Sandro Herpich, Section Head for Gateway Security Services at the NATO Cyber Security Centre.

The Agency has issued a Request for Quotations (RFQ) for this project, which includes two schedules:

  • Schedule A: Establishes a framework agreement with up to three suppliers for the provision of Palo Alto Networks appliances and solutions.
  • Schedule B: Establishes an Enterprise Support Agreement with one supplier for the provision of Palo Alto Networks support.

Schedule A will be an Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Contract, meaning that the Agency can purchase equipment from the contracted companies as needed up to the contract's ceiling. Each of the resulting Schedule A contracts are valid for a period of three base years, with two year-long options, or up to a ceiling of 30 million EUR, whichever occurs first. There is no guarantee of work under Schedule A.

Schedule A is part of the Agency's Enterprise Frequent and Swift Transaction (e-FAST) Contracts Programme. The e-Fast Programme is designed to offer best in class NATO-wide contract vehicles to quickly meet requirements for common goods and services. The e-FAST Palo Alto Networks appliances RFQ (Schedule A) is the second in the e-FAST Programme.

Schedule B will be a single contract providing an Enterprise Support Agreement for Palo Alto Networks hardware support, alongside subscriptions and credits. Schedule B will become the Agency's preferred vehicle for the procurement of Palo Alto Networks support and will consolidate requirements from several NCI Agency projects. The Schedule B contract will be valid for a period of three base years, with two year-long options. The key business benefits the Agency seeks to gain through Schedule B are:

  • To efficiently maintain the security of NCI Agency networks;
  • Flexibility to meet changing NCI Agency demands;
  • Improved, consistent, and justifiable value for money;
  • Visibility of products and services provided and maintained across the NCI Agency estate;
  • And reduced overheads and faster administration.

"The NCI Agency is using more flexible acquisition approaches to more rapidly integrate the latest commercial technologies into the NATO enterprise and support them through life," said Darren Corkindale, Senior Contracting Officer at the NCI Agency.

For more information, read the full Notification of Intent here.