ITC Continues to Lead Innovation – Geospatial Software Contracts Reach New Heights

Geospatial Software Success with Esri

As I’ve mentioned on several occasions ‒ as part of GSA’s role in implementing the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) ‒ we’re incorporating cutting-edge, new, and innovative IT ideas and solutions into our programs, contracts and processes. We’re also expanding our work in information technology (IT) Category Management.

Last year the Enterprise Software Category Team worked with Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri) to modify Esri’s GSA Schedule 70 terms and conditions for geospatial software Enterprise License Agreements (ELAs), resulting in improved efficiency, pricing, terms and conditions, and transparency

Modifying Esri’s IT Schedule 70 contract for single license agreements to a “FITARA ELA” was smart and prudent. In fact, the solution started recognizing savings immediately. Esri captures $74 million of the government-wide $294 million annual spend on geospatial software licenses.

Beyond the benefits to agencies utilizing ELAs, federal agencies currently use the standard license agreement (SLAs) receive a 10% discount; approximately $2 million in savings during fiscal 2016. They can see even greater savings by converting to the FITARA ELA.

Saving More with the GSA FITARA ELA

FITARA, passed by Congress in December 2014 and implemented at the beginning of 2015, helps government agencies optimize the cost of IT ownership through better management. Our FITARA solution provides government-wide savings based on the aggregate purchase for all federal agencies. This solution also affords large-volume discounts for agencies, regardless of the number of licenses. For instance, a small department needing only a few licenses can take advantage of the same discounts as a larger organization requiring more software.

By cost savings alone, the new government-wide FITARA ELA will potentially save American taxpayers millions of dollars. Moreover, the FITARA ELA not only saves millions of dollars, but it also:

  • Improves efficiencies by eliminating the need for separate negotiations;
  • Reduces administrative costs by implementing a single set of terms & conditions across government;
  • Offers tiered discounts by leveraging the buying power of the federal government;
  • Benefits from increased price transparency; and
  • Provides government agencies access to the agreement, as well as software management best practices in the software hallway on the Acquisition Gateway.

Non-ELA agencies that move to an Esri FITARA ELA save, on average, 50% by signing a FITARA ELA with Esri.

Existing ELA agencies can switch to an Esri FITARA ELA by processing just an administrative modification ‒ one more paragraph added to your existing ELA contract. There is no need to recompete; the turnaround process averages about 24 hours. These agencies will receive at least an additional 3% in savings on ELA payments starting January 2017, due to more than $30 million spent through current licensing agreements sales and based on tiered discounts (3% savings for $30 million threshold).

Agencies already completing the switch to Esri FITARA ELAs include:

  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of the Air Force (Civil Engineer)
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Department of Interior
  • Department of Transportation (Federal Aviation Administration)
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. National Guard (Army/Air Guard)
  • Army Corps of Engineers
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Based upon how agencies buy between single and enterprise license agreements by the end of the fiscal year, we’re expecting a 5-6% overall savings when agencies fully roll onto the Esri IT Schedule 70 contract.

Benefits to the Government

We continue to look for opportunities to partner with our suppliers on targeted agreements and bring more savings to government agencies. What is more, the government benefits through reduced duplicative contracts, allowing our industry partners to bring innovation to the federal marketplace faster and change the government discussion from procuring technology to transforming enterprises.

We appreciate Esri being the first to offer a government-wide ELA, giving government agencies the opportunity to benefit from this partnership. Through the FITARA ELA, federal agencies:

  • Save on future products. New products that are released will automatically be available at no additional charge.
  • Tap into different training venues at no additional cost.
  • Stay up-to-speed on current technology and get exposure to best-in-class solutions.
  • In the event of a disaster, receive disaster support around the clock.

Stay tuned as we will be announcing another FITARA based ELA very soon!

For more information visit us on the Acquisition Gateway.

Please follow us on Twitter @GSA_ITC and LinkedIn to join our ongoing conversations about government IT.

Health IT Services SIN – Ready to Serve Agencies

This summer I announced the the release of our new Health IT Services Special Item Number (SIN 132-56) on IT Schedule 70. Now, I am happy to report that the SIN has been awarded to 65 highly qualified industry partners – with that number continuing to grow daily as new contracts are being awarded. With such a robust supplier offering, the SIN is now very much ready to serve agencies’ health IT services requirements.

As a reminder, the Health IT Services SIN simplifies the procurement process, making it easier for agencies to get access to innovative and emerging health IT services. It also fosters competition and promotes small business participation. The SIN also gives industry partners a way to distinguish their health IT services offerings from other IT related services already under the IT Schedule 70 program, letting them stand out to agencies specifically seeking health IT services.

Additionally, the Health IT SIN also supports the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan to expand adoption of health IT services, reduce prices, advance secure and interoperable health information solutions, and strengthen healthcare delivery systems.

In the coming months, in cooperation with our agencies and industry partners, we will actively engage in expanding the usage of the new Health IT SIN.

