Small Business GWAC Program

(This blog post is part of a multi-week series reviewing data and trends from GSA’s IT acquisition vehicles for FY14. Read previous posts at

Small businesses are the backbone of job growth and constitute a major force in the U.S. economy. They generate a vital portion of our gross domestic product (GDP) and contribute to growth and vitality of economic and socioeconomic development. In particular, small businesses create jobs and spark innovation, which complement the economic activity of large organizations by providing them with products and services that contribute to their bottom line.

Here at GSA, we pride ourselves on helping the government utilize small business. We have multiple acquisition vehicles that connect government to small business. This provides agencies the flexibility to choose the best acquisition vehicle to meet their need. Some of these vehicles reside in our Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWAC) program.

Small Business (SB) GWACs provide powerful and flexible contracts that support agencies’ complex projects and requirements. These contracts experienced a tremendous amount of growth in FY 2014. Total business volume growth increased by approximately $400M on our three active SB GWACs, comprising 8(a) STARS II, Alliant Small Business, and VETS, from FY13 to FY14; an increase of approximately 19%.

Scope Reviews: Lowering risk and increasing customer support

Part of that increase is due to our complimentary scope reviews for statements of work (SOW). The team works with agencies to help determine whether requirements are within scope of a GWAC within two to five business days. This service reduces the risk of protest.  The Small Business GWAC Pre-award Scope Review Team recently analyzed the pre-award scope review process to see how our contracts are being used.

The number of pre-award scope reviews conducted on our active small business GWAC increased by 12% (253 to 287) from FY13 to FY14.  Across all three of the small business GWACs, IT Support Services is the predominant type of work being considered.

During FY14, GSA conducted 285 reviews and performed those reviews in 1.3 days on average. Retrospectively, the scope review process provides a clear understanding of the requirements, establishes a baseline for proposal evaluation, reduces evaluation and negotiation time, and most importantly minimizes the need for future changes. Understanding the trends of these scopes gives us a better understanding of how to promote small business contracting and satisfy our customers’ needs.

Buying Trends

Some of the most popular uses were for IT Support Services like Help Desk, software maintenance, and system operations.

Small Business GWACs represent 45% of GSA’s total GWAC obligations for FY14.

  • The Alliant Small Business Program experienced a 17% increase in obligations for FY14 compared to FY13.
  • 60 of 80 Alliant small business primes have at least one task order award
  • The 8(a) STARS II GWAC is the follow-on to the very successful 8(a) STARS GWAC.  The contract was awarded August 31, 2011 and resulted in 645 awards in FY14 with over $641 million in obligations.
  • The 8(a) STARS II Program has seen a 41% increase in obligations for FY14 compared to FY13.
  • The Veterans Technology Services (VETS) GWAC has obligations from 16 different federal agency customers.  All contract holders have received task orders totaling over $1 billion in obligations. In FY14, VETS added 14 task orders with $17.1 million in obligations.

Looking Ahead

The future of Small Business GWACs is bright. We’ve seen agencies increase the use of our GWACs to reach their small business goals and meet their IT demands, and we’ve seen businesses grow beyond their small-business designation due to their participation on our program.

This next year is going to be an exciting time for our Small Business GWACs. We’re going to continue to exceed customer expectations by bringing additional value like our complimentary scope reviews and prices paid data. Our flexible vehicles and focus on customer service should help us continue to expand the usage of these vehicles as we look into the future toward our next generation Small Business GWACs.

Please follow us on Twitter @GSA_ITS to join the conversation.

Alliant GWAC: Exploring Success

(This blog post is part of a multi-week series reviewing data and trends from GSA’s IT acquisition vehicles for FY14. Read previous posts at

The GSA Alliant GWAC had an outstanding year helping agencies achieve their mission through a fast, flexible, and safe acquisition vehicle. Agencies obligated  $2.682 billion dollars to Alliant during FY14, marking Alliant as the largest utilized single GWAC in GSA history by dollar value. Alliant is GSA’s premier enterprise GWAC, providing flexible access to customized IT solutions from a large, diverse pool of industry partners. Alliant allows for long-term planning of large-scale, complex program requirements. The success can be attributed to several factors that deserve a closer look.

Alliant FY14 Success Analytics:

Since contract inception, more than 60 agencies have used Alliant and awarded an estimated $18.7 Billion in task order value.  Fourteen agencies used Alliant for the first time in FY14. This steady growth can be attributed to numerous factors. For example, approximately 1200 federal acquisition & program professionals have received the Alliant GWAC Delegation of Procurement (DPA) training to including 229 just in FY14 – an 18% increase in buying power! Lastly during FY14, 85 Statements of Work (SOWs) were submitted for review.

