Managed-services contract

Jon Bakken

Jon Bakken, head of the Core Computing Division, wrote this week’s column.

On May 12, Fermilab will begin to transfer responsibilities for some of its core computing services to Dell Services Federal Government. The primary goal of the contract is to consolidate the various vendor contracts we have for the Service Desk, hardware repair, data center installations, networking cabling, PREP logistics and printers and copiers. We expect to leverage Dell’s organization and experience to deliver improved and more efficient services at reduced costs. Dell will be responsible for responding to and resolving all the activities we’ve outsourced to them.

I am often asked, “How will this affect me?” The Dell managed-service contract should not change the way individuals ask for help – you continue to open Service Desk tickets and the work will be completed. We are working well with Dell and we consider their staff team partners. If you experience a delay, respond to the open ticket and ask for it to be escalated.

Dell has hired 17 Fermilab employees and contractors affected by our outsourcing, and it is negotiating with five more. More hiring is expected in the coming weeks. Dell is also establishing a networking and cabling subcontract. Dell will assume full responsibility for all services listed in its contract in June.

The managed-services contract scope with Dell has four major parts: end-user services, data-center services, printer and copier support services and expert on demand.

  • End-user services is the portion that most Fermilab employees and computer users will interact with most. It includes the Service Desk, Level-1 Desktop Support, and networked printer and copier support and repair. We expect to use industry-wide standard metrics to monitor and evaluate these services.
  • Data-center services installs, moves and changes servers, racks and power control units in our big data centers, including our Feynman and Grid Computing Center buildings. This portion of the contract also covers the repair of broken equipment that is registered for the service. All equipment currently covered in our current contract, not just Dell equipment, will also be covered by the new Dell contract.
  • The printer and copier services will be rolled out over a longer period of time. We will assess all printers on site, and, based on that information, Dell will provide us with a roadmap for printer optimizations, including technology updates.
  • The last portion of the managed service contract is expert on demand. This provides staff augmentation at fixed rates to address operational needs or strategic projects. However, we are not required to use Dell for this service. For any project that needs expert help, we have the option to send out the work for bid.