New Cybersecurity SINs Open for Business

Last month we announced that we had established four new Highly Adaptive Cybersecurity Services (HACS) Special Item Numbers (SINs) through IT Schedule 70, in support of the Cybersecurity Strategy and Implementation Plan (CSIP) and Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP).

Since then, our team has been working hard with our industry partners to ensure the SINs are sufficiently populated with rigorously vetted suppliers.

Mission Accomplished

I’m proud to say that, against tight deadlines, we have achieved that mission. The first phase of the oral technical evaluations have been completed and we were able to expedite the modification/award processes to get the initial 15 vendors included on the SINs.

Remember, these new SINs are important because they provide agencies with quicker and more reliable access to key, pre-vetted support services that will expand agencies’ capacity to test their high-priority IT systems, rapidly address potential vulnerabilities, and stop adversaries before they impact our networks.

Further, we have taken steps to make sure that the SINs feature high-quality cybersecurity vendors offering federal, state, local, and tribal agencies the following services:

  • Penetration Testing,
  • Incident Response,
  • Cyber Hunt, and
  • Risk and Vulnerability Assessment

Throughout this process, we have partnered closely with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to ensure the vendors will provide a high level of service to agencies and we will continue to work with such agencies to ensure the government’s cybersecurity needs are being met.

Additionally, we will continue to evaluate and add more vendors to make these SINs even more robust. In fact, all current IT Schedule 70 vendors that offer these services will be required to migrate those services to the new SINs. This, of course, will also provide a way for our industry partners to more easily differentiate these specific cybersecurity services from other IT offerings.

Moving forward, with agency support

Tony Scott, the Federal Chief Information Officer, has applauded our push to centralize the federal government’s buying experience for cybersecurity products and services. As we partner with OMB to provide new capabilities, they are encouraging agencies to buy Cybersecurity Services through IT Schedule 70. With 15 vetted vendors now awarded under the HACS SINs, agencies can begin to establish Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) and/or place task orders in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation 8.4 procedures.

To learn more, please visit

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

IT Solutions Navigator Gets a New Look

Our team here at GSA’s Integrated Technology Services (ITS) continuously strives to provide world-class value for government agencies. One of the ways we do this is by providing electronic tools (e-tools) to help agencies improve management of procurement transactions, place orders, or learn more about business services and products. Moreover, our e-tools make it easier for government — federal, state, local, tribal and other eligible purchasers — to buy IT and telecommunications products, services, and solutions online.

We just made it a whole lot easier for agencies to select the best acquisition solution to meet their unique requirements from GSA’s broad array of IT offerings by launching our new IT Solutions Navigator.

The IT Solutions Navigator, first released in August 2013, has been redesigned to help acquisition professionals find and evaluate GSA’s IT and telecommunications solutions. In fact, we improved the overall functionality so it’s easier for potential buyers and program managers to choose the IT solutions and services that best fit their acquisition requirements.

Our original user base gave a thumbs up

Over the summer we conducted usability testing. We wanted to learn from our current users about the site’s overall functionality and level of usefulness when it comes to meeting their specific needs. Based on the initial feedback, our current users gave a thumbs up! on the IT Solutions Navigator’s new look and feel:

  • “I like how [IT Solutions Navigator] matches the best GSA contracts with my needs and simplifies what would otherwise be a very complex task to perform.”
  • “I like the contract comparison matrix. It makes it much easier to compare multiple contracts.”
  • “It was easy to navigate throughout the site. I really like the print [and] save view — it has a lot of useful information laid out nicely.”
  • “The system is also very fast and responsive. Overall this tool simplifies the market research process in a very straight forward simplistic way.”
  • “You’ve covered a lot of areas and somehow made a tool that is easy to use and very useful.”
  • “The new [IT Solutions Navigator] looks like a major improvement from the previous site.”

Aside from the fact the IT Solutions Navigator makes it easier for acquisition professionals to select the best solutions from GSA’s broad array of IT offerings, we also:

  1. Improved the review and selection experience;
  2. Optimized the search results to tailor IT and telecommunications solutions; and
  3. Increased best option identification.

