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DoD's Online IT Shopping System Saves Time, Money

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 21, 2003 – Where can DoD information technology procurement specialists quickly get the best deals on computer software?

The Virtual Information Technology Marketplace is only a few mouse-clicks away, said Rick Perron, VITM project manager within DoD's Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence.

The VITM system "is basically a 'point-and-click' capability" that mirrors private-sector business practices, Perron explained. There, authorized DoD IT personnel can comparison-shop in making online computer purchases for official business.

The online ordering system eliminates paperwork, saving time, he pointed out. DoD's Enterprise Software Initiative (ESI) Enterprise Software Agreements (ESA), available through VITM, result in wholesale software buys, assuring maximum leverage of DoD's combined buying power and producing large software discounts.

VITM began operation on Nov. 30, 2002, Perron noted. It was developed for DoD by the General Services Administration, modeled on GSA's online ordering system - GSA Advantage.

Only DoD-issued credit cards currently can be used to make purchases on the VITM system, he pointed out.

VITM is slated to reach full operational capability this Nov. 30, Perron noted, when DoD contractors will be allowed to register and access the system. For now, only DoD military or civilian employees may use the system.

Registration for VITM is easy, Perron noted, at www.vitm.gov. To determine what ESI agreements are currently available, go to ESI Home Page at www.don-imit.navy.mil/esi/.

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