By Kay Ely, Assistant Commissioner, Office of Information Technology Category
As the end of the year approaches, I’m full of pride looking back on the accomplishments of the Office of Information Technology Category (ITC) in 2017.
Our team has achieved best-in-class (BIC) designations on a number of important contract vehicles and we’re continuing to work towards BIC on others. We launched — or are on the verge of launching — a number of significant contract vehicles, including Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS), Alliant 2, Alliant 2 Small Business, and Veterans Technology Services 2 (VETS 2). We further advanced our offerings for cybersecurity, geospatial, wireless solutions, and many others.
Each of these efforts will help our customers accomplish their missions with greater efficiency and lower costs in 2018.
Since taking the reins of ITC, I’ve challenged the team to follow three guiding principles:
- Achieve breakthrough performance
- Be a catalyst for customer mission success
- Shape government-wide IT acquisition
As we wrap up 2017, I’d like to share just a few stories of how ITC has done this, working with agencies and our industry partners.
Using Innovative Solutions to Achieve Breakthrough Performance
We recently completed our proof of concept to use Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) to further enhance the Making it Easier FASt Lane proposal review process. DLT will allow us to automate many of the manual business processes and steps required to award a new IT Schedule 70 contract. Including time-intensive things like financial reviews and developing the pre-negotiation memoranda.
Using innovative technologies such as DLT will have a major impact on making it easier to do business with GSA. It will make the award process more efficient for new contract holders by not only reducing the award timeline but also decreasing industry’s burden. Additionally, we expect this to significantly lower the direct cost to award a contract. This is just one example of our breakthrough performance over the last year.
Helping Agencies Achieve their Missions
The Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Disaster Assistance (ODA) supported hurricane relief efforts. To achieve their mission, the team needed 1,000 laptops — and they needed them fast.
GSA’s IT hardware team quickly connected with the SBA to help. Our BIC Government-wide Strategic Solutions (GSS) Laptop/Desktop program, that offers pre-negotiated standard pricing for laptop configurations, was just what SBA needed. They placed the order for laptops in less than one week.
It resulted in a reduced delivery time of approximately two weeks and saved the SBA nearly $75,000. The order was awarded to an 8(a) small, women-owned business under IT Schedule 70.
SBA was so pleased with GSA’s price, performance, and quality of goods, they issued follow on orders for an additional 1,500 laptops and 2,140 monitors.
Shaping Government-wide IT Acquisition Everyday
The IT world is always changing, with advances in technology, shifting buying patterns and delivery methods, and a growing competitive landscape. We strive everyday to improve how government buys IT.
In 2017, we made great progress with implementing category management. This has changed the way we operate and has helped us to better meet market demands, improve our operations, and enhance our customer solutions.
Everywhere you look in ITC you’ll see innovations in acquisition. We’ve baked in the ability to rapidly onboard new technologies into new contracts from the beginning. Startups are finding it easier than ever to deliver innovative solutions thanks to our Startup Springboard program. And, our work to provide constructive input into the IT modernization process will help usher in a new era of modern government.
Paving the Way Forward
We’re leading the way in helping the government buy IT smarter. 2017 was an incredible year, marked by a number of important milestones — 2018 is looking just as promising.
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