EIS Takes Big Steps to Collaborate

Posted by Mary Davie
on April 27, 2015

It’s April. It’s Spring. And, it’s the time of year when we do spring cleaning to revitalize our lawns, clean messy garages, and refresh our winter-weary homes.

It’s also a great time to kick off a series of live GSA Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) “Information Exchange” sessions with industry and launch a new EIS interactive online community for federal government agencies and potential industry partners.

EIS is the main component of the Network Services 2020 (NS2020) Strategy. It will replace GSA’s Networx and regional and local contracts, which many agencies currently use to acquire best-value IT, telecom, and infrastructure. Agencies will start to transition in 2017.

Attend Information Exchange Days

We issued an EIS Draft Request for Proposal (RFP) in February. Our partners in government and industry responded with more than 1,500 comments on the Draft RFP. We’re excited about the amount of interest in the Draft RFP and we’re looking forward to good, constructive conversations.

We’ll continue this productive dialog during “information exchange” days before we issue the RFP.  These “information exchange” sessions are open to government and industry and will take place on April 27, May 28 and June 30.

The information exchange sessions will give government and industry a chance to talk about the upcoming RFP and discuss common themes, insights, and issues. Stay tuned to the EIS Interact Community for how to register for the remaining sessions. Space is limited.

Join EIS Interact Community

To make EIS a success, we must ensure continuous collaboration and feedback. The EIS Interact community opened on April 17. This open forum is for GSA, agencies, and industry to continually collaborate and share ideas.

The EIS transition planning process, for example, has started. In order to be successful, we need to share insights and lessons learned. On the Interact community, we can jointly share transition insights and lessons to add value for every agency and make government-wide transitioning smoother overall.

How valuable the open forum will be depends on the value of member contributions. When we share good generic tips, ideas, and helpful insights, we serve our shared needs.

For any non-public discussions, including those related to proprietary information, you should use the EIS mailbox, which is EIS.Mailbox@gsa.gov.

To join the Interact community, visit the site to become a member. You will have access to community postings, including from GSA, and can participate, share and receive helpful information via the discussions.

Collaboration is Shaping EIS from the Start

These efforts mark the next logical steps in our continued emphasis on EIS collaboration.

Government and industry working together has been part of the EIS acquisition effort from day one. This is vital to ensure federal agency needs are met and industry partners have input early into the contract.

Our first step was to gather feedback and input on lessons learned from current contracts and past telecom transitions.

We’ve issued Requests for Information (RFIs) and posted a Draft Request for Proposal (RFP) on FBO.gov to gather EIS input and recommendations from stakeholders and share the planned EIS approach.

We continue to work in partnership with government agencies and industry partners, such as with one-on-one meetings, working groups, advisory panels, and by participating at other government and industry events.

This Spring marks a new season in collaboration. We encourage you to join the EIS Interact Community and come to information exchange days. Let’s keep moving in the right direction together!

If you need help or information on GSA’s EIS acquisition, go to our EIS Webpage.

And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @GSA_ITS to join GSA’s IT acquisition conversation.

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Connecting with ITS

Posted by Mary Davie
on April 15, 2015

If  you’re a regular reader of the ITS blog, you already know that we provide the government IT and acquisition communities with private-sector solutions for everything from simple IT commodities to complex infrastructure and emerging technology. Now, we’ve made it even easier for government buyers and our industry partners to get the information they need, whether it’s acquisition assistance or information about the latest telecommunications and technology initiatives: just visit gsa.gov/technology to connect with us.

gsa.gov/itshelp also provides access to statement of work (SOW) templates, ordering guides, ordering systems and the other tools government buyers need to get the job done, including the IT Solutions Navigator, a self guided decision tool that can point you to the contract vehicle that best meets your IT needs.

Check out what’s new  — The Acquisition Gateway

Among the challenges facing acquisition professionals when purchasing products and services is understanding how individual submarkets approach pricing and offerings, and what contracts already exist government wide to support acquisition of these services.

To address this need, GSA has turned to category management to reinvent acquisition, a tactic already used to help many Fortune 500 companies buy smarter. Work is now underway to develop the new Common Acquisition Platform (CAP), which will provide access and insights into transactional data from across government and help guide buyers through every step of the full acquisition process to include shared best practices from industry experts and thought leaders alike. CAP will also reduce the need for maintaining redundant and duplicative acquisition vehicles, systems and tools.

GSA has also launched the Acquisition Gateway, a space for acquisition professionals to  learn, connect, and act upon acquisition information, expertise, and advice.  Content on the Acquisition Gateway is divided into product and service category hallways and resources.

The IT category already has two active hallways, IT Hardware and IT Software, providing pricing tools and information, sample SOWs, best practices, and expert articles relative to that specific category for contract solutions across government. The Acquisition Gateway will be an important tool in supporting and improving how the federal community acquires IT.

By May 2015, additional hallways will be launched for Telecommunications, IT Security, IT Consulting, and IT Outsourcing, in addition to other categories outside of IT.

This is an exciting time to be a part of IT acquisition and I’ll have much more to discuss in June, but in the meantime, I recommend all government employees access the Acquisition Gateway.  Check back often as this is an agile platform that is expected to grow as its user base increases and becomes more collaborative.

Resolving Your Issues

Our goal is to resolve your issues within 48 hours and, even though federal acquisition can get complex, we’re doing quite well.

ITS FY15 Case Origin – How Customers /Vendors Reach Out to NCSC Number of FY15 Cases (Issues / Inquiries) Average Case Resolution Time Percentage of Cases Closed Within 48 Hours
Phone 693 36 Hours 85%
E-mail Inquiry 405 42 Hours 82%
Live Chat 244 34 Hours 87%
FY15 Total 1,342 38 Hours 84%

 

Stay Tuned

Getting updates on gsa.gov pages is an easy way for agencies and Industry to stay up to date on contract and program features, innovations, and changes.

For example, when GSA updates the free downloadable SOW templates on our website, you can receive an alert to let you they’re available.

You can subscribe to updates for a wide range of topics, including Technology and Telecommunications, Schedule 70, and Cloud IT Services. Just go to Get Updates, enter your email address, select your interests, set any preferences you prefer (including how often you’d like to receive alerts), and you’re ready to go. It’s that simple.  Of course, we’ll continue to share news “as it happens” on this blog.

And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @GSA_ITS to join GSA’s IT acquisition conversation.

We Value Your Feedback

Our goal is simple: provide the support agency buyers and Industry partners need. Receiving feedback at every stage of the journey is critical to continuous improvement, driving value, and outstanding customer service. GSA already reaches out to agencies and vendors when we’re shaping specific programs, receives continuous feedback from customer and industry groups, and looks at our impact through our customer and vendor satisfaction surveys. You can find “Rate This Page”on the bottom right of our IT webpages.

Please help us to help you meet your IT acquisition needs by using the “Rate This Page” tool to fill out this form. It will just take a few seconds, but the information you provide about what’s working well and what’s not is invaluable.

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