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magnetic head and tape cleaner. To date, commercial establishments have ordered over 600 units. The Federal Government has ordered none. Yet it could save hundreds of thousands of dollars this fiscal year by the direct substitution of Potter drives. Since the design of these units is simple and straightforward, additional savings could be realized by in-house maintenance as recently urged by GAO. (Potter supplies free training classes). Other long-term savings would result as the drive's gentler tape handling extends tape life.
In spite of these possible savings, the Federal Government is likely to gain very little this year unless some impetus for change can be generated in the hierarchy. We in marketing will be forced to visit each agency in turn, plead our case, and ferrite out the hero who will stick his neck out to change the status-quo. This takes time-time during which the taxpayer is paying a premium for this type equip ment.
The failure to act in the face of the advantages to be gained is theoretically justified on the basis of the anticipated problems associated with multi-vendored systems. Superficially the problems seem like many and without solution. In reality they all reduce to the fear that two vendors will be blaming each other's equipment while valuable production time is lost. This could conceivably happen in the case of tape drives if the computer had only one drive attached. With two or more drives on a system the faulty equipment can be determined with only the most elementary deductive reasoning. Of course, full advantage is also taken of existing IBM diagnostic tests and IBM field test equipment in localizing problems.
In the final analysis the hard facts are that there are significant savings to be realized by utilization of equipment of this type. The element of risk associated with multi-vendored systems has already been investigated and discounted by commercial users with profit and loss responsibility. We hope to see a corresponding amount of initiative demonstrated by the Federal Government in the near future.
If you have any questions or require any more detail, I would be more than happy to work with you in developing this theme. Sincerely yours,
GEORGE B. MCFARLAND,
1. It is a fact that the Federal Government purchases almost all of its ADP equipment through competitive bidding which requires the bidder to supply the entire system. The inflexibility of this approach robs the government of the opportunity to avail itself of the latest technological advances in peripheral equipment to say nothing of tremendous cost savings. For instance, an IBM model 729 VI sells for $42,450. The Potter counterpart, the SC-7296, sells for $18,500 in a quantity of one and $16,300 in a quantity of five (5) or more.
2. If the Government were to solicit bids for peripherals separately from the main frame, the software would still be supplied with the main frame. Plugto-plug peripherals are specifically designed to interface to the main frame manufacturers equipment with no hardware or software modifications.
3. All manufacturers provide maintenance and training. In fact, the newer peripherals such as the Potter Tape Drives are simple in design so as to require very little training for maintenance and in fact very little maintenance.
If the Drives are rented maintenance is provided in the rental package. If the drives are purchased or leased the maintenance can be contracted for separately. In any case, maintenance and training is available.
4. All magnetic tape units are cabled to the computer manufacturers equipment and their operation does depend upon commands from the computer-s0 what?
5. If a computer is rented, the user can ask one manufacturer to let another manufacturer cable directly to his equipment. This is covered in IBM's multiple supplier bulletin (copy attached.)
6. Maintenance of each manufacturer's equipment would be the responsibility of the individual manufacturer. This works very well especially in the case of IBM who actually bends over backwards to help.
7. Determining which part of the system is at fault in case of failure is quite easy, especially in the case of tape drives. If the computer has four drives on line and one drive is acting up, it is obviously a tape drive. If all drives are acting up they all can be disconnected and checked in turn with an IBM field tester. They can each then be reconnected and tested on line. If none of the four (4) drives operates after being checked off-line, it most obviously is the computer that is at fault. Actually the case where one would not be sure whether the tape drive of the computer was at fault would be a one-in-a-million occurrence.
MULTIPLE SUPPLIER SYSTEM BULLETIN
This Bulletin has been published to define more fully IBM's responsibilities and its relationships between other suppliers and yourself in the installation and maintenance of a system comprised of equipment and/or services supplied by IBA and other suppliers. It also includes those situations in which an alteration is made to an IBM unit whether or not the unit is a part of a Multiple Supplier System. This Bulletin supersedes the Alterations and Attachments Information Bulletin for Customers and includes those situations previously referred to as an Alteration or Attachment.
