FY22 in review, informing the future

Posted by Laura Stanton
on November 29, 2022

At the beginning of every fiscal year, we sit down to develop our targets, and as I look back on the last year I’m very proud to see what we’ve been able to deliver for agencies.

Employee, customer, and industry input is key

Results of the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS), Customer Loyalty Satisfaction Survey (CLS), and the Industry Satisfaction Survey (ISS) are all part of a broader feedback ecosystem that drives our decisions. These three surveys collectively show a top-line level of ITC health and our progress in improving engagement and experience across ITC’s employees, customers, and suppliers.

This feedback is driving many of the decisions we make. At the end of the day, we’re here to serve, and so we look very closely at those survey results. I’m pleased that year over year, ITC customer loyalty and industry satisfaction remained steady, but I’m even more interested in what these surveys tell us about areas where we can improve.

Customers are telling us that ease of acquiring is the strongest driver of your loyalty and that you’d like to see us further improve internal processes, customer service, and communications generally.

Industry, on the other hand, said procurement process and industry expertise were your strongest drivers of satisfaction. You, too, would like to see improved processes and communications.

We hear you both and are working on ways to improve these concerns. There’s clearly some overlap here, and this gives us some clear direction.

If you’re a small business that’s new to the government market, it can be daunting. We’re working on solutions to make this all easier. One great example that we’re seeing is from the 8(a) STARS III GWAC where of the 258 industry partners who have task order awards, 149 of them received their first GSA contract vehicle task order award through 8(a) STARS III. Brand new to GSA contracting, and they’re already out the gate with orders.

This is great news, and we’re learning what we can from these results.

By the numbers

In every IT subcategory (Hardware, Software, IT Services, Telecom, and IT Security), we exceeded our FY22 targets.

IT Services on the Multiple Award Schedule had a particularly strong year surpassing our target by nearly 29 percent, with a year-over-year positive variance of more than 16 percent.

Mission spend through our IT contracts reached just shy of $34 billion for the first time and surpassed the previous year by nearly 5 percent. Volume over the last 4 years has increased by about $8.5 billion, which is truly remarkable. And most importantly, ITC helped agencies save nearly $2 billion through cost avoidance in the last year alone.

While we celebrate these successes, we’re also looking to the future for what’s next.

Table depicting the FY22 Final dollar spend on each IT Category (IT Hardware, IT Software, IT Services, Telecom Services, IT Security/Shared Services, GWACs, ETS, and HSPD-12, PKI). The total for ITC in FY22 was $33,735,217.

Trends, informing the future

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility initiatives are particularly important to the Biden-Harris Administration, and a big part of that is helping small businesses succeed in government contracting. I’m happy to report that ITC handily exceeded our small business utilization goals last year for small businesses generally, women-owned, services-disabled, and HUBZone small businesses. Small Disadvantaged Business performance was also very strong. Small businesses have won approximately $8.45 billion in FY22 (up 9.4 percent from $7.7 billion in FY21) through their work on ITC contracts.

We’ve been working hard on ways to make it easier for small businesses to support the government. We’re setting up Polaris, our next small business contract, and so I expect to see this trend of small business utilization continue.

In terms of the market, IT services are in high demand, and I would expect that to continue too. Automated Contact Center Solutions, Health IT, Cloud adoption, Earth Observation, and Highly Adaptive Cybersecurity Services were all particularly strong year over year.

Speaking of cybersecurity, that’s another important topic to watch this year. We’re tracking trends and technologies that can help our customers improve their cybersecurity hygiene and strengthen their cybersecurity posture.

Looking forward, together

As we wrap up FY22 and kick off FY23, I want to thank our customers, industry partners, and ITC staff. It’s because of our close collaboration that we have these successes to celebrate.

Visit our website to learn more about our solutions, or use our IT Solutions Navigator to find the vehicle that’s right for you.

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Celebrating our Veterans

Posted by Laura Stanton
on November 9, 2022

In thinking about Veterans Day this year, I want to pay special tribute to America’s Veterans for their service and dedication to this great nation. I’m grateful for the sacrifices they have made to defend our nation. Our Veterans are an example of the strength, courage, and resolve that allows our country to overcome so many of the challenges we face.

I have spent time with Veterans and Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) owners and know their desire to serve continues after they leave active service. I am proud that GSA is committed to working with this community.

