(NOTE: This blog post is also posted at The GSA Blog.)
On December 21st, GSA announced the award of the Salesforce Implementation, Integration, and Support Services (SIISS) BPA. Developed to centralize and streamline $503 million in IT Schedule 70 awards over five years, the BPA aims to bring all Salesforce-related professional services, from development to implementation, under one acquisition vehicle. With today’s release of the ordering guide, GSA takes a critical step in helping make government more efficient and effective; reducing duplication, saving money, and sharing resources.
Moving Beyond the Technology
Annual federal spending on cloud computing is already in the billions and is expected to potentially triple by 2020. As agencies increase their use of cloud-based IT , the demand for cloud services will continue to expand. In order to meet the increasing demands and expectations of federal agencies, whose mission is to provide services to the American taxpayers, it is critical that the government comes together as one to identify our common needs and maintain the highest levels of quality when it comes to the the products and services we purchase to meet those needs. The SIISS BPA is a great step forward in meeting that goal.
With that expansion in mind, GSA’s Office of the CIO (GSA IT) partnered with the Federal Acquisition Service’s Integrated Technology Services and the Federal Salesforce Community of Excellence (previously known as the Interagency Cloud Working Group) to develop this first-of-its-kind BPA, which provides agencies quicker, faster, and cheaper access to high-quality, cost-effective services for Salesforce, one of the industry-leading Software-as-a-Service cloud providers. In addition to quality improvements, the BPA offers the opportunity for individual agencies to develop Salesforce applications with a consistent development and design approach, improving interoperability, reuse, and shareability of code across the government. GSA IT wants to take the lead in establishing a “build once, use many times” philosophy of IT development to maximize value across the federal government.
With so many common repeatable agency support functions and processes, our goal is for agencies to stop reinventing the wheel every time they have a Salesforce-based IT need. Applications developed under this BPA can be shared in a common repository called GSA Labs. GSA Labs is an open government community for exchange of Salesforce applications and code hosted by the General Services Administration. As Anne Rung, the U.S. Chief Acquisition Officer stated in her recent blog “Agencies can potentially save between 50 and 80 percent on application development costs by using the code and configuration hosted on GSA Labs. For example, if an application costs $500k to build from scratch, agencies could save between $250k and $400k by leveraging existing applications or code snippets shared on GSA Labs”.
This BPA is another great example of how collaboration and integrating cross-agency requirements creates a better solution for everyone. Agencies can save time and money through this BPA while being assured this contract incorporates their agency’s needs for trusted and qualified integration companies. The rigorous evaluation standards, created in conjunction with Traci Walker (US Digital Services) and Mark Naggar (HHS OCIO), required vendors to demonstrate their ability to deliver specific technology expertise (in this case Salesforce) using an Agile methodology. This source selection strategy was designed to be used as a repeatable framework making future acquisitions for services faster and more efficient.
Today, we are releasing the SIISS Ordering Guide so that agencies can start driving their Salesforce services procurements to this BPA. We encourage agencies to use the existing information provided through GSA Labs, the Digital Service Playbook, and the TechFAR to utilize best practices, collaborate with others, and develop requirements faster and better than ever before. Also, you can share your success stories via the GSA Labs exchange.
This new contract will make the purchase of services to support the Salesforce platform much easier. GSA has long been a believer in the transformational power of the cloud and its ability to drive down costs for government. This BPA, with its focus on technical standards, reuse, and conduit for government application sharing, will continue to grow the power and scope of that transformation.
Stay tuned for future announcements and a behind-the-scenes view of the history and evolution of the Salesforce Services BPA at the SIISS BPA website.