Saying Goodbye to a Career of Federal Service

I recently announced I’m winding down my career with the federal government.  Retirement is a great time for reflection as I approach the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next.

After 32 years of service in the government and private sectors, I have been fortunate to work beside people whose passion is to serve in the best interests of our customers. I leave my position as Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Information Technology Category (ITC) filled with pride from what we have accomplished and confidence in the excellent ITC staff.

But none of ITC’s projects and programs would be successful without the partnership, support, perspective, and engagement of our federal agency and industry partners.

I have talked often about ITC’s many successes to illustrate that the work ITC does has significant, real-world impacts — we manage more than 5,000 contracts, representing nearly $25 billion in mission-critical IT spending annually.

Our goal is to meet all agencies’ IT needs by giving them access to the best commercial products and services available, from laptop configurations to massive IT network overhauls and everything in between.

We’re always focused on how the market is changing, and which emerging technologies are becoming critical in the modern IT landscape.

This year, ITC launched initiatives aimed at modernizing and simplifying current solutions, eliminating duplicative processes, and deploying emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and distributed ledger technology (DLT), to enhance efficiencies and drive savings into the acquisition process for GSA and government.

During my tenure as Director of IT Schedule 70, we focused on cross-government and cross-industry collaboration, realigning ITC to better support industry partners and help customer agencies meet their mission objectives.

One such example is the FASt Lane program, which focused on getting new technologies into the hands of customers faster. It has two parts: a quick 48 hour e-Modification (eMod) process for current Schedule 70 contract holders wishing to add or update their current IT product offerings, and a program helps get new vendors on schedule in approximately 45 days, down from the average time of 110 days.

We also implemented an initiative to renegotiate Schedule 70 base prices for many of the largest contracts. As a result, the government is achieving discounts of up to 46 percent off original pricing.

The solutions that we have put in place are truly critical to enabling the government to do its ultimate job — serving the American taxpayers.

I look forward to following GSA’s and ITC’s future endeavors and celebrating their successes from a new vantage point.
Many thanks to this entire community for your tremendous partnership over the years.

Please follow us on Twitter @GSA_ITC and LinkedIn to join our ongoing conversations about government IT.

Protecting State and Local Election Systems and Strengthening Cyber Defenses

By Kay Ely, Assistant Commissioner, Office of Information Technology Category

Preventing infiltration and tampering of elections systems and fortifying cyber defenses continue to be important topics.

Through our established IT contract vehicles, GSA can provide government agencies with access to cybersecurity products and services to improve resilience, protect important information, and bring election systems into compliance with leading-edge practices for enhancing security in today’s tech-savvy environment.

Cooperative Purchasing Program

GSA’s Cooperative Purchasing Program allows state, local, and tribal governments to benefit from access to solutions, products, and services from pre-vetted industry partners through IT Schedule 70 — the same as those offered to federal agencies.

That means these government agencies can buy the newest cybersecurity offerings under the Highly Adaptive Cybersecurity Services (HACS) and Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) Special Item Numbers (SINs) which can help with risk assessments and management of election systems.

Cyber Products and Services

Services offered by our HACS partners:

  • Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (RVA) services that adhere to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) methodology for assessing High Value Assets
  • Penetration Testing to proactively identify and detect cyber vulnerabilities
  • Cyber Hunt to mitigate immediate and potential threats
  • Incident Response to expand government’s ability to recover from cyber attacks

Government agencies can also buy cybersecurity tools that are on DHS’s CDM Approved Product List through the CDM Tools SIN. These offer hardware and software tools designed to:

  • Identify enterprise cybersecurity risks on an ongoing basis
  • Prioritize these risks based upon potential impacts
  • Enable cyber security personnel to mitigate the most significant problems first

Here at GSA, we are committed to providing the best quality products and services to our state, local, and tribal government customers and we’re ready to help you secure our nation’s systems.

For more information on the HACS and CDM Tools SINs, visit, or contact the IT Security Subcategory Team at

Better Process, Price through Government-wide Strategic Solution (GSS) for Desktops and Laptops Program

We pride ourselves on providing federal agencies with IT solutions at the best value through an efficient buying experience.