Top Agencies and Vendors:

The top three agencies utilizing Alliant (obligated dollars) are the Department of Homeland Security at $2.74 billion, the Air Force at $2.70 billion, and the Department of State at $2.52 billion. The Army comes in at a close fourth at  $2.24 billion, marking a significant task order increase of 47% between FY13 and FY14.

Currently, SAIC is the dominant vendor with over $1.6 billion in obligations spread across 42 task orders. Booz Allen Hamilton Engineering Services follows with $720 million across 43 task orders, increasing its capture by more than 60% over the past three years according to a recent study conducted by Govini. Northrop Grumman follows suit with $550 million across 36 task orders.

Strong relationships between Government and Industry:

As pre-competed vehicles, GWACs can streamline the acquisition process, which naturally leads to saving time and taxpayer money. Our pre-competed vehicle consists of 58 exceptionally qualified contractors. The Alliant program office takes pride in the individual relationships that have been created through the years between the Enterprise GWAC division and the outstanding Alliant contractors. To date, 50 out of 58 primes have received awards, exemplifying the diverse pool of credible talent and the constant interaction between government and industry.

The Enterprise GWAC division recently invited representatives from each of the 58 Primes to participate in Alliant’s twice-a-year Program Management Review (PMR). The event spans two days and allows industry to interact with government and partake in collaborative program updates and breakout sessions.  Success on projects through Alliant is a three-part partnership – GSA, the procuring agency and the company performing the work under the task order. We’ve built this model over a number of years through all of our GWACs, and it’s because of that focus and approach that Alliant has served the federal community so well.

Please follow us on Twitter @GSA_ITS to join the conversation.


Alliant GWAC Five Years Later: Usage, savings, and efficiency just keep getting better

Five years ago, GSA’s Integrated Technology Services (ITS) team had an ambitious vision: to create a governmentwide acquisition contract (GWAC) to meet all of the federal government’s IT services needs. But primarily ITS wanted to save time and money by eliminating the need for agencies to create their own contracts. That vision and commitment created the GSA Alliant GWAC.

Today, $16.5 billion and 54 agencies later, Alliant continues to provide IT services contract support for partner agencies. On May 1, 2014, GSA extended the Alliant option period. Agencies can continue to acquire innovative and complex IT services while still receiving Alliant’s same great customer service until April 2019.

Both DoD and civilian agencies alike use Alliant. Alliant has helped support mission-critical and transformative IT projects for the departments of Homeland Security and State; the Internal Revenue Service;  the Army, Navy, and Air Force,  and many more.

Stellar customer service

Industry partners and federal customers often praise Alliant for its end-to-end stellar customer service and complimentary project scope reviews. Its customer-focused services put Alliant head and shoulders above many other government IT contracts.

Client testimonials note Alliant’s “exceptional” and “unparalleled” customer service and appreciate that “the team responds swiftly to all inquiries,” particularly as “the need to use Alliant has increased.” Another client described the team as “responsive, flexible, and sensitive to our needs” and said, “Without the support of extremely competent GSA contracting staff, there is no way we could have put a contract in place….” Read more Alliant customer testimonials.


As the IT market and emerging new technology evolve, GSA must work with industry and our customers to keep pace. Over the last five years, as advances in federal IT services emerge, the Alliant GWAC Shared Interest Group (SIG), comprising Alliant prime industry partners, works together to stay ahead of the curve.

For example, as the federal government’s interest in moving to cloud-based systems emerged, the SIG worked with a cross-government team to develop sample statements of work (SOWs). These SOWs serve as a valuable roadmap for agencies on how best to acquire, migrate, and integrate cloud systems.

To deliver the best IT solutions to the government, good working relationships with our industry partners are critical. Alliant continues to be recognized as an example of how government and industry can work together to deliver results for the federal government.

Moving Forward

We’re not just resting on our laurels; we know there is plenty of work ahead. We continue to be at the forefront of moving government forward through our “prices paid” data initiative, which helps federal buyers negotiate better because they can see what other agencies are paying for IT services.

Not only do we have certain prices paid data available on so any government employee can conduct better market research and stronger negotiations, but we are also adding more detail, greater capabilities, and increased functionality.

We are also already moving forward with our Alliant 2 strategy. We are engaging both customers and industry partners through GSA’s Interact community to discuss ideas and strategies that will help shape the next-generation Alliant GWAC. We encourage everyone involved with federal IT purchasing to join the conversation.