GSA working with Veterans

GSA is dedicated to tapping into that strength, courage, and resolve by bringing the SDVOSB community to the federal IT market.

There were more than 800 SDVOSBs across the entire government-wide IT category last year that reported sales. ITC is represented by 357 of those industry partners through our Multiple Award Schedule – IT (MAS-IT) contract and the Veterans Technology Services 2 (VETS 2) and 8(a) STARS III IT services Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWAC). Through these acquisition vehicles, SDVOSBs won more than $1.46 billion of the IT market last year.

Through GSA contract vehicles like VETS 2, service-disabled veterans continue to serve our nation by providing innovative IT solutions in support of agency missions and the military. VETS 2 is currently the government’s only GWAC set aside exclusively for SDVOSBs.

The VETS 2 option period is coming up next year and we have every intention of exercising that option for those SDVOSBs meeting the terms and conditions of the contract. This will provide federal agencies with continued use of this socio-economic small business, best-in-class solution for their long-term IT service project needs, with the performance of task orders extending out through 2033.

SDVOSBs bringing real mission impact

While I can’t call out individual SDVOSBs, I do want to offer a couple of examples of their great work:

  • One of our customer agencies recently awarded a $248 million order through VETS 2 to provide IT Support Services for their digital infrastructure services center. Through these IT support services, the SDVOSB will fill the agency’s need for maintaining legacy operations and to innovate, at an accelerated pace, to meet the customer’s requirements into the future.
  • Another recent innovative task order award for $166 million was for enterprise services integration and modernization. The scope of the task order is to provide a quality-focused process and capability that enables effective sustainment and modernization of command, control, communication, computers, and information technology systems. The task order will modernize military headquarters to include operations centers, planning rooms, and conference rooms, utilizing innovative technologies such as video walls, audio processors, and multi-classification video teleconference systems.

Veterans, key to the future

Our commitment doesn’t stop with VETS 2 and MAS-IT. GSA’s next small business and socio-economic small business GWAC, Polaris, will have an SDVOSB pool. Polaris is designed to assist agencies in acquiring customized IT services and IT services-based solutions while expanding opportunities for SDVOSB firms. Stay tuned to our Small Business Community of Practice Interact page for updates.

These contracts drive progress on important public policy objectives, including the President’s Executive Order 13985 On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government as we work to improve diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.

I’m grateful for the meaningful partnership we have with our Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses and for their continued hard work and dedication to helping agencies achieve their missions every day. I’m really excited for what the future holds.

Visit our website to learn more about VETS 2, MAS-IT, and Polaris or use our IT Solutions Navigator to find the vehicle that’s right for you.

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20 years of E-Government

Posted by Laura Stanton
on October 12, 2022

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the enactment of the eGov Act, and I was recently asked in an interview what I felt had changed the most in the federal technology market and what had stayed the same. It was an interesting conversation, and so I’d like to share my thoughts with you.

Changing times, evolving technology

In 2002 your work revolved around your office building and your desk. Most everyone in government was tied to their office because of the technology at the time — desktop computers and desk phones.

Now think back to when you got your first Blackberry. I think it was 2004/5 for me. All of a sudden you could access your email on the go and connect to your headset wirelessly through Bluetooth.

Then of course the iPhone came in 2007 and has since changed everything. So, while I still have a desk at GSA’s central office, I haven’t had a desk phone in almost a decade or a desktop computer in two decades — today, I work from a laptop and a mobile phone.

In terms of the federal technology market, we are once again seeing two big technological trends that are radically transforming how we all operate: the shift to telework and cloud adoption.

Cloud adoption and telework

The pandemic hammered home the value of flexibility and collaboration. GSA invested in an efficient mobile workforce long before COVID hit, and that investment paid off. Our teams adapted quickly to full-time telework, enabling us to rapidly turn around and help other agencies do the same.

Part of the reason we were able to move so quickly was because we had embraced cloud computing early by investing in modern network architecture using GSA’s Networx contract.

That’s the second driver of modern government, the flexibilities afforded by the wide-scale adoption of commercial cloud services, which link the physical world to our virtual environments.

Think about the interview that inspired this blog post and how that content reaches its government audience. Twenty years ago, we’d record the interview, and the audio would play on a regional radio station. That’s the only way the audience would experience it.