To further improve the buying experience, the Governmentwide Strategic Solutions (GSS) for desktops and laptops program formed a partnership among procurement teams from agencies across government. Working closely with our industry partners, the GSS team negotiated better terms and conditions, more consistent pricing, and a streamlined buying process for federal, state, and local governments.

The government depends on desktops and laptops every day to accomplish its mission. More than $1 billion is spent annually on this critical IT hardware. Most of this $1 billion is spent on similar desktop and laptop configurations from the same original equipment manufacturers, but spread across thousands of different contracts.

The Workstation Category Team, established by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), worked closely with agency and industry stakeholders to create GSS standard configurations. They’re designed to meet 80 percent of the government’s desktop and laptop requirements, helping the government aggregate demand and use its consolidated buying power.

How’d we do it?

The category team worked to ensure participating contractors offer the full breadth of GSS-compliant desktops, laptops, options, and accessories through their IT Schedule 70 contracts. Also, GSA Advantage catalogs for GSS desktops and laptops were fully overhauled to clearly show compliant machines, with full descriptions and a menu-driven option and accessory configurator.

To make buying these products quick and easy, IT Schedule 70 awarded three multi-agency (government-wide) single-award Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) to support OMB’s GSS Desktop and Laptop category management strategy.

These BPAs are recompeted annually to ensure the latest technology is available in a GSS-compliant configuration, at the most competitive prices in government.

These three BPAs are available via the GSA AdvantageSelect buying platform.

Better Buying for the Future

GSS program use has increased nearly 700 percent over the last two fiscal years. At the same time, use of our AdvantageSelect GSS BPA has increased by 400 percent from FY17.

The discounts realized through the competitive process encouraged this growth. Agencies executing large-quantity purchases through GSA’s GSS Program in FY18 have realized discounts of up to 40 percent off GSA contract ceiling prices.

To make sure everyone hears about this, GSA’s IT Hardware Category Management team hosts regular training sessions that tell agencies how to maximize savings and buying power for obtaining GSS-compliant desktop and laptop computers, as well as options, accessories, and peripherals at competitive prices.

These webinars make it easier for agencies to benefit from this outstanding program; learning more about simple purchasing options is especially important to government buyers as we near the end of a fiscal year. To learn more about the configurations and contracts and to make your purchase, see GSA Advantage or the Acquisition Gateway.

For GSA GSS Desktop/Laptop help, please visit our webpage or contact

Please follow us on Twitter @GSA_ITC and LinkedIn to join our ongoing conversations about government IT.

Air Force and GSA Sign MOU for IT Products BPAs

By Kay Ely, Assistant Commissioner, Office of Information Technology Category

In June, I hosted several officials from the U.S. Air Force here at GSA for an official signing ceremony. My team and their counterparts at the Air Force have worked diligently together over the past several months to better understand the Air Force’s IT products needs as their current contract solution approaches its sunset in November 2019.

Our two agencies have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU). This MOU sets forth guiding principles for a strategic partnership that allows GSA’s IT Hardware Category Team and IT Schedule 70 to establish a multiple-award blanket purchase agreement (BPA) on behalf of the Air Force. This BPA will replace the Air Force NETCENTS-2 IT Products IDIQ contract.

The IT Products BPA is expected to be available to all federal government agencies, as well as state, local, and tribal entities, consistent with GSA’s Cooperative Purchasing program.

Partnering for Better Solutions

This MOU allows us to consolidate knowledge and buying power to shape our acquisition strategy, making sure that we’re helping the federal government effectively acquire IT goods. The solution we develop will streamline the Air Force’s acquisition process — and, the federal government’s, more broadly — as well as reduce contract duplication, while saving time, resources, and taxpayer dollars. This solution also:

  • Ensures Air Force receives Trade Agreements Act (TAA)-compliant products
  • Mitigates risk of grey-market items
  • Incorporates enhanced supply chain risk management (SCRM) processes from GSA-vetted industry partners

Answering the Call to Increase Savings

Partnerships like this directly address the call to action presented in the President’s Management Agenda (PMA). PMA Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) Goal 7 on category management specifically directs agencies to “leverage common contracts and best practices to drive savings and efficiencies.”

We Appreciate our Partners

I would like to thank the Air Force for the confidence they placed in us as we formally acknowledged this agreement.

