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Eighteen companies vie for massive IT contract

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: April 28, 2014 - 11:14 AM

Eighteen companies are vying to win all or part of Minneapolis' largest contract, an IT outsourcing deal that has paid Pennsylvania-based Unisys more than $149 million since 2003.

The city opted to seek competitive bids on the contract in 2012 and IT officials have expressed interest in breaking up its many components. The city renewed the contract without seeking bids in 2007 and then extended it in 2010 -- it now ends in December 2015.

Some have questioned the city's close ties with the company over the years. A Star Tribune analysis in 2012 revealed a revolving door of sorts between the company's top ranks and Minneapolis government.

The contract is hugely important for the city, since almost all data at City Hall flows through Unisys property -- from laptop computers to their Eagan-based servers.

Only two of the companies who submitted proposals are headquartered in Minnesota. US Internet, which runs the city's municipal wireless network, is based in Minnetonka. ipHouse is based in Minneapolis.

The city would not disclose which companies are seeking the full contract and which are seeking pieces of it. Council Member Andrew Johnson, chair of the city's IT policy subcommittee, said smaller contracts are beneficial in a rapidly evolving field like technology.

“Our goal is with this is to make sure that not only is the contract length shorter, so that we’re better able to adjust as the industry adjusts, but that we’re also breaking these into smaller components so that we’re able to get more solutions from different niches of the market," said Johnson, who plans to review the proposals later this week.

The city is in "phase two" of its multi-stage process of selecting a new vendor or vendors (see page 13 of this presentation). The new contract is slated to be approved in February 2015.

Here are the companies that responded to the city's request for proposals:

One Neck -- Scottsdale, Ariz.
Unisys -- Blue Bell, Pa.
SDI -- Piscataway, N.J.
Advanced Governmetn Solutions, Inc. -- Bowie, MD
Atos -- Bezos, France
US Internet -- Minnetonka, MN
CenturyLink -- Monroe, La.
Data Bank -- Dallas, Texas
Oracle -- Redwood City, Ca.
ipHouse -- Minneapolis, MN
CMC Americas --  Baton Rouge, La.
EnPointe Technologies -- Gardena, Ca.
Comcast -- Philadelphia, Pa.
tw telecom -- Littleton, Co.
Stefanini -- Southfield, MI
Toshiba -- Minato, Tokyo
Ricoh -- Chūō, Tokyo
Corporate Technology -- Burlington, MA

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