Now, you can use a desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone, (or a landline) not just to listen, but to participate. You can chat or post a question, and get a response in real-time. We have captioners (or AI/bots) who listen, transcribe, and produce a running transcript, and even video interpreters who can translate the conversation into American Sign Language.

The cloud-based software-as-a-service we use takes all these inputs and outputs raw data, which is stored and accessed securely within a FedRAMP-authorized environment. All that data is logged and analyzed in real-time while a host of systems operate in the background to defend against malicious actors.

Finally, it all gets encrypted and exits the platform, travels through the open Internet, and crosses the threshold back into a given federal network through Trusted Internet Connections. There are many types of “federal networks” ranging from a wired wide area network at an agency’s headquarters to someone’s home Wi-Fi, accessed through a Virtual Private Network and managed by a trusted vendor.

You may still catch that interview on the radio, but you can also experience it anytime from any device.

Every one of these services must be procured correctly, and that’s what GSA’s contracts ultimately provide.

Shared services — effective and efficient

When done right, a complex resource like what I described above isn’t limited to one department, rather it’s a service that becomes easily available to every employee of the agency — a shared service.

The benefits of such an acquisition are enjoyed across the entire enterprise, and that might be the most exciting change — that government agencies are starting to plan and buy IT more as a single enterprise than a loose collection of disparate parts.

This is federal category management in action. Internally, we’ve restructured our program units to better support enterprise offerings like managed services.

What once was called our office of Telecommunications Services is now Enterprise Technology Solutions because customers increasingly want secure, simple, and flexible capabilities that run on top of traditional networks.

Shared services have both stayed the same and evolved. I have two of the original e-Gov services in my portfolio with USAccess and the Federal Public Key Infrastructure program. Agencies still rely on these offerings every day, and they go a long way to reducing duplication of effort.

GSA, here to help

Of course that’s only the first part of the question. What hasn’t changed is the hard work and dedication of public servants and industry partners working hand in hand to ensure each agency fulfills its mission.

Visit our website to learn more or use our IT Solutions Navigator to find the vehicle that’s right for you.

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Last Chance: Signing Deadline Approaches for Expiring Telecom Contracts Continuity of Service MOU

Posted by Laura Stanton
on August 23, 2022

In January, GSA decided it will invoke the Continuity of Service (CoS) clauses for expiring enterprise network and telecommunications contracts. This will allow agencies an additional year to either complete their transition to Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) or find another solution to prevent interruption of services.

Transition has been slow for many federal agencies. As of June 30, 2022, only 94 percent of the planned task orders for transition have been awarded. Also, 5.3 million of the nine million legacy services governmentwide are still in use. These services range from telephone lines to high bandwidth secure internet access.

We urge agencies to push toward completing 100 percent disconnection of services by September 30, 2022 and assess their risk of not completing transition by May 30, 2023. Those who need more time to transition must sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to be authorized to use the CoS period from June 1, 2023 to May 31, 2024.

Sign the MOU by September 30th

If an agency does not sign the MOU by September 30, 2022, GSA will remove the agency from the Networks Authorized User List (NAUL) for the expiring contracts. The contractors will begin the disconnect process as early as November 2022 and complete it no later than May 2023.

Agencies that want to take advantage of the CoS period can do so only under these conditions:

  • Agencies must sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with GSA by September 30, 2022: GSA has sent a copy of the MOU to all potentially impacted agencies. The MOU must be signed by the agency head, or their designee with delegated authority. If an agency’s transition team has not received a copy of the MOU, please contact GSA at eistcc.ta@gsa.gov.
  • On May 31, 2024 (the end of the 12-month CoS period), any services remaining active on the expiring contracts will be disconnected, according to the terms and conditions of their respective contracts. Services cannot be reinstated on those contracts.

If an agency will not complete transition before the CoS period ends, the agency must:

  • Identify the services that will be cut off when the CoS period ends;
  • Develop a contingency plan to maintain operation of those services on another contractual arrangement; and
  • Implement that contingency plan so when the contracts expire and the services are disconnected, the agency’s mission is not interrupted or otherwise negatively affected.

GSA Resources

If your agency is mid-transition, weigh the pros and cons of signing the MOU and make a risk-based decision appropriate for your agency.