We value our continuing partnership with the Air Force and their commitment to using GSA. We are looking forward to working together to build a world-class solution for purchasing IT products efficiently, securely, and at competitive prices.

Please follow us on Twitter @GSA_ITC and LinkedIn to join our ongoing conversations about government IT.

From Left: Mary Davie, Deputy Commissioner, GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service; William E. Marion II, Deputy Chief, Information Dominance and Deputy Chief Information Officer, USAF; Kay T. Ely, Assistant Commissioner, GSA’s Office of Information Technology Category; Mr. Richard W. Lombardi, Deputy Under Secretary of the USAF; Brigadier General Cameron G. Holt, USAF

The Next Phase for HACS (Cyber) — Modernization

By Kay Ely, Assistant Commissioner, Office of Information Technology Category

Cybersecurity incidents and on-going emerging threats to our data, networks, and systems over the last few years have significantly changed how we approach cybersecurity. GSA remains committed to ensuring the government’s long-term security, responsiveness, and efficiency when it comes to monitoring and protecting our valuable digital assets and IT systems.

We’re always proactively focusing on the products, services, and vehicles needed to help carry out agency missions. We’re also sharpening our focus on cyber acquisition solutions, so security is integrated into the system acquisition process. This means that we’re constantly evaluating and improving our solutions.

With this in mind, our Highly Adaptive Cybersecurity Services (HACS) program is entering its next phase: HACS Modernization.

Today’s HACS Portfolio on IT Schedule 70 consists of four Special Item Numbers (SINs):

  • Cyber Hunt
  • Incident Response
  • Penetration Testing
  • Risk and Vulnerability Assessment

Feedback from the expert providers in the cybersecurity services market can help us further enhance our current array of HACS offerings. Enhancements to GSA’s cybersecurity acquisition solutions will not only help us drive more use by agencies, it will also lead to improved outcomes and safer IT systems for federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial governments.

To that end, our team is working to make it easier for industry to provide feedback through two RFIs and a stakeholder event in June.

HACS Modernization Requests for Information (RFI)

To determine the best course of action, we released two HACS Modernization Requests for Information (RFI) on May 22, 2018, one for agencies and the other for industry partners. We encourage our current HACS suppliers and agency partners to participate in those RFIs. We particularly want feedback from those agencies that have not yet used the HACS SINs.

The RFIs are open until June 23, 2018 at 5 p.m. EDT

June 18 Stakeholder Event

We’re also hosting a HACS Stakeholder Event on Monday, June 18, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT at GSA headquarters to discuss the HACS program’s past, present, and future.

We welcome both in-person and virtual attendees. We’ll be featuring guest speakers from Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and GSA’s Office of IT Category and GSA’s Office of Small Business Utilization (OSBU).

Let’s Work Together

We want to hear what you think about the cybersecurity landscape and how effective you think GSA’s current services are now, where we can improve them for the future, and the best ways to enhance our delivery to agencies.

Please respond to the relevant RFIs and attend our Stakeholder Event. Together we can enhance our HACS program and deliver a total package that helps agencies securely accomplish their mission.

Please follow us on Twitter @GSA_ITC and LinkedIn to join our ongoing conversations about government I

Modernizing Federal IT — The Path Forward

By Kay Ely, Assistant Commissioner, Office of Information Technology Category

IT modernization is one of the biggest challenges facing the federal government today — it’s a complex issue with a lot of moving parts. Fortunately, with the IT Modernization Report, Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act and its Technology Modernization Fund (TMF), and the President’s Management Agenda (PMA) and Cross-Agency Priority Goals, the stars are really aligned with support and tools to get the job done.

We’ve been talking about modernization for a long time and now, with all of this support and leadership, we’re in the best position I’ve ever seen to take on this challenge.

Here’s my take on what all of this means for agency partners.

IT Modernization Resources

Developed in response to Executive Order 13800, the Federal IT Modernization Report outlines an agile process to help the government harness American innovation to deliver better services to its citizens.