Looking forward, we’re thrilled with the possibilities of federal IT’s future. Alliant is a solid, tried- and-true program that is always getting better and better. We are committed to providing the services that have helped so many agency customers over the past five years as we develop the next-generation solution.  

To learn how GSA can further help your agency with your IT procurements, contact our National IT Customer Services Center by phone at (855) ITaid4U or by e-mail at


Cloud and Data Center Consolidation – Bringing together the perfect couple

NOTE: Mary Davie is serving as the Acting Commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS). Her Deputy, Kevin Youel Page, has assumed the role of Acting Assistant Commissioner of the Integrated Technology Service (ITS) during this period.

As we move towards Cupid’s day, I thought it was appropriate to highlight the great work GSA is doing to nurture the budding relationship between Cloud Technology and Data Center Consolidation.

Over the past year, GSA partnered with 11 federal agencies to form an OMB sponsored working group–for a little couple’s therapy–to bridge the gap between the two. The team also engaged significant participation from numerous partners from our Alliant  GWAC industry group.

The goal of this working group was to develop five standardized Statement of Objective (SOO) templates for cloud migrations of applications and services modeled upon processes established by the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative, with the objective of allowing agencies to “plug in” at any phase of the effort:  enterprise discovery, migration planning, migration, and responsible asset disposal.

By maximizing the power of these contract-agnostic SOOs for Cloud Migration Services, agencies can more easily and efficiently move legacy systems to the cloud and better plan for future development of new cloud applications and strategies.

This allows agencies to realize cost savings more quickly through increased acquisition efficiency, agility, and innovation.  It also decreases the time needed to retire duplicative or inefficient data centers.

As the federal government is navigating its way through the cloud, the effort to migrate services and applications to the cloud sometimes has felt like a rough first date. With cloud efforts taking place independently, the federal government has been missing significant opportunities to leverage best practices, and lessons learned. By bringing together federal cloud leaders and industry experts, we can work together to help solve these issues while saving time and reducing costs to the federal government.

Bringing these two initiatives closer together is a critical step towards a sustainable government. It allows agency CIOs to save money and focus on mission-enhancing technologies by shifting IT investments to more efficient computing platforms, accelerating data center consolidation, and clearly aligning data center consolidation with cloud computing.

Just like Cupid’s bow, our goal is to help government realize that we are better together than apart.

I encourage anyone preparing a cloud acquisition to make use of these documents as well as the programs and expertise GSA has to offer. If you have any questions about these documents or acquiring cloud, feel free to comment below or reach out to our cloud team at

Email as a Service: A Clear Vision into a Cloudy Future

NOTE: Mary Davie is serving as the Acting Commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS). Her Deputy, Kevin Youel Page, has assumed the role of Acting Assistant Commissioner of the Integrated Technology Service (ITS) during this period.

GSA’s mission is to help save the government time and money, and as acting assistant commissioner of ITS, I take that to heart.  There’s been a lot of talk recently about what GSA is or isn’t doing to help government IT move to the cloud so I thought I’d weigh in.  Helping government move to the cloud is a priority for GSA. Cloud has the ability to transform the way agencies do their work by making them more agile, effective, and efficient. At the end of 2010, OMB tapped GSA to help lead the way in introducing cloud systems to the federal government. The key was understanding how government could take advantage of the cloud’s transformative power.

Along the way, there have been growing pains for both government and industry; however, the transition to cloud is already saving agencies time and money because of GSA’s ongoing efforts to be innovative, collaborative and creative.

Creating comprehensive solutions

We strive to deliver best value and have been working closely with government and industry to create a comprehensive cloud solutions portfolio for use by government agencies looking to save millions of taxpayer dollars typically spent on IT programs. Since 2009, our solutions enabling the acquisition of cloud include governmentwide acquisition vehicles (GWACs), Networx and Schedule 70. Over the past two years, agencies have purchased approximately $175 million in cloud services using our Alliant contract.

Last month GSA announced the availability of our cloud email solution, the Email as a Service (EaaS) BPA, which will allow agencies to order pre-approved cloud- based tools for email, office automation, and electronic records management, as well as the migration and integration services necessary for a swift transition leading to rapid savings. The BPA offers recurring purchasing options at a reduced cost that is also convenient and efficient.

Cloud based email services support the Obama Administration’s mandates and initiatives to bring cloud services into the federal government and reduce the number of federal data centers, which save taxpayer dollars. We estimate that agencies will save 50 percent, about $1 million, annually for every 7,500 users migrated. Last year GSA was the first federal agency to make the move to the cloud using our Alliant GWAC to migrate 17,000 email accounts, saving $2 million to date, with an estimated savings of $15 million over five years.