GSA remains available to help you assess your transition risk and understand your acquisition options. We are holding monthly EIS Transition Office Hours and monthly Interagency EIS Transition Meetings, both of which act as a forum for agencies to share best practices and lessons learned and ask transition-related questions. For an invitation to these open forums, please email benjamin.todd@gsa.gov.

The legacy telecommunications contracts are expiring very soon. Do not delay in transitioning services and, if needed, signing the CoS MOU and conducting contingency planning.

GSA is and will continue to actively monitor agency progress toward stated EIS deadlines. If you need assistance, have additional data to share on the speed of your transition to EIS, or would like to meet with us, please contact your assigned GSA Solutions Broker.

For more information, visit gsa.gov/eistransition.

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8(a) STARS III Instrumental in Biden-Harris Equity in Procurement Vision

Posted by Laura Stanton
on August 9, 2022

President Biden has a vision for a more equitable and resilient federal procurement system, using federal contract spending to support the participation of small businesses in traditionally underserved communities in the federal marketplace. GSA is committed to doing our part to make that vision a reality.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility to the Core

GSA has worked hard to develop a portfolio to support small businesses from their formation as small 8(a) firms, to more mature small businesses, and finally unrestricted. These efforts help the Administration’s goals of increasing access and building a solid platform for success for a diverse spectrum of vendors across the federal marketplace.

What is so impressive is the robust community we’ve created on the newest vehicle. 8(a) STARS III has 1,110 highly qualified 8(a) contractors – that’s more than 20% of all of the entities in the 8(a) program, including dozens of contractors who are new entrants.

Equally impressive is the breadth of IT services offered to support virtually every form of IT modernization, including a wide range of state-of-the-art technologies.

If you need technology for information assurance or to protect from evolving threats, you can find it on 8(a) STARS III. If you need any form of Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Robotic Process Automation (RPA), you can find it on this contract. It’s a great testament to the talents and skills of the 8(a)/Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) community and a powerful reminder of how small businesses really are the driver of innovation in our economy.

Customer Experience Matters

We designed 8(a) STARS III based on extensive customer feedback to ensure it is responsive to agency needs. For example, a streamlined ordering experience means GSA offers free scope review services and market research for agencies who want it.

Agencies like the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) value this kind of customer experience, and as a result, they’ve been a truly meaningful partner in our 8(a) STARS journey for some time.

They adopted 8(a) STARS into their EAGLE Next Gen portfolio because of its ability to meet their evolving IT requirements. And of particular importance to DHS is 8(a) STARS III’s large pool of vetted industry partners who specialize in emerging technology.

8(a) STARS III also provides DHS access to hundreds of vetted companies with expertise in emerging technologies such as Quantum Computing, RPA, Technological Convergence, and Virtual Reality.

Since DHS adopted the 8(a) contracts (beginning with 8(a) STARS II in 2019) into their strategic sourcing portfolio, 8(a) STARS:

  • Accounts for 9% of all IT Services spend across the agency, and
  • Accounts for 13% of their total 8(a) spend.

Along with increased access to IT services vendors specializing in emerging technology and increased opportunities for proven, vetted 8(a) businesses, this partnership allows DHS to continue its strong commitment to the small business community while ensuring DHS is in alignment with recent executive orders and administrative priorities.

Another reason DHS values our partnership is that we provide them, and all of our customers, with many value-added services such as a dedicated program office for acquisition support, tools, templates, and complementary scope reviews.

Executive Director of the Strategic Solutions Office at DHS James Lewis, has stated that they “can achieve more mission for every dollar spent while maintaining a solid commitment to the small business community and leveraging strategic contracts like 8(a) STARS III.”

Where We Stand

To date, more than 217 task orders estimated at $691 million have been awarded to more than 135 industry partners on 8(a) STARS III. That includes more than 40 task order awards going to 8(a)/SDBs that are new to GSA.

I really couldn’t be more proud of the work my team has done to pull this contract together and build the relationships with customers and industry partners to make it so successful.

You can visit our website to learn more about 8(a) STARS III or use our IT Solutions Navigator to find the vehicle that’s right for you.