Additionally, the MGT Act authorizes agencies to tackle IT system modernization and establish working capital funds. GSA is also responsible for administering the TMF as part of the MGT Act through a project management office we’ve established. These funds are designed to:

  • improve, retire, or replace existing IT systems to enhance cybersecurity and to improve efficiency and effectiveness;
  • transition legacy IT systems to cloud computing and other innovative platforms and technologies;
  • assist and support efforts to provide adequate, risk-based, and cost-effective IT capabilities that address evolving threats to information security; and
  • reimburse amounts transferred to the agency from the TMF with the approval of each agency’s Chief Information Officer.

Further, the PMA lays out a long-term vision for modernizing the federal government across many fronts. One of the key drivers of transformation is updating and modernizing our legacy IT systems and networks. Helping the federal government adopt and acquire commercially available modern IT products and services is an important priority for GSA, and agencies rely on us to help them get there.

Cross-Agency Priority Goals

Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) Goals drive PMA implementation and tackle critical governmentwide challenges that cut across agencies.

ITC is directly supporting the following CAP Goals:

  • IT Modernization
  • Sharing Quality Services
  • Category Management
  • Federal IT Spending Transparency
  • Improvement Management of Major Acquisitions
  • Security Clearance, Suitability and Credentialing Reform

These goals drive what we do as the government’s acquisition experts, so we’re developing and refining acquisition solutions to address these areas.

Supporting IT Modernization

GSA is supporting governmentwide modernization in four ways.

  1. In partnership with the White House’s Office of American Innovation, GSA’s Technology Transformation Services (TTS) team is standing up IT Modernization Centers of Excellence.
  2. We are tasked, in whole or in part, with half of the 50 key initiatives identified in the IT Modernization Report.
  3. We are well positioned to support the operation and administration of the recently approved Technology Modernization Fund.
  4. We are making it easier to navigate the systems we use to serve our agency customers and help them with their IT acquisitions.

GSA is committed to leading the way to help modernize IT across government. We’ve created a multi-pronged strategy to enhance mission effectiveness and reduce cyber risks through a series of complementary activities between now and 2022.

Mission effectiveness activities include modernizing the IT stack by retiring legacy systems and embracing cloud through implementing cost-effective, cloud-based, commercial IT solutions.

Activities around reducing cyber risks include; managing asset security by implementing capabilities that provide observational, analytical, and diagnostic data of an agency’s cybersecurity; and protecting networks and data by implementing advanced protection capabilities. Another is helping government limit “personnel access” by implementing credential and access management (ICAM) capabilities that ensure users only have access to the resources necessary for their job function. Additional activities are outlined within the Modernizing IT CAP Goal action plan.

What Success Looks Like

To succeed, agencies should work toward several key milestones this fiscal year:

  • using new opportunities to drive foundational technology changes that will improve critical citizen services and increase efficiency by modernizing their networks as they shift to our Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) contract.
  • submitting their EIS Agency Transition Plans (ATPs) to OMB this fiscal year.
  • using the TMF and working capital funds to support their modernization plans.

GSA Resources

We have several resources that agencies can use to help them acquire and adopt modern IT products and services.

For example, GSA is home to the Technology Transformation Services (TTS), 18F, and the Centers of Excellence that can help implement modernization. We work with OMB and agencies to create acquisition solutions that support modernization efforts, many of which are Best-in-Class (BIC) solutions that produce 10-15 percent savings, so agencies can divert money into their working capital funds.

Some of GSA’s BIC solutions for IT modernization include:

We recognize that modernizing federal IT won’t be easy; it will take working together, sharing best practices, and using resources available to achieve the goals that the PMA has set.

Both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, from The Hill to the White House, have shown their support for modernizing the federal government, and I am confident that together we can collectively seize this unprecedented opportunity to make real and lasting improvements to federal IT.

Please follow us on Twitter @GSA_ITC and LinkedIn to join our ongoing conversations about government IT.

Achieving IT Modernization Through EIS

Author: Crystal Philcox, Deputy Assistant Commissioner, IT Category

The federal government is in the middle of an unprecedented opportunity to modernize and create an infrastructure that works to help agencies deliver services to today’s workforce and the American people — that means more reliable, efficient, and mobile networks.

The Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) contract is specifically designed to help agencies achieve this goal. With its recent Best-In-Class (BIC) designation, agencies can leverage the contract to meet established goals to modernize their networks and deliver better, faster services as well as gain significant cost savings.

