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Texas Department of Information Resources Awards IBM Contract for Statewide Email and Collaboration Software Services


Contract Offers Significant Savings to State Agencies, Local Government and Education

AUSTIN, TX - 16 Mar 2006: A newly signed agreement between the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) and IBM offers significant savings to state and local governments on enterprise messaging (email) and additional related services. IBM was selected to design, develop, operate and manage the statewide system. At prices as low as $1.99 per mailbox per month and an estimated blended rate of $3.80, this landmark agreement delivers at least a 45% savings when compared to both agency self-reported costs and published national averages.

“In addition to the significant cost savings, this agreement provides added security, performance guarantees, disaster recovery services, and increased functionality for public sector entities. We have created a new and repeatable approach to the delivery of email solutions across state government and have used DIR’s purchasing volume to leverage the benefits to local government and education. This is a good deal for Texas,” said Larry Olson, Chief Technology Officer for the State of Texas.

The agreement offers government entities nationwide the opportunity to select from several email options including Lotus Notes, Microsoft Outlook and Web email. Structured on a managed service, pay-per-use basis, state agencies, local governments and the education community can mix and match the service levels and email options based on individual unit or staff needs and storage requirements. In addition, global email lists and shared calendaring across organizations are possible with this new system.

Initially 13 state agencies, representing 65,000 seats, signed a letter of intent to participate in this agreement and have been actively involved throughout the procurement process. Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Albert Hawkins said the new contract will provide state agencies with greater flexibility to manage their communication needs. “Our health and human services agencies have been working hard to better integrate our programs and operations for three years,” Hawkins said. “A good, reliable communication system that allows us to easily reach across agency lines is a key part of that effort.”

Along with the core email, other messaging services are available at additional cost, including instant messaging, virtual team workspace, document management, and wireless solution support (Blackberry, Treo, etc) via IBM Workplace collaboration software. Services are hosted in a Dallas-based IBM data center that provides redundancy, scalability and security for all customer accounts. Additionally, IBM Tivoli software will provide security capabilities for the offering.

“Texas has been extremely innovative in the way it manages and delivers information technology in the public sector,” said John R. Nyland, managing partner, IBM Public Sector Consulting Services. “The approach today allows the state to optimize its investment in its technology, and deliver extremely cost-effective services in a very efficient manner. IBM is proud to be part of this type of innovation and forward thinking.”

In addition to state agencies, the low per mailbox charge is very attractive to local government and education entities. “We’ve been looking at a number of the initiatives that DIR is undertaking and they make sense to us because the products and prices are right. When I get quality services at lower prices I’m interested,” said Tim Barbee, Chief Information Officer, City of Arlington.

DIR will be piloting the transition from existing email infrastructure to a more robust system using Microsoft Outlook through the IBM contract. “This is the right solution for DIR and, by taking the lead, DIR can understand the transition process and assist other agencies as they take advantage of this great opportunity,” said Olson.

The Austin office of law firm Andrews Kurth LLP and the Houston-based sourcing strategy firm TPI, Inc., assisted the DIR in-house legal and business team during the procurement process.

The Department of Information Resources (DIR) is a state agency that promotes a shared vision for Texas where the state maximizes the value of its technology investment by identifying common areas of interest, using technology to advance agency-specific missions, and preserving flexibility to innovate. Visit DIR at


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