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Marking the One-Year Anniversary of Executive Order 14028 “Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity”

Posted by Laura Stanton
on June 6, 2022

May 2022 marked one year since President Biden signed Executive Order (EO) 14028 – “Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity.” It directs sweeping changes to cybersecurity requirements and calls on federal agencies to address key issues critical to building a more resilient cybersecurity posture. The EO also requires federal agencies to take steps to implement a Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA) model to modernize and strengthen cybersecurity standards and detection.

Since May 12, 2021, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued additional guidance to support the mission of “Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity.”

Timeline of Key Policy and Guidance Associated with the EO beginning on May 12, 2021 when the EO was signed through January 26, 2022.
Figure 1: Timeline of Key Policy and Guidance Associated with the EO

The associated OMB memos outline the steps required for agencies to better protect federal information systems, making them more secure and resilient. The requirements include implementation of:

  • Strict security controls on critical software,
  • Mature event detection and analysis capabilities, and
  • Endpoint data collection within networks to detect and hunt cyber threats.

Federal agencies also have new ways to obtain funding for the cybersecurity products and services needed to implement the EO’s requirements. Bolstering cybersecurity defenses is one of the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF)’s focus areas, and it’s funded three projects to support ZTA implementation. The President’s FY23 Budget request includes increased funding for federal agencies as they implement the EO’s priorities and a ZTA strategy. The request is the largest such increase in over 12 years.

Resources to help meet the EO requirements

There is no single technology, product, or service that can achieve the goals of implementing ZTA. Each agency’s journey and solution will be unique, and GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) is here to help.

The FAS Office of IT Category (ITC) has resources to help agencies, vendors, and acquisition professionals continue to work towards a mature ZTA and meet the Administration’s requirements.

Over the past year, GSA’s ITC has:

  • Participated in governmentwide working groups on Cybersecurity Supply Chain Risk Management (C-SCRM) and ZTA. To ensure GSA’s offerings are capable of delivering the products and services that support implementation of the EO’s requirements, subject matter experts (SMEs) participated in working groups led by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
  • Educated the acquisition workforce on EO 14028. GSA SMEs conducted multiple trainings and speaking engagements for IT and acquisition professionals on ZTA, C-SCRM, and the EO requirements. If your agency would like to schedule a session with GSA SMEs, reach out to the GSA National Account Manager dedicated to your agency.
  • Incorporated C-SCRM practices into GSA contract vehicles. To assist agencies with EO requirements to mitigate cyber risks in the Government’s IT supply chain, GSA continues to pursue efforts to ensure alignment with EO guidance.
  • Developed informational webpages and Buyer’s Guides to aid agencies navigating the EO requirements.

Other ways GSA can help

Whether your agency is small or large, GSA has solutions that can be tailored to your cybersecurity needs. In addition to the Buyer’s Guides, GSA offers multiple online tools to assist in planning a cybersecurity acquisition. 

  • IT Security Acquisition Planning Package (APP) provides common resources agencies can use to plan a cybersecurity acquisition, including:
    • Overviews of GSA IT Security offerings,
    • IT Security Statement of Work (SOW) and Request for Quote (RFQ) templates, and
    • GSA’s Market Research As a Service (MRAS) tool to identify potential vendor pools and suggested contract vehicles. 
  • GSA developed Buy.GSA.gov, which can help you:
    • Plan – Determine the documents you need, and find vendors and contracts. 
    • Develop Documents – Find sample documents and templates.
    • Research – Find products, services, and pricing data.
    • Purchase – Review buying methods and request submissions for quotations.
  • GSA, in partnership with the Federal Chief Information Officers Council, is developing a series of ZTA Playbooks to help agencies move from the conceptual planning phase to actual implementation of a zero trust security model. Agencies can expect a “base playbook,” followed by playbooks dedicated to the pillars of a mature ZTA.
  • GSA has Customer Service Directors specifically assigned to your agency by location. You can also find the National Account Manager dedicated to your agency. 
  • For cybersecurity SME support, contact the IT Security Subcategory at ITSecurityCM@gsa.gov.

What’s next

As the Federal government improves its efforts to better protect Federal information systems, expect additional OMB guidance and updates to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), driving the need for modification of contract language. GSA will keep you informed, communicating with you the major developments.

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Improving Polaris with Small Business Feedback

Posted by Laura Stanton
on April 20, 2022

Polaris — GSA’s future small business Governmentwide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) of record — is meant to provide agencies with a trusted and innovative contract vehicle designed to deliver complex IT services from the most highly skilled, experienced, and capable small businesses across multiple socioeconomic pools.