EIS Has Everything You Need: Complete Solution for IT Modernization

EIS isn’t just a telecom contract, its a total solution to help agencies modernize. Agencies benefit through cost savings and the ability to tap a common contract instead of cobbling together their own solutions. EIS can be used for managed services, security and telecom services — it has everything agencies need to modernize their networks.

Modernized networks mean higher bandwidth, better performance, and more network reliability. And, bandwidth is dramatically cheaper in modernized networks. Furthermore, modernized networks can embed cybersecurity features that adapt to changing threat models.

The potential savings with fully taking advantage of modernizing networks using EIS are huge. Because of the consolidated buying power we have under GSA contracts, we realized a savings with EIS prices that average 21 percent lower than our current contract, Networx. That’s real money that agencies can put back into application modernization or cloud migration.

To achieve the advantages of EIS through modernization, agencies should consider the following keys to success:

  • Make transition a high priority. Treat it as a critical project.
  • Modernize, wherever possible.
  • Budget for transition and modernization.
  • Ask for GSA’s help, as needed.

Next Steps

There are several opportunities for both agencies and industry to engage in this continuing conversation. Throughout the lead-up to transition, GSA has provided extensive assistance to help agencies prepare for this and we conducted educational sessions on how to structure solicitations so modernized networks can be purchased efficiently.  Over the past few weeks, we’ve spent more time with agencies listening to their concerns. What we heard was that a lot of agencies want to modernize, but need more time. We are interested in hearing from any agency that is experiencing that, or any, concern.

We’ve held workshops to help industry share their perspectives on how agencies can modernize legacy enterprise networks. Also, we’ve collected agencies’ forecasts of solicitations and provided detailed timelines to EIS contractors to help them plan their response strategies.

Industry has a significant customer agency outreach effort. EIS suppliers have scheduled numerous meetings with agencies to showcase their capabilities and how they can assist in modernization efforts. Agencies are also hosting “industry days” for the EIS supplier community.

In partnership with government, ACT-IAC has established the Transition/Modernization Working Group. All EIS suppliers and a significant number of agency representatives make up this important initiative.

On May 24, GSA is hosting a “Meet Your EIS Industry Partners Day” at GSA Headquarters. This will provide another avenue for agencies to meet and discuss their individual mission needs with EIS suppliers. We want agencies to come with their ideas about what they want to achieve through network modernization and talk to the EIS industry partners about those ideas and how best to get them done. Register here!

And on June 19, ACT-IAC is hosting an IT Modernization Conference focusing on how the transition from Networx offers an opportunity to transform and modernize legacy network architecture.

We encourage you to join us at these events and look forward to hearing your ideas on modernizing networks.

Please follow us on Twitter @GSA_ITC and LinkedIn to join our ongoing conversations about government IT.

Strengthening Strategic Partnerships – Health IT

By Keith Nakasone, Deputy Assistant Commissioner, IT Acquisition

To do our job as the premier provider of efficient and effective acquisition solutions across government, GSA relies heavily on strong partnerships to provide our customers with faster, smarter, and better value IT solutions.

Recently, I participated in an industry day hosted by the Defense Health Agency (DHA). I attend these types of events because they bring executives, operations, and industry together in real-time to make important decisions at the speed of innovation.

Supporting and collaborating with DHA on their health IT industry day is just one way we continue to strengthen our partnership with them.

Gaining a better understanding of DHA’s health IT requirements, as well as how GSA fits in to its strategic plan as an acquisition solutions partner, helps us shape our solutions to drive mission success for DHA and other customer agencies.

DHA Reverse Industry Day

DHA also held a reverse industry day, with their industry partners covering innovative solutions through vendor think tank presentations on topics such as comprehensive IT tracking systems, standardizing medical device integration, cloud services, telehealth solutions, and cyber governance.

This integrated industry day helped DHA get to know the capabilities of providers on our Health IT Services Special Item Number (SIN) 132-56 on IT Schedule 70.

Our Health IT Services SIN helps agencies to easily find new partners and access emerging and innovative health IT services. The GSA Health IT Service SIN :

  • simplifies the process of procuring commercial health IT services,
  • provides cost savings through aggregated volume buying,
  • offers greater price-and-spend visibility, and
  • fosters competition while supporting small business.

