Outsourcing Desktop Initiative Started at NASA.


Volume 14, Number 4, December 1998
By Nancy Laubenthal

The Outsourcing Desktop Initiative for NASA (ODIN) model states that "ODIN is intended to develop a long-term outsourcing arrangement with the commercial sector which transfers to it the responsibility and risk for providing and managing the vast majority of NASA's desktop, server and intra-Center communication assets and services as the agency downsizes and refocuses IT personnel to Agency core missions."

NASA-wide, ODIN means that one vendor at each field center, Intellisource Information Systems, Inc., (formerly RMS) in the case of Goddard, is responsible for the total support of the involved desktop computer, including hardware, software, and maintenance. The vendor maintains the hardware, refreshes the hardware after a number of years (depending on the option chosen), upgrades the standard suite of software (Microsoft Office, Netscape, Eudora, McAfee Viruscan) regularly, provides a help desk for support, installs security patches regularly, etc. Under ODIN the user calls the ODIN Help Desk at a 1-800 number for support rather than calling the local organization's staff for that support. Users can order many different options from the ODIN catalog to tailor their seat services. (A "seat" is one computer supported.) Users are allowed to install on their machines any needed software that they purchase or download elsewhere. The ODIN vendor is evaluated based on performance metrics, some of which are determined by a customer survey.

The Space Science Data Operations Office (SSDOO) has signed up for a number of "seats" or desktops for users who have more or less "standard" requirements for computing.


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