The PC maker announced Tuesday that it has signed a deal to provide systems to the Office of Administration, whose duties include managing PC hardware for the White House.
The deal is a blanket purchase agreement--valued at $1.7 million--to place Gateway PCs and other equipment throughout the White House, including the president's office.
Gateway PCs are already used inside the West Wing, along with hardware from other manufacturers. This time the company was able to win top spot in an open bidding process against Dell Computer, a source familiar with the bidding process said.
Although the contract dollar amount isn't large by industry standards, the deal is a big win for Gateway. The PC maker has struggled along with the rest of the industry, suffering with low sales and a volatile stock market.
"Our proposal was the best proposal," Shirley Menish, director of field sales for Gateway Federal, said. "That would mean two things: that it was a reasonable price...and that we had an excellent track record for past performance."
Menish mentioned that Gateway's local presence in Country Stores may have helped close the deal. As anthrax scares have wreaked havoc with the mail systems in the nation's capital, Gateway plans to have shipments sent to local stores, where administration officials can arrange to have them picked up.
Dell, which focuses primarily on direct PC sales, apparently could not match this type of service in its bid, sources said.
Under the deal, Gateway will deliver desktop PCs, notebook PCs and 18-inch flat-panel displays, the company said. Specific product lines were not disclosed. Additional hardware can be added on an as-needed basis, under the contract.
News.com's Joe Wilcox contributed to this report.