By Kay Ely, Assistant Commissioner, Office of Information Technology Category
GSA continues to help shape governmentwide IT acquisition through our strong industry partnerships and collaboration with agencies across government. The operating principles of “Standardization, Simplification, and Savings” guide how we talk about, develop requirements for, and buy mobile products and services.
One of our more productive efforts is the governmentwide Mobile Services Category Team (MSCT). This cross-government group fosters effective collaboration and advancements among government IT and acquisition professionals through a membership base of almost 200 agency and 80 industry participants. Through the MSCT, we’re working with these stakeholders to improve and streamline how the government buys mobile technologies.
Established in 2015, the team consists of the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and State, as well as the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Shaping Governmentwide IT Acquisition
The MSCT’s mission is to advance adoption of mobile technology to support an agile and evolving government workforce. MCST helps government agencies learn from each other how to most effectively meet their missions and do their work securely, anywhere, anytime, and on any device.
The MSCT gives agencies the tools they need to implement various aspects of mobility more effectively and efficiently through:
- Unified acquisition: Consolidates the number and variety of dispersed contracts to reduce life-cycle management costs and drive better volume discounts via existing government-wide solutions.
- Improved information management: Simplifies management and enables centralized access to requirements, standards, and data to easily identify opportunities for cost savings.
- Center of excellence: Uses best practices and collaboration across stakeholders to optimize performance and increase value.
GSA worked with the MSCT to build a library of resources available to government agencies. These new resources help federal buyers address a broad scope of mobile technologies and capabilities to include:
- telecommunications expense management (TEMs)
- virtual mobile infrastructure (VMI)
- mobile device/enterprise mobility management
- mobile identity management
- mobile backend, and
- mobile threat protection
Each resource includes a technology definition, service overview, and buying guidance that can be used for education, solution design, and acquisition support. Consolidating these resources will help agencies develop a mobile strategy that supports their purchasing.
GSA’s Contracts Drive Savings and Growth
GSA’s Mobility Team continues to increase savings for buyers in the mobile space through the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI). On average, GSA customers saved 26% in 2017 through FSSI Wireless solutions.
To drive more savings across the mobile category, we’re extending the FSSI Wireless Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) for six more months to November 2018.
This extension will help government agencies finalize their agreements this fiscal year.
As we plan for the next generation of buying tools for the wireless space, rather than develop a replacement for the current BPAs, GSA’s Enterprise Mobility Program is working with the MSCT to develop a Request for Quote (RFQ) engine that agencies can use to buy wireless services through existing contracts in a flexible, cost-effective, smart, and simple way.
We’re proud that federal agencies are getting great savings and results through the FSSI Wireless solution. We’re also thrilled with the work our GSA Enterprise Mobility Program is doing with the MSCT. The MSCT has set the bar for successful and productive cross-agency and industry engagement, demonstrating that government-industry partnerships and collaboration across agencies can help federal agencies meet their mission in government’s day-to-day mobile operations.
Want to know more? Visit the MSCT website.
Have questions or want to provide feedback? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.