Improved acquisition professionals’ ability to review and selection experience. The new IT Solutions Navigator gives agency acquisition professionals the ability to identify and evaluate appropriate acquisition vehicles to meet IT requirements. For instance, on the new site users can access ordering guidelines and other online resources for assistance, as well as easily compare multiple GSA IT contract vehicles in order to select which solution will best meet their needs. It’s also easier to register and to use Navigator on mobile.

Optimized the search results to tailor IT and telecommunications solutions. It gives agencies expanded acquisition decision support capabilities for all levels of government: federal, state, local, and tribal government. For instance, the site presents users with a refined set of GSA IT contract vehicles based on their acquisition requirements and priorities, and even will rank the available contracts in order to easily determine which GSA IT Solution will best meet the customer needs.

Increased best-option identification. Finally, it gives users more resources and real-time one-on-one support online via the National Customer Support Center Live Chat.

Other enhancements

Users can use the IT Solutions Navigator tool to:

  • Reduce acquisition lead time through streamlined access to GSA’s IT product, service, and solution offerings;
  • Search for IT solutions based on keyword: Product Service Code, Federal Supply Code, Special Item Number, or North American Industry Classification System code;
  • Identify Green IT product/service categories available to help agencies meet their sustainability goals;
  • Save and view previous contract match searches upon future visits to the system; and
  • Link to information about contract vehicles and assisted services, as well as other resources, to include ordering guidelines, eTools, and Section 508 assistance.

Acquisition Gateway

Both the IT Solutions Navigator and Acquisition Gateway are tools we offer government to help find the best IT solutions and services online. The IT Solutions Navigator solves an immediate need for an automated decision support tool to help agencies narrow down the choices of acquisition solutions available through GSA IT contracts based on their own unique criteria. The Acquisition Gateway is rapidly developing new capabilities to offer agencies state-of-the art tools for conducting research across all government enterprise contracts. Together, they support our government’s IT acquisition requirements.

You can send your questions or feedback to:

Information Technology Customer Service Center (ITCSC)
Phone: (855)ITaid4U (482-4348)
Please follow us on Twitter @GSA_ITS and LinkedIn to join our ongoing conversations about government IT.
Learn more about GSA’s e-Tools here.

Agency Mobile Resources at the Ready following OMB Memo

Note: This is a guest blog post by Amando E. Gavino Jr., Director, Office of Network Services, ITS/FAS/GSA. He is responsible for a portfolio of telecommunication acquisition solutions that provide government agencies the ability to meet their diverse set of telecommunication requirements. Acquisition solutions include Networx, Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions – EIS (the future replacement for Networx), SATCOM, Enterprise Mobility, Connections II, Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative – Wireless (FSSI-W), and the Federal Relay Service.

Many of you are aware that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued the Mobile Services and Devices memo on August 4, 2016. The intent is to vastly enhance acquisition and management of mobile services and devices across government.

Resources and Tools Are Available to Help Agencies

Agencies saw an early draft of the memo and now that it’s final, it’s a great time to review resources available to support every agency in achieving the goals set forth by and in the spirit of the OMB memo.

Leverage Government-wide Acquisition Strategies – Resource number one is the existing Government-wide GSA mobile solution. It gives agencies a variety of service plan and device options from leading national wireless carriers. Information about the program and how to order is available on the GSA website.

Another resource is GSA’s Wireless Economic Model downloadable Excel-based spreadsheet to give agencies a rough order of magnitude concerning your estimated costs and savings when using new wireless service plans. In addition, a Wireless Guide is available to help agencies move from existing contracts and carriers with step-by-step instructions. You can also access a User’s Guide, FSSI Wireless Ordering Template, and ordering instructions. For more resources and templates, visit the Enterprise Mobility Resources web portal.

Optimize Plan Pricing and Device Refresh Schedules – When it comes to OMB’s directive to optimize pricing, the GSA mobile solution has a strong three-year track record of success in optimizing plans and cost savings. About 85% of defense and civilian cabinet-level agencies are using FSSI Wireless Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs), achieving a government total $29 million savings compared to prior rates since the May 2013 FSSI-W award. Agencies that have moved to the existing government-wide FSSI mobile solution find average cost savings of 27% compared to previous wireless service costs. These agencies pay on average $14 less per unit per month. As a reminder, the BPA published prices differ from the actual service prices agencies have negotiated when using the FSSI-W BPAs so please check with us to get prices paid information when you are making comparisons. You’ll find that it’s hard to beat the prices we’ve achieved for the features in the service plans offered.