After releasing the final RFPs for the small business and women-owned small business pools in March 2022, we received thoughtful feedback from our industry partners in the small business community. We truly appreciate it.

We’re listening

As a result of the feedback we received, we’re assessing whether any changes to those RFPs are necessary. While we assess, we announced that we’re temporarily pausing the RFPs until further notice and will issue a new extended proposal due date along with any amendments. 

Offerors are encouraged to pause proposal activities until this assessment is completed. During this pause, the Polaris Submission Portal will not be open.

I want to emphasize that we very much appreciate industry’s feedback during this time. 

Built for an inclusive future

Polaris is designed to meet the needs of agencies buying complex IT services by

  • establishing pools that represent the broad ecosystem of small businesses.
  • including diverse providers that are proven capable of delivering exceptional results.

Our job is to take a thoughtful and managed approach to having a range of small businesses available to federal agencies through Polaris.

While we consider feedback and questions received from the RFPs, please continue to monitor SAM.gov for the latest Polaris news and information.

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Wireless Mobility Solutions Training: Bringing the Experts to You

Posted by Laura Stanton
on February 23, 2022

Today, industry and government alike are supporting flexible work models like remote work, in-office work, and hybrid environments. Government leaders are embracing this trend, steadily moving their workforces toward mobility solutions.

As wireless networks expand and speeds increase with 4G LTE and 5G, we expect this “work from anywhere” trend to continue. GSA was an early adopter of the hybrid work model and understands the foundational importance of wireless solutions in serving the American public. Through experience, we learned to work through the hows and whys of integrating 5G into our IT portfolio. We stand ready to support fellow hybrid agencies to ensure their workforces have the devices, plans, and security to do the same. 

To help you find your agency’s next cost-effective, modern wireless solution on GSA’s Multiple Award Schedule, our mobility acquisition experts created a new Wireless Mobility Webinar.  

Wireless Mobility Solutions on GSA Schedule

We’ve enhanced our Wireless Mobility Solutions to showcase 11 different subcategories of mobility solutions that benefit both industry and government purchasers. This update is not just about wireless devices and accompanying phone plans but also includes:

  • Mobile security: Mobile Threat Protection and Mobile App Vetting services give you baseline security with real time threat detection and scanning software. 
  • Mobile administration and management solutions: Telecom Expense Management Services (TEMS) and Mobility-as-a-Service solutions can help with inventory management, cost control, reporting, trouble ticketing and the distribution of wireless devices.
  • Mobility-related Internet of Things (IoT) component infrastructure: This technology allows you to design and operate a system of devices.

ITC’s wireless solutions portfolio also includes our Best-In-Class Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions. Through EIS, you can integrate your mobility requirements with your enterprise network in one unified order.

We strive to offer the breadth and variety of modern solutions you expect from the commercial mobility market, and add new service providers and solutions regularly. If you can’t find the service or industry partner you’re looking for or need additional support, let us know at wireless@gsa.gov.

Don’t forget! If you’re a Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative Wireless BPA user, your task orders will expire between now and November of 2023. If you need help with your transition, check out this FSSI Wireless transition training on our IT Acquisition University. ITAU offers lots of great government-only content, including webinars like “How to Equip the Federal Workforce in Today’s Telework Environment” and “How to Use TEMS and Mobility-as-a-Service.”

Get involved

Join the more than 250 program and contract personnel across government who make up the Federal Mobility Group. The FMG meets biweekly to discuss research, innovation, industry engagement, and events. Recent meetings showcased how government agencies are leveraging 4G/5G technologies to further their mobility missions, including the development of autonomous vehicles and smart warehouses. There’s even a working group specifically focused on 5G. Government employees with a .gov or .mil email address can contact fmg@gsa.gov to join.

Coming up

We’re hosting a virtual event on March 16, 2022 that will feature GSA expert discussions on Zero-Trust, cloud computing, and the use of emerging technology in today’s hybrid workplace. Register now for Securing Next-Generation Hybrid Work Environments.

Finally, we’d like to welcome back our Mobility program manager Christian Williams, who has been serving on active duty for the last year. We’re proud to have many veterans working at GSA and greatly appreciate their service to our country. Welcome back, Christian!

