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USDA Uses HP Technology, Services Worth More Than $40 Million to Connect Every County in United States
HP's Biggest Federal Printing System Sale Plus Servers, Storage and Services are Key to USDA Modernization ProgramPALO ALTO, Calif., April 9, 2003
A series of HP (NYSE:HPQ) technology and services contracts worth more than $40 million forms the foundation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture advanced Common Computing Environment (CCE) and is helping three key agencies within the department provide farmers, ranchers, land owners and millions of other Americans with significantly enhanced services.
Prior to the CCE initiative, USDA offices couldn't share documents electronically with the head office in Washington, D.C., or even another USDA office down the street. Consumers had to contact each individual USDA office whenever they needed information from different jurisdictions. If they needed a map of a land parcel, USDA would offer a black and white photocopy of preprinted materials.
USDA offices are now linked through a reliable computer network running on HP ProLiant servers that enables customers to get the information they need from any of the agency's 2,700 offices nationwide. Through networked HP printers, USDA can now provide farmers, foresters, conservation groups and other constituents with customized maps created in color with high resolution.
The IT purchases were made on contracts involving three agencies within the USDA: the Natural Resource Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency and Rural Development. The CCE group within the USDA supports these agencies with consistent, common and compatible information technology solutions.
The total volume of HP hardware covered under the USDA contracts includes nearly 3,000 HP ProLiant ML370 servers, more than 2,700 HP LaserJet 4100 printers, 1,000 HP Color LaserJet 4600 printers, and 550 HP Business Inkjet 2600 printers. In addition, HP Services has deployed the new servers to more than 2,700 USDA locations across the United States and has provided hardware and assistance to upgrade existing servers.
The three agencies within USDA that are served by this new agreement employ more than 47,000 people. While these agencies and their partners touch the lives of most Americans, they directly serve 6 million to 9 million clients each year, including farmers and residents of both rural and urban areas. The agencies also care for and protect all natural resources on privately owned land.
"Given the USDA's broad mandate, we are immensely proud that these agencies within the department have chosen to rely on HP technology and services," said Jim Weynand, vice president and general manager, HP Public Sector Organization. "We are helping USDA network together offices in every county and borough in the nation, building one of the world's largest distributed single enterprise domains under Microsoft."
The three USDA agencies supported by this agreement have 2,900 domain servers in 2,700 sites, making this the largest distributed deployment under a single domain.
The USDA turned to HP to supply nearly every county office in the United States with its own ProLiant ML370 server for both applications and storage. The server contract totaled $32 million in storage applications and communications. HP worked closely with the USDA to deploy the servers and develop customized rack-mounted solutions and specific configurations for each.
Additionally, the USDA tapped HP for a server upgrade contract worth more than $4.25 million in hardware and services. HP will provide and deploy additional memory boards, disk drives and CPUs for the USDA's server upgrade as well as tape libraries.
The printing systems contract, worth more than $8 million, represents HP's largest single printing system sale ever to a U.S. government agency. Prior to this latest agreement with HP, the USDA was already the largest owner of HP's 2500 CM color inkjet printers, having purchased 3,300 of these printers from 1999-2001. In that same time frame, the USDA also purchased 2,300 HP 340 CBi portable color inkjet printers and 1,300 HP 350 CBi printers.
Prior to signing this latest contract with HP, the USDA evaluated three printing system categories individually and considered other manufacturers and resellers for each. The HP Color LaserJet 4600dtn was chosen for the color workgroup printing system, HP LaserJet 4100dtn for the monochrome workgroup printing system and the HP Business Inkjet 2600dn for printing aerial photos and transparencies. At least two printers, representing the most advanced HP printing systems, will be deployed in nearly every U.S. state as well as in locations in the Caribbean and Pacific Basin.
The Natural Resource Conservation Service will use new HP color printing systems as part of its customer toolkit for field employees who work with the public and government agencies to provide natural resource information. The color printing systems will be used for printing aerial photos, topographic maps and geospatial data in color transparencies. Color layers in geospatial data can represent soil types, grazing distribution, land use and conservation practices. These new HP printing systems improve efficiency and enable NRCS employees to interpret data and provide information in professional-looking documents.
"These three large, busy agencies within the USDA require high-volume printing systems that are both reliable and fast, and that can stand up to rigorous use," said George Mulhern, senior vice president, HP Shared Printing and Imaging Group. "To win this contract across three separate printing product categories underscores HP's leadership in office printing."
Congress established the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1862 to acquire and diffuse among the people of the United States useful information on subjects connected with agriculture and to procure, propagate and distribute among the people new and valuable seeds and plants.
The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) works with private landowners to conserve, maintain and improve natural resources and the environment. Local, state and federal agencies and policymakers work with the NRCS for technical assistance as well. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) also assists farmers with conserving land and water resources, stabilizes farm income, provides credit to new or disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, and helps farm operations recover from the effects of disaster. Rural Development (RD) serves as the lead federal entity for rural development and administers financial and technical assistance through three agencies: Rural Housing Service, Rural Business-Cooperative Service and Rural Utilities Service.
The USDA's Service Center modernization initiative was launched to provide a Common Computing Environment (CCE) for service center personnel within the above three agencies. The CCE is built on a common Information Technology (IT) investment strategy, common telecommunications capability, common office automation tools, common administrative applications and a common IT support organization.
HP is a leading global provider of products, technologies, solutions and services to consumers and businesses. The company's offerings span IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing. HP completed its acquisition of Compaq Computer Corporation on May 3, 2002. More information about HP is available at http://www.hp.com.
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