A Multiple Supplier System is one in which a system or unit marketed by another supplier is mechanically, electrically, or electronically interconnected with an IBM supplied machine or system. Alterations are defined as any changes made to the physical, mechanical, or electrical arrangement (including microcode) of an IBM machine or system whether or not additional devices or parts are required.
TECHNICAL GUIDANCE AND SYSTEMS, APPLICATIONS AND PHYSICAL INSTALLATION
In Multiple Supplier Systems, IBM does not assume responsibility for support of the other supplier's portion of the system nor for the integration of such equipment into the system. We will willingly meet with you and the other suppliers (s) to achieve a common understanding of each party's responsibility in the support of the units each provides.
1. Servicing of IBM Machines in Multiple Supplier Systems
a. IBM will provide maintenance and repair services for the unaltered portion of the IBM machines or systems, unless attachment of a non-IBM unit or an alteration creates a safety hazard. Upon notice from IBM, the hazard is to be elimi. nated before IBM will continue service.
b. If any alteration to an IBM machine or the attachment of a non-IBM unit results in an increase in IBM maintenance on IBM machines (under an IBM lease or maintenance agreement), at IBM's option, such increased maintenance will be billed to you at the then prevailing per call rates and terms and/or IBM may request you to discontinue the attachment or correct the alteration. Maintenance documentation or special tools and test equipment made necessary by the alteration or attachment will be made available by you.
C. IBM will normally provide or procure installation and/or maintenance serv. ices for non-IBM equipment proposed and marketed by IBM. Special tools and test equipment, parts and supplies, wiring diagrams, engineering support, instructional materials, and other maintenance data which IBM deems necessary will be excluded from the maintenance service and will be made available by you at your expense. 2. Serricing of Units Provided by Other Suppliers
IBM's maintenance objective is to provide service for products which it manufactures and markets. Because of the number of devices involved, it is impractical for IBM to train its customer engineers on non-IBM equipment. Under certain circumstances IBM may elect to provide service for non-IBM products upon written customer request. The guidelines relative to IBM service on non-IBM equipment are as follows:
a. It is not IBM's policy to provide maintenance service support for competitive equipment. Any questions regarding the status of specific units should be referred to your IBM representative.
b. If your other supplier's equipment provides a function not offered by IBM, approval for IBM maintenance service may be given based upon the unique circumstances of each case and providing the following conditions are met:
The training requirements must be specified, assessed, and approved by IBM and a fee will be charged for this training;
No exposure to safety hazards exist, as determined by IBM ;
The IBM equipment involved is a significant part of the equipment to be maintained at each location;
Special tools and test equipment parts and supplies, wiring diagrams, engineering support, instructional materials, and other maintenance data which IBM deems necessary to make installation or repair will be made
available by you at your expense. Installation and/or maintenance will then be performed by IBM at the per call rates and terms then in effect provided prior written permission is secured from the owner of the non-IBM equipment. $. Systems Maintenance Management
Systems Maintenance Management is an IBM service designed to meet the requirements of complex systems installations involving common carrier and/or non-IBM equipment. Details of the Systems Maintenance Management service are available upon request from your IBM representative. Among the necessary qualifications for this service are that your IBM equipment must be a significant part of your installation and, in IBM's judgment, a substantial maintenance management coordination is required.
IBM PROGRAMMING SYSTEMS (DIAGNOSTICS, TYPE I, TYPE II) The following points are included for your review on the possibility that an alteration or the equipment provided by other suppliers may require modification to programming systems provided by IBM.
1. It is your responsibility to modify and to maintain any modifications to IBM programs. IBM representatives will assist to the degree practicable in identifying the types of efforts with which you will be involved.
2. The program support material normally supplied our customers will be provided to you.
3. Programs, teaching aids, and other material may be obtained under the then existing IBM policies.
Maintenance and service implications of customer modification to IBM programs should be reviewed with your IBM representative.