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Improving Acquisition Governmentwide: IT and Professional Services

Posted by Laura Stanton
on February 17, 2022

It’s not often that you hear from both the Information Technology Category and Professional Services and Human Capital Categories on this blog, but we’re excited to share some updates about how our portfolios are collaborating to improve governmentwide services acquisition. For this post we’re joined by Sheri Meadema, acting assistant commissioner of GSA’s Office of Professional Services and Human Capital Categories.

ITC and PSHC have always focused on developing and delivering contractual approaches that meet the expressed, current, and future needs of our customer agencies. We set up flexible solutions so industry has a low-friction experience when working with the government. Our job is to help our customers by: 

  • Reaching the most qualified and experienced suppliers in various socioeconomic categories. 
  • Accessing an acquisition channel that is designed to deliver exactly what agencies need and how they need to buy it.
  • Complying with evolving federal regulations.
  • Reducing the complexity and risk associated with services acquisition to the maximum extent possible.

What’s new

This year we are taking our partnership a step further through a new focus area called the Services Marketplace. ITC and PSHC are working together to align how we roll out new contracts and tools to support buyers and suppliers of services. 

Along with the leaders of GSA’s services contracts, we are working together to find enterprise-level solutions. We have three primary goals:

  • Rationalize, align and expand GSA’s contract offerings.
  • Improve FAS’s market research and buying tools. 
  • Improve the data and reporting systems used in support of our acquisition programs

What will this look like for our customers and industry partners? For industry, we envision a future with standardized engagement and solicitation processes regardless of the type of services you’re providing. We will focus on using a consistent set of best practices and tools when possible for both IT and professional services for solicitations, evaluation, negotiations, award, and contract management.

For our customers, we want to deliver a consistent, exceptional customer experience that makes it easier to get successful outcomes when compared to open market procurements. A customer agency buying services from GSA should be able to access familiar processes and have access to the right industry base, best-in-class contracts, effective and efficient tools, and support resources.

What we’re working on

Under the umbrella of the Services Marketplace, we are building the next generation of contracts, including the Services MAC, Polaris, and the follow-on to Alliant 2. 

  • ITC recently awarded the 8(a) STARS III Governmentwide Acquisition Contract, a small business set-aside, Best-in-Class GWAC. Through 8(a) STARS III, agencies can access award-winning 8(a) firms for emerging technologies and Outside Continental United States support via an established contract vehicle, saving time and taxpayer money over open-market methods.
  • Development of the next generation small business IT GWAC Polaris is well underway. The request for proposal for the new Polaris small business IT contract is expected in February 2022. Once fully awarded, Polaris will complete GSA’s GWAC contract portfolio by enabling federal agencies to set-aside IT task orders to small business, women-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, and businesses located in HUBZones. 
  • With the OASIS ordering period ending in 2024, PSHC is making significant progress on a new Services Multi-Agency Contract to support federal agencies’ procurement requirements for services, making essential improvements and building on the program’s success. 
  • Work also continues on improving our Multiple Award Schedule service offerings in Phase 3 of the consolidation. Contractors with multiple contracts will consolidate down to one, which translates into fewer overall contracts for the acquisition workforce — and industry partners — to manage. It will also make it easier for agencies to find the vendors to meet their mission requirements.

We’ve also started standardizing the scope review process and created a digital tool/portal so customers can submit their scope review requests. This will allow for better tracking, management, and coordination across portfolios, as well as create a single customer experience. PSHC has already created a pilot single intake form and we are working to integrate that across other portfolios. 

In the coming months, we’ll launch a single Delegation of Procurement Authority training for OASIS and Human Capital and Training Solutions and a single on-demand ITC DPA, which combines 8(a) STARS III, VETS 2, and Alliant 2 to simplify the customer experience. We’ve also started the discovery phase for an order management tool for all services task orders. This will allow for better solicitation development, tracking, and task order management on GSA contracts. 

We look forward to continued input from customers and industry partners to create consistency as we build the next generation of contracts, improve market research and buying tools, and enhance data and reports systems for governmentwide services acquisition.

Contact us

If you’re interested in learning more about any of our contracts, send us a note!

Join the Small Business GWAC Community of Interest here to follow 8(a) STARS III and Polaris updates: https://interact.gsa.gov/group/small-business-gwac-community-interest.

