10 Facts You Need on FSSI Wireless

Posted by Mary Davie
on May 23, 2013

It’s here: FSSI Wireless.

We recently announced government agencies can now use GSA’s new Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) Wireless Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) to order wireless plans and devices from leading carriers.

What is the big deal?

# 1 is the incredible cost savings to government. The agreements will save 300 million taxpayer dollars over the next five years.

# 2 has to do with acquisition efficiency and speed. The BPAs will give agencies an improved and cost-effective way to procure, deploy, and manage wireless services and capabilities.

# 3 the BPAs can help reduce costs for industry partners by streamlining contract management costs.

We launched the BPAs as part of the Administration’s Digital Government Strategy (DGS), an effort to transform government services and use of mobile technology in line with 21st-century expectations. The Wireless Program meets DGS Action Item 5.1.

I want to congratulate the cross-government team and leading wireless carriers who came together to get this vital program to work.

10 Don’t-Forget FSSI Wireless Facts

To start saving taxpayer and agency dollars, you can order from the BPAs right now. Here’s what you need to know:

    1. You will achieve significant savings over current plans.
    2. Voice only, data only, and voice/data services plans are available.
    3. Carriers will include devices at no cost with service plans. Users have a choice of devices with each service plan.
    4. Each wireless carrier can decide the make/model of the devices to offer with its service plans. Carriers don’t need to modify BPAs to add devices, so they can offer newer devices quickly and easily. Latest models may not be available right away.
    5. No-cost device refreshes happen every 20 months.
    6. You can buy service plans for government-furnished equipment (GFE) and user-owned devices.
    7. A feature of FSSI Wireless BPAs is pooling in conjunction with rate optimization. It provides agencies with a powerful new tool for pooling minutes and megabytes (MB) usage to reduce overages and costs.
    8. In addition to federal agencies, state and local (S&L) governments can buy from the FSSI Wireless BPAs. Wireless is the single biggest IT item S&L currently wants from GSA’s Schedule 70, so cost savings and easy ordering offered by the BPAs adds even more benefits.
    9. GSA has tools to help you move to FSSI Wireless to plug into the benefits faster. We will post soon to our website these tools: An Economic Model helps you estimate costs and planned savings, a User’s Guide helps you order, and Transition Templates help you move from your existing service plans.
    10. Get the most up-to-date information about FSSI Wireless service plans and pricing from www.gsa.gov/wirelessfssi.

We couldn’t be more excited to have led the cross-government and industry team to bring you these BPAs. I believe they will transform the acquisition of wireless service plans and devices government-wide.

I think you are going to agree with me once you start using them. Are you ready to order now? Or find out more? Read more about FSSI Wireless.

Please share comments or additional ideas in the comments section below, or follow us on Twitter @GSA_ITS to join the conversation.

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FY14 IT Budget: Our Run to Daylight

Posted by Mary Davie
on May 1, 2013

The release of President Obama’s FY14 Budget reinforces the fact that many government agencies’ reduced IT spending budgets continue to decrease. However, agencies must still deliver enhanced missions to serve the American people.  Therefore, we must work smarter than ever — together — to deliver better value and savings.

While the FY14 budget nudges up IT spending slightly, a closer look shows many agencies actually face reduced or flat spending, yet missions continue to grow and demands continue to expand.

This does not deter us, but inspires us. It allows us to be creative, entrepreneurial, and innovative. But how do we succeed? How do we ensure budget constraints and pressure from sequestration are not missed opportunities?

Noted football coach Vince Lombardi was famous for his running-to-daylight offense where offensive linemen blocked areas en masse and the running back ran toward any opening created. This was the key to gaining football yardage and, ultimately, victory.

With spending cuts in play, government needs to find the openings (opportunities) to turn the game around. The quicker we run in that direction, the better chance we have to be champions.

Spend Less; Spend Smarter

Our shared goals are simple: Deliver cost-effective best value to the American taxpayer. We must use shared resources to work more efficiently, spend smarter, reduce duplication, and decrease costs.

In government IT, we already have proven winning game plans:

1.   Agency Deep Dives. Enterprise-wide, agencies can often find areas to improve IT collaboration and system sharing. Agency IT deep dive teams that explore cost-saving options and enhance enterprise-wide cooperation make sense now more than ever.

GSA’s Acting Administrator consolidated all our IT personnel, budgets, and systems under GSA’s Chief Information Officer. We’ve also had huge success internally with our Great Ideas Hunt (generating $5 million in savings so far). We rolled it outside the agency to search for other great ideas we can use to save money and deliver solutions better.

2.   Strategic Sourcing. Agencies have been looking at better ways to cooperate and benefit from work done by other agencies to drive down government operating costs. We need to help them do that faster. We must share and use contracts where much of the acquisition effort and cost are already completed.

We are enhancing current contracts to make it easier for customers to find and order services and faster to modify, customize, and add to existing contracts. We are implementing agile and innovative solutions to increase the speed for agencies to reap the benefits of technologies like cloud computing, cybersecurity, and telecommunications.

These solutions, like our upcoming strategic sourcing wireless contract, also help drive down costs. We are working with partners and inter-agency working groups to make solutions and services like managed mobility, network services, and cloud brokerage more accessible and convenient for all agencies to use. We aim to drive cost-effectiveness and world-class value government-wide.

3.   GSA IT Savings Report. Do you ever get reports from your utility company about how your home energy efficiency compares to your neighbors? I just got one the other day. It’s confidential between me and the utility…. but how in the world can my energy use be so much more than all the other homes in my community? How can I do better?

GSA stands ready to work with your agency to explore ways our IT solutions can help you reduce costs, minimize duplications and redundancies, and save your budget dollars by leveraging our investment to set up contracts and acquisition vehicles, so you don’t have to. We can leverage your past vendor successes and bring more partner opportunities to the mix.

Our job is to help support you to focus on your missions while maintaining quality and reducing costs. Be sure to contact GSA (check our technology site on gsa.gov for our contact number).  We have a team of resources to help you.

We’re committed to help government as a whole save $2.1B in government IT costs every year. This savings will go a long way to help reduce the budget deficit and help agencies to maximize their IT dollars. All of us are going to have to re-think and re-imagine how we do things – together.

Please share comments or additional ideas in the comments section below, or follow us on Twitter @GSA_ITS to join the conversation.

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