MODIFICATIONS TO EQUIPMENT OR PROGRAMS
Subsequent modification by IBM to its equipment or to its programs may require rework on your part to re-establish a compatible interface to the other supplier's equipment.
Since the total system design is the customer's responsibility including the selection of non-IBM equipment to be interfaced to IBM machines, IBM does not accept responsibility for the infringement by our customers of patents which relate to equipment not manufactured by IBM of patents which relate to the combination of non-IBM equipment with IBM equipment.
With respect to equipment manufactured and sold by IBM, IBM's standard indemnification will apply : however, in those situations where IBM proposes and markets non-IBM equipment, IBM's indemnity is limited to that which can be passed on to the customer as the result of the manufacturer's grant of indemnity to IBM.
IBM's installation and continued servicing and maintenance of its equipment in Multiple Supplier Systems does not constitute approval or endorsement of the non-IBM equipment.
IBM does not assume liability for personal injury or property damage arising out of or caused by an alteration or by the equipment provided by other sup pliers, IBM does not assume responsibility for the quality of a non-IBM unit except when marketed by IBM. IBM assumes no responsibility for damage to interconnected non-IBM equipment that may result from the normal operation and maintenance of the IBM equipment.
When you return a leased machine to IBM or if you are notified by IBM that an alteration or attached equipment provided by other suppliers conflicts with the Alterations and Attachments paragraph of our Agreement for IBM Machine Service, you will restore the IBM unit to its normal condition.
MODERN DATA SYSTEMS,
Farmingham, Mass., September 9, 1968. Mr. RICHARD L. CAVENEY, Director of Government Marketing, Bryant Computer Products, Walled Lake, Mich.
DEAR MR. CAVENEY: Thank you for the opportunity to examine the correspondence relating to the employee's suggestion from the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, which was in my opinion not given sufficient consideration by those evaluating it. As you have pointed out, this single suggestion alone has the potential of saving about one billion dollars in Federal expenditures. The conclusion is inescapable that, through this and many other similar suggestions, the Federal budget could be brought into balance without the need for new taxes, surtaxes, or inflation-generating deficits.
As you well know, we at MODERN DATA Systems magazine have advocated the Peripheral Equipment Manufacturers Association, one function of which would be to help inform governments (lobby, if you will) of the potential savings to be made in the procurement of computing equipment through a thorough examination of the potential sources. Certainly drastic changes need to be made, and we at MODERN DATA Systems are willing to advise, criticize, investigate, publicize, or do whatever else is necessary to assist this revamping of the Federal procurement procedures. I know that your personal influence in this matter is great through your testimony before the Congress of the United States, and the purpose of this letter is to express both my personal support of your efforts and the general support of my magazine. If my testimony before the Congress will serve any useful purpose of enlightenment or expression of opinion, I shall be very happy to appear.
I look forward to our significant progress along these lines in the remainder of this Congress and in the next. Sincerely,
DAN M. BOWERS,
Editor-in-Chief. Representative Brown. I am sure you know that one of my other parochial interests, the Government Operations Committee, created a commission to study the procurement practices of the Government, and one of the objectives of this commission is to try to balance this question of complex requirements with the question of whether requirements are so complex that they keep the small company or the new company from coming in and doing business with the Federal Government.
I have family connections with some people who have a relatively small business and their attitude about doing business with Uncle Sam because of the requirements of the procurement regulations would make very interesting reading but not necessarily very flattering reading in these hearings.
You mentioned in some instances a procurement procedure took 11 months and some of these small companies are not interested in this type of procedure.
Without objection, and I rather assume there will be none, all relevant material will be put in the record. We will hold the record open for 10 days so that we can include any additional written questions from members of the subcommittee, and we trust that we will have your cooperation in getting a response.
Thank you very much, gentlemen. The subcommittee will stand adjourned.
(Whereupon, at 4:25 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned, subject to the call of the Chair.)