DMA Computer Solutions and Digital Equipment Corp. had the winning combination to be awarded a $5.5 million technology bid by School District 11 for laptop computers.
The combination included a major manufacturer, the right technology, and local support that includes training, on-site repairs, and a warranty.
Leslie Vallie, director of procurement and contracting for the district, said Dr. Ken Burnley and the school board wanted much of the bond money approved by voters last November to be spent locally. So far $8.1 million worth of contracts have been awarded locally, Vallie said.
“The question is: Do you pay more going local?” Vallie said. “The answer is ‘no.’”
To date, the district is $1 million under budget on its capital improvement plan, which impresses Vallie.
“We had some really tight budgets,” he said.
“I look at it as a moral victory for the community,” Rick Vogel, owner of DMA Computer Solutions said of the contract. “[Members of] the local community are strong players and can stand toe to toe with national companies.”
Vallie said that many national laptop manufactures were competing for the contract but that Digital figured out that a joint venture with a local company would go in their favor.
“When we went looking for a partner,” said John Koury, regional vice president for Digital, “Rick [Vogel] was an obvious choice.”
DMA has been in business for 29 years providing computer hardware, software, and service. Digital and DMA have teamed up before on contracts for the city and other local businesses. Koury said the team will bid on the District’s desktop and server needs. Vallie said that bid will be going out in six to 12 weeks.
“This is one of the top FIVE largest transactions I’ve ever done,” Vogel said.