Carriers include devices at no cost with service plans and users have a choice of devices with each service plan. In accordance with OMB’s guidance, previous generation devices are typically equally capable of meeting government requirements and can be acquired at significantly lower prices. Agencies also have the option to buy service plans for government-furnished equipment (GFE) and user-owned devices.

Scheduling device refreshes is flexible too. No-cost device refreshes happen based on commercially available cycles of 10 to 20 months, although agencies can determine a refresh schedule that works best for their users.

Baseline Agency Usage and Quarterly Reports – Once an agency uses the existing Government-wide GSA mobile solution, the built-in requirements for carriers to provide usage reports will assist in agency quarterly reporting. These reports can help agencies to analyze usage and optimize mobile service levels, including identifying and terminating unused (or zero-use) devices and services. The pooling option for data and minutes saves dollars for agency customers by allowing agency high-volume users to leverage purchased and unused minutes and data from lower volume users.

Optimize Agency Requirements – The OMB memo also addresses actions agencies must take to consolidate contracts, track and improve inventory of mobile devices, and pool mobile services to avoid overage charges. Depending on size, agencies using the existing government-wide FSSI mobile solution can choose to consolidate wireless contracts at the bureau level and then into one enterprise-wide agency contract. Smaller agencies might fully consolidate initially without phases.

Reach Out for Personal Assistance

For more assistance, GSA has an Enterprise Mobility Team that is happy to help with any questions you have or support you need. You can contact us toll-free at (855) ITaid4U (482-4348), or contact our Enterprise Mobility Team directly through, or

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

Cloud SIN Continues to Rain Success

As I reported back in January (The Cloud SIN: Making Sense of Cloud Options, Jan. 21, 2016), we successfully implemented our Cloud Special Item Number (SIN) 132-40 on IT Schedule 70 last year. We added the Cloud SIN to make it even easier for agencies to find cloud-specific solutions, and I’m happy to report that the SIN continues to see notable growth in both customer and industry participation with dozens of solicitations and 23 vendors adopting the SIN.

The Cloud SIN allows us to centralize and streamline access to cloud computing services that help meet federal, state, and local governments’ ever-evolving needs. Agencies can now clearly distinguish cloud from non-cloud IT products and services in order to get to the right solution quickly. All of the cloud solutions are organized in focused sub-categories that are defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The SIN also provides our industry partners with the enhanced ability to market distinctive cloud computing solutions and offerings.

Head in the Clouds, Feet on the Ground

Offerings through the Cloud SIN continue to become more robust, now with 23 industry partners qualified to offer solutions through the SIN. This is further fueled by federal agencies as several have issued nearly 70 solicitations against it.

One of the latest solicitations comes from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as an enterprise-wide Request for Quotation (RFQ) with a contract value of $1.6 billion over a ten-year period (RFQ HSHQDC-16-Q-00195). In addition to DHS, several other agencies have also submitted Cloud SIN solicitations including; the U.S. Air Force, Department of Justice, Veterans Affairs, Army, and the Department of Interior.

The SIN is popular because agencies can easily solicit from a vetted field of supplier offerings, determined by GSA to fit five essential cloud characteristics:

  • on-demand self-service,
  • broad network access,
  • resource pooling,
  • rapid elasticity,
  • and measured service.

Learning More About Cloud

For more resources on the Cloud SIN, including guidance for transitioning your company’s services onto the SIN or how to use the SIN to build a Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA), please visit our Cloud SIN page.

Our Cloud team also regularly hosts informational webinars to discuss our whole suite of cloud solutions. The most recent one, How to Acquire Cloud and Make it Secure, featured Ashley Mahan, GSA FedRAMP Agency Evangelist. Ashley discussed FedRAMP and how it applies to the Federal Community and Industry. In the same webinar, ITS’s Skip Jentsch provided an overview of the cloud computing services we offer, and demonstrated how these acquisition vehicles can save time, money, and risk associated with procuring cloud services.

Check out the slide deck on our LinkedIn page and stay tuned to our Twitter feed @GSA_ITS for future events.