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City’s new IT deal packs punch for ‘minority’ firms, says Wharton team

Technology – according to Mayor AC Wharton Jr.’s administration – is the key to developing a “performance management system” that will grade the performance of every city department and determine the cost of every service. Technology – according to Mayor AC Wharton Jr.’s administration – is the key to developing a “performance management system” that will grade the performance of every city department and determine the cost of every service.

And this week, the City of Memphis unveiled a $27 million, five-year contract with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) for comprehensive information technology (IT) services designed to increase the city administration’s efficiency and cut costs. The contract’s guaranteed pricing reportedly will result in $6 million in savings over five years.

The City’s Information Services Division manages the city’s existing and emerging technologies, and under the contract, SAIC will provide IT services, including service desk and field support, network/security support, telecommunications support, data center management, and applications maintenance and development.

Brent Nair, division director, said the contract has “excellent opportunities for minority businesses to continue involvement with Information Services.” The contract calls for a minimum of 30 percent to be spent with minority companies, including TeamingSolution Inc., Network Data Services, and Tate Computer Systems.

“Through the City’s award of this contract, local minority vendors will provide significant support as well as project initiatives which will continually contribute to the local workforce,” said Sylvester Tate, president of Tate Computer Systems in Memphis.

Roby Williams, president of Black Business Association, said, “This is an important step to maximize women and minority-owned businesses in Memphis. It’s a historic time for us to grow our economy and a key part of that is to grow our women and minority-owned businesses.”

Williams said SAIC already has joined the Black Business Association, sponsored an IT forum for local educational systems, and funded a minority IT program.

“It shows what can happen when Memphis is a full opportunity marketplace,” said Williams.

Memphis Chief Administration Officer George Little said, “SAIC has a proven track record in providing services and support to government entities and in helping to drive efficiency and cost savings.”

SAIC has approximately 1,040 employees working in Tennessee, including IT support services for the Naval Air Station in Millington and SAIC’s North American Integrated Services Management Center in Oak Ridge. SAIC also provides IT services for Entergy Corporation in Little Rock.

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