in my mind all about governance. We are the holders of the master contract, but we are accountable to the 27 agencies. We have put a lot of effort and thought into agency governance - I'm talking about the 27 agencies' governance around this contract. We have what we call a data center services advisory team, which has as its members the CIOs for each of the 27 agencies currently participating in this deal. So the highest level of IT directors in those agencies are members of this advisory team, and, in fact, the advisory team is chaired by a participating agency. DIR is an ex officio member. The advisory team engages on a biweekly, if not more frequent, basis to help govern and drive their requirements through this contract.

So the management structure was designed to make this the agencies' project, not DIR's project?

Absolutely, we are here to meet their business needs. It is a utility computing model, and we are now very much integrated, through this contract, into the business operations of each of these 27 agencies. And this is not just limited to the 27 agencies. We have 27 agencies that were statutorily required to be part of this, but the contract is written to be open to any eligible public-sector entity in Texas. We have more than 4,000 public-sector entities in Texas - about 150 Texas state agencies and the rest are local governments and K-12 - and any eligible public-sector entity can at some point in the future join the contract. Volume consumption is going to drive prices down for everybody.

Steve Towns  |  Executive Editor