Join the Professional Services Community here to follow news on the Services MAC: https://interact.gsa.gov/groups/professionalservicescategory.

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Listening, Learning, Acting: Customer Needs Are Front and Center in FY21

Posted by Laura Stanton
on January 12, 2022

The recent White House customer experience Executive Order holds government agencies accountable for “designing and delivering services with a focus on the actual experience of the people whom it is meant to serve.”

This philosophy of centering service around an individual customer’s experience is easy to comprehend but tough to execute. Our goal is to help agencies deliver on their missions to the public. To do that, we connect them with businesses offering approved, secure technology solutions that are customer-centric, cost effective, and compliant.

ITC was able to perform well in FY21 by listening closely to customers and taking action based on their needs. Whether working with agencies federal, state, local, or tribal, big or small, we consistently get asked the same questions:

  • Can you guide me through finding the solution I need and help me acquire it efficiently?
  • How can you save me money on the solution I need?
  • Can you ensure that the solutions I purchase are compliant with regulations and security directives?

In FY21, ITC provided a model for how government employees can thrive in remote work environments. We conducted a great deal of government business despite supply chain and other pandemic-related challenges, recording over $32 Billion of business volume. We improved CX in buying and selling technology and saved our customers time and money, modernized their networks, and secured their systems. We welcomed 315 new small and disadvantaged businesses onto the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) in FY21. These efforts are ongoing, but have underpinned much federal government success during the pandemic.

Back to basics – meeting customer needs

Customers come to ITC to enlist the help of our acquisition specialists and subject matter experts. We want to provide a convenient, consolidated acquisition experience that is time-efficient and provides the best value to our customers. We currently manage 23 contract programs and more than 4,700 vendors on the Multiple Award Schedule, of which 52% are small businesses. Small and disadvantaged businesses saw a 23% increase in business volume from FY20 to FY21!

Creating taxpayer value – ITC sees record revenue in FY21

Customers buy through GSA to leverage the full buying power of the government. In FY21, we recorded more than $32.3B in business volume through our contracts. For context, this accounts for 35% of the $92.9B total that was appropriated for IT across all federal agencies during the fiscal year. ITC accounted for more than $2.3B in savings to our government customers, a 7.7% increase from FY20.

There is a good reason agencies are using our Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recommended Best-In-Class (BIC) solutions during this pandemic spending period. Our price analysis tools, upfront market research, transactional data, and the great value of offerings on Schedule can’t be found elsewhere. Our success exemplifies the trust that our customer agencies have placed in our ability to help them meet their missions.

Securing the stack – keeping our industry partners accountable

Security mandates such as Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM), Cybersecurity-Supply Chain Risk Management (C-SCRM), The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 889, and The Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity are crucial to the nation’s digital and physical safety.

The line between physical and virtual security has blurred as threats have become more complex, and complying with these security mandates is crucial to agency customers. That’s why ITC adds these mandates and others into our master contracts — to streamline proof of compliance for industry and allow agencies to focus on mission delivery.

ITC helps ensure that the products and services our customers buy will comply with federal law and safeguard their network’s security. Large contracts like our 2nd Generation Information Technology (2GIT) hardware/software blanket purchase agreement have SCRM built in as a key operational component.

GSA tools like the new Verified Products Portal (VPP) help identify authorized resellers to enhance SCRM capabilities. Security and cybersecurity approaches and policy are ever-evolving, and GSA recognizes both as core acquisition tenets. We understand the considerable responsibility we have for agencies’ IT health.

Looking ahead

We’re looking forward to finalizing several exciting efforts in 2022. We are bolstering our Cloud marketplace with a one-stop shop BPA, which will be awarded in phases. Polaris (our contract replacement for Alliant 2 Small Business) will release its Request For Proposal in Q2, with awards to be made later in the year. As the September 2022 Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) transition deadline quickly approaches, we are in the process of assisting agencies as they award remaining task orders and ultimately disconnect from old telecommunications contracts.

We’ll continue to view things through the lens of our customers, facilitating direct conversations with stakeholders and providing the products, services, and attention needed to achieve agency missions. Our goal is a customer experience that prioritizes cost-efficiency, expediency, and security. You can buy with confidence when you work with the Information Technology Category.

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