Help Us Shape the Future

Posted by Mary Davie
on May 28, 2014

Here in ITS, we’re reevaluating our approach to strategic sourcing by focusing on category management, which will help transform government IT acquisition and improve the value we provide to our customers. We can’t succeed without your feedback on the best ways to improve our performance. We are counting on you—our customers and industry partners—to identify where we can serve you better.

We’re conducting two surveys that focus on ITS, our performance, and what you expect when you work with us.  (These surveys are separate from our recent supplier perception survey and our Customer Loyalty Survey):

Suppliers: The Voice of the Supplier Tool will assess supplier satisfaction in key areas with questions tailored according to category management best practices.

Federal ITS Customers: The Business Alignment Tool will allow ITS customers to assess our acquisition management function as it relates to category management.

The surveys will take no more than 20 minutes, but will give us the insights we need to help tailor our approach to best meet your needs.

Thank you for helping shape our future.

What Category Management Means for You

You may be asking, what is category management and why should it matter to me?

Category management is a data-driven approach to manage groups of related products and services. In principle, it drives greater value by generating sourcing strategies unique to each grouping of products or services (e.g., the software market has different drivers and savings levers than the telecommunications market does).

Ultimately, we expect category management to help us better carry out our mission—and enable our customers to do the same—by shifting our focus away from managing ITS contracts and towards developing market expertise that will put us in the best position to guide our customers to best-fit solutions. Our goal is to become the go-to trusted advisor for our customers’ IT needs.

We know that establishing this position within the federal acquisition community will mean providing customers with value-added services that make designing solutions and using contract vehicles easier while still delivering better value. Category management is a tool we believe will help us meet this challenge by focusing our efforts on understanding customer demand and market dynamics.

Through better management of customer and supplier relationships, we hope to bring greater value to the acquisition process by more easily aligning customer demand with market solutions. Understanding our customers’ need and the Federal IT environment is just one piece of the puzzle. Working with our industry partners to understand emerging technologies and innovative solutions in addition to their cost drivers will be just as important.

To learn how GSA can further help your agency with your IT procurements, contact our National IT Customer Services Center by phone at (855) ITaid4U or by e-mail at ITCSC@gsa.gov.

Please follow us on Twitter @GSA_ITS to join the conversation.

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Alliant GWAC Five Years Later: Usage, savings, and efficiency just keep getting better

Posted by Mary Davie
on May 19, 2014

Five years ago, GSA’s Integrated Technology Services (ITS) team had an ambitious vision: to create a governmentwide acquisition contract (GWAC) to meet all of the federal government’s IT services needs. But primarily ITS wanted to save time and money by eliminating the need for agencies to create their own contracts. That vision and commitment created the GSA Alliant GWAC.

Today, $16.5 billion and 54 agencies later, Alliant continues to provide IT services contract support for partner agencies. On May 1, 2014, GSA extended the Alliant option period. Agencies can continue to acquire innovative and complex IT services while still receiving Alliant’s same great customer service until April 2019.

Both DoD and civilian agencies alike use Alliant. Alliant has helped support mission-critical and transformative IT projects for the departments of Homeland Security and State; the Internal Revenue Service;  the Army, Navy, and Air Force,  and many more.

Stellar customer service

Industry partners and federal customers often praise Alliant for its end-to-end stellar customer service and complimentary project scope reviews. Its customer-focused services put Alliant head and shoulders above many other government IT contracts.

Client testimonials note Alliant’s “exceptional” and “unparalleled” customer service and appreciate that “the team responds swiftly to all inquiries,” particularly as “the need to use Alliant has increased.” Another client described the team as “responsive, flexible, and sensitive to our needs” and said, “Without the support of extremely competent GSA contracting staff, there is no way we could have put a contract in place….” Read more Alliant customer testimonials.

Collaboration

As the IT market and emerging new technology evolve, GSA must work with industry and our customers to keep pace. Over the last five years, as advances in federal IT services emerge, the Alliant GWAC Shared Interest Group (SIG), comprising Alliant prime industry partners, works together to stay ahead of the curve.

For example, as the federal government’s interest in moving to cloud-based systems emerged, the SIG worked with a cross-government team to develop sample statements of work (SOWs). These SOWs serve as a valuable roadmap for agencies on how best to acquire, migrate, and integrate cloud systems.

To deliver the best IT solutions to the government, good working relationships with our industry partners are critical. Alliant continues to be recognized as an example of how government and industry can work together to deliver results for the federal government.

Moving Forward

We’re not just resting on our laurels; we know there is plenty of work ahead. We continue to be at the forefront of moving government forward through our “prices paid” data initiative, which helps federal buyers negotiate better because they can see what other agencies are paying for IT services.

Not only do we have certain prices paid data available on strategicsourcing.gov so any government employee can conduct better market research and stronger negotiations, but we are also adding more detail, greater capabilities, and increased functionality.

We are also already moving forward with our Alliant 2 strategy. We are engaging both customers and industry partners through GSA’s Interact community to discuss ideas and strategies that will help shape the next-generation Alliant GWAC. We encourage everyone involved with federal IT purchasing to join the conversation.

Looking forward, we’re thrilled with the possibilities of federal IT’s future. Alliant is a solid, tried- and-true program that is always getting better and better. We are committed to providing the services that have helped so many agency customers over the past five years as we develop the next-generation solution.  

To learn how GSA can further help your agency with your IT procurements, contact our National IT Customer Services Center by phone at (855) ITaid4U or by e-mail at ITCSC@gsa.gov.

 

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