Collaboration Leads to Solutions

Having these in-person engagements allows us to build our procurement solutions to better understand industry’s capabilities and agency requirements. All parties involved benefit from the knowledge exchange:

  • Agencies can share their forecasted requirements with industry,
  • Industry representatives can present their perspectives and capabilities to the acquisition workforce, and
  • GSA helps our agency customers acquire the solutions they need from industry.

It’s all about collaboration–beginning with knowledge sharing, which leads to problem-solving and ultimately an acquisition solution.

We plan on doing more collaborative events like DHA’s industry day. For us, attending and supporting these events underpins our mission of maximizing customer value and mission productivity through IT acquisitions.

If your agency is interested in hosting an industry day event, let us know so we can support and attend.

We welcome any feedback from our partners to continue improving these engagement opportunities.

For more information on collaborating with us, please visit

Please follow us on Twitter @GSA_ITC and LinkedIn to join our ongoing conversations about government IT.

Back row (left to right): Keith Nakasone-GSA ITC DAC for Acquisition; Jill Thomas-GSA ITC Div Director; Keith George-GSA ITC Contracting Officer; Karen Beyer-GSA CSD, Jane Scroggins-GSA ITC Branch Chief.
Front Row (left to right): Jackie Pinkston-DHA Chief J4 CAE Contracting Office; Tara Wetli-GSA ITC Contract Specialist; Pat Molina-GSA ITC Contracting Officer, Dr. Barclay Butler-DHA CAE

GSA’s VETS 2 GWAC Open for Business

By Kay Ely, Assistant Commissioner, Office of Information Technology Category

Veterans Technology Services 2 (VETS 2) Governmentwide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) is now open for business and ready to accept task orders.

VETS 2 is the only GWAC in the federal government set aside exclusively for Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB).  It’s designed to meet diverse agency IT services requirements, including new and emerging technologies. SDVOSBs are foundational to helping the government make important changes to modernize aging and legacy IT systems.  GSA is committed to ensuring we tap into their expertise through contracts like VETS 2.

Like its successful predecessor, VETS 2 provides agencies with access to customized IT solutions from a highly qualified pool of industry partners.  The original VETS contract helped participating SDVOSB businesses deliver $2.1 billion in services and solutions to the federal government. We’d like to match or exceed that on VETS 2.

In developing the new VETS 2, we performed an unprecedented amount of market research that centered around customer and industry feedback.  In addition to issuing a request for information (RFI) and draft request for proposal (RFP), we also surveyed hundreds of past and current GWAC ordering contracting officers, created a government customer working group, and used the feedback to enhance the offering.

VETS 2 GWAC highlights include:

  • Best-in-Class – VETS 2 is a Best-in-Class (BIC) contract designated by the Office of Management and Budget as a preferred governmentwide solution
  • Comprehensive Scope – VETS 2 meets a variety of diverse agency IT requirements, including new and emerging technologies
  • Flexible Contract Types – fixed price, cost reimbursement, time & materials, and labor hour orders are all allowed
  • Allows for Long-Term Planning – VETS 2 has a five-year base period and one five-year option period
  • Robust Contractor Pool – VETS 2 provides access to 70 highly qualified SDVOSB firms
  • Socioeconomic Impact – VETS 2 helps federal agencies support our veteran community while achieving their prime contract goals using SDVOSBs

IT Services Scope

In addition to common IT services that the federal government regularly purchases, VETS 2 also fulfills projects that require new or emerging IT services.

Scope includes, but is not limited to:

  • Data management
  • Information and communications technology
  • IT operations and maintenance
  • IT security
  • Software development
  • Systems design

We look forward to working with you through the VETS 2 GWAC as we continue our commitment to providing IT solutions with the ongoing help of the veteran community.

For more information, including how to order, please visit or contact us at

Please follow us on Twitter @GSA_ITC and LinkedIn to join our ongoing conversations about government IT.

GSA’s Enterprise Mobility Program Continues to Drive Agency Benefits and Savings

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

Please follow us on Twitter @GSA_ITC and LinkedIn to join our ongoing conversations about government IT.