I encourage agencies to visit the IT Schedule 70 Health IT SIN web page for more information on how to use the SIN to purchase health IT services.

Please follow us on Twitter @GSA_ITC and LinkedIn to join our ongoing conversations about government IT.

Happy Veterans Day! Success of the VETS GWAC Continues

On Friday, we observe and celebrate Veterans Day. Here in FAS we work hard year-round to honor our veterans and support the work they continue to do on behalf of this country. For centuries, veterans have served our great nation in a variety of ways, and their role in today’s federal information technology (IT) market is no exception.

I’m proud to say that whenever your agency needs IT services, the Veterans Technology Services (VETS) Governmentwide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) is ready to provide you with access to high-quality, customizable solutions offered by service-disabled veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Having surpassed $1.8 billion in federal obligations, the VETS GWAC demonstrates both our nation’s dedication to service-disabled veterans and their commitment to seeing our nation succeed.

Your agency can use the current VETS GWAC to acquire:

  • IT help-desk support
  • Specially designed and tested software
  • Data-migration services
  • Computer system support and maintenance
  • VoIP support
  • System migration and consolidation
  • And more!

GSA is working on the VETS 2 GWAC, a follow on effort planned to be awarded in 2017.

To learn more about how the VETS and VETS 2 GWACs can support your mission, while helping your agency achieve socioeconomic procurement goals related to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, visit www.gsa.gov/vets and www.gsa.gov/vets2 or contact us at (855) 482-4348.

You can also visit the IT Hallways on the Acquisition Gateway for more information on the VETS GWAC.

Be sure everyday, and especially this Friday, to thank a Veteran for their service.

Please follow us on Twitter @GSA_ITC and LinkedIn to join our ongoing conversations about government IT.

Interested in how MEGABYTE impacts you? We can help

With annual spend of over $6 billion through more than 42,000 separate transactions, software represents a significant IT investment for the Federal Government. Detailed findings published in a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report revealed that the vast majority of these purchases are decentralized, and that federal agencies lack the tools to manage these assets.

As a result, 2016 has been a busy year for federal Chief Information Officers (CIOs), Category Managers, and Software Asset Managers tasked with addressing federal mandates. I’m proud to say that my team has been working hard to help ease this process for agencies.

Getting a Handle on Software

On June 2, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued Category Management Policy 16-1 requiring each federal agency to employ a centralized software license management strategy and provide skilled personnel to maintain it. In addition, agencies must now collect software inventories and analyze/report cost savings attributable to their newly deployed strategies.

Piggybacking on the framework established by OMB’s memo, President Obama signed the Making Electronic Government Accountable by Yielding Tangible Efficiencies (MEGABYTE) Act into Public Law this July. MEGABYTE sets forth an official directive requiring Executive Agency CIOs to comply with the terms of the OMB memo.

GSA Is Your Resource

The MEGABYTE Act empowers agency CIOs to manage their IT infrastructure and perform Software Category Management. The successful outcome of both activities is substantial savings and cost avoidance, which can be re-invested in IT modernization efforts.

With this goal in mind, the Enterprise Software Category Team (ESCT)—consisting of GSA’s IT Software Category, OMB, and Department of Defense-Enterprise Software Initiative (DOD-ESI)—is providing assistance to agency software license managers on where to start.

The IT Software Category currently leverages experts (from industry and government) in Enterprise Software Licensing, software asset management, strategic sourcing, and category management to assist our agencies in developing and implementing MEGABYTE. We do this by hosting weekly information sharing and collaboration sessions where software license managers from the 24 Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Council agencies meet to discuss their progress in:

  • tracking and capturing savings;
  • software centralization efforts;
  • strategic vendor management; and
  • collecting accurate software inventory data.

Since early September 2016, the ESCT has hosted nine working sessions with representatives from 28 separate agencies (including the CFO Council agencies, and four sub-agencies). Outcomes of these working sessions have yielded tools and templates for vendor management planning, software centralization, cost savings analysis, and software asset management automated tool set functionality.

Next Steps

As the weekly working sessions wind down, GSA will continue to collaborate with the federal software community. Our goal is to successfully position agencies in their quest for effective software license management through:

  • A Community of Practice Portal accessible by registered federal software license managers to share success stories and lessons learned;
  • A Software Asset Management Website providing updates on federal progress, industry resources, policy guidance, and technology advancements; and
  • Periodic Webinars related to steady-state software license management best practices

GSA continues its development of the Software License Management as a Service program, which will enable agencies to acquire the tools and services they need for effective software license management.

Currently, the program is piloting the service with Nuclear Regulatory Commission, GSA IT and the Office of Personnel Management. Each pilot is focused on different aspects of License Management to include governance and procedure development, SAM toolset integration and current-state ITAM gap analysis.

To learn more, please visit www.gsa.gov/software and join our community on the Acquisition Gateway.

Also, please follow us on Twitter @GSA_ITC and LinkedIn to join our ongoing conversations about government IT.