What makes EaaS even more exciting is that it will leverage GSA’s innovative security program, Federal Risk Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), which uses a “do once, use many times” approach to save agencies time and money by providing a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring. This process allows agencies to avoid the need to conduct its own security assessment, which can cost more than $100,000 and take up to nine months. This could potentially result in $10 million in savings across the government.

Recognizing Innovation

With all the great things GSA is doing, there is still more work to do. I have echoed the challenge of our administrator: when you think you’ve thought big, think bigger. Our cloud team responded by releasing a Cloud Brokerage RFI in August.  This RFI will allow us to pool government and industry’s collective knowledge around cloud acquisition to formulate future innovative and cost-effective solutions.

Cloud Brokerage and our EaaS BPA are already receiving accolades. In fact, the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) gave GSA’s collaborative approach to solving the cloud challenge its innovative thinking in government recognition three weeks in a row.

Cloud Migration represents a major shift in the way government conducts business, which means that our acquisition models must continue to evolve. There is a long road ahead, and GSA will be there to support our customers. Our cloud portfolio and efforts to facilitate government-wide cloud migration continues to show that GSA focuses on its core efforts of promoting efficiency, delivering better value, and saving taxpayer dollars.

Government’s Mobile Moment

Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel recently announced the development of a new Mobile Strategy at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. I was there, and was glad to hear his perspective on the potential of mobile technology for government, especially since GSA has been working hard to realize that potential.

Putting mobile IT to the test

GSA has been at the mobile technology frontier for some time now. Most GSA employees have laptops and smartphones so they can work from anywhere. Our systems and internal network are fully accessible via the web. We have implemented rigorous yet manageable security to protect the agency and our employees, including mobile device management and two-factor identification for external systems. We are well on our way to reaching our goal of secure access through any device, anywhere, anytime.

We’ve taken these risks because we’re committed to making government work better, no matter the mission or the location. We say “work is what you do, not where you do it,” because we’ve seen firsthand how enabling mobility has empowered us to better serve other agencies. This experience has prepared us to advise the federal government in using mobility to improve services to citizens, engage citizens in government, reduce costs, and increase productivity.

Our mobile role

We’re closing what VanRoekel calls the productivity gap between government’s traditional methods and mobile best practices. We are working to help agencies address unique mobility requirements through existing, flexible contract vehicles like Alliant and Connections II. We are also tackling commonly shared needs through our new, streamlined programs, like Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Email as a Service (EaaS), and a new wireless program.

At the Consumer Electronics Show, VanRoekel highlighted our wireless program as a pocket of excellence, because it can improve oversight and overcome the government’s fragmented mobile IT purchasing. We will soon release a wireless blanket purchase agreement (BPA) under the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) to leverage the government’s buying power for wireless services and devices, including smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.

The BPA will include requirements to enable enterprise-level management and reporting, and will integrate with planned modifications to our Telecommunications Expense Management Service (TEMS) FSSI. Agencies will then be able to manage their inventory and expenses through a single, secure interface, simplifying and improving the business of government. We are also part of the mGov team looking at opportunities in acquisition, inventory, and expense management to further aggregate and leverage what and how we buy.

I look forward to sharing with you more of our plans and successes in the coming months, especially following the release of the final Mobility Strategy. You can learn more about the Mobility Strategy at the Office of Management and Budget blog as well as the recently completed National Dialogue on The Federal Mobility Strategy. In the meantime, I invite you to share your thoughts and feedback by leaving a comment on this blog or finding me on Twitter.

GSA Puts Sharing First

Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel described his path forward for federal IT in a policy speech in Silicon Valley this October and again in the draft Federal IT Shared Services Strategy released just this month. He articulated a “Shared First” paradigm that will lead agencies to root out waste and duplication by sharing IT services, infrastructure, procurement vehicles, and best practices.

As the go-to partner for acquisition, GSA can help agencies go “Shared First”. We are ready to leverage our deep experience in working with customers across government to address their most challenging IT acquisition problems.

Shared IT services

The draft Shared Services Strategy requires agencies to move two “commodity IT services”—back-office IT services common to every agency—to a shared environment by December 31, 2012.

We have provided shared IT services to dozens of agencies over the years. For example, over 90 federal agencies use our USAccess identity management service to issue and manage their employee ID cards.

We are excited to help customers think about how to further consolidate their IT systems.

Shared infrastructure

Before the Federal Data Center Consolidation initiative, the federal government warehoused its data in over 3,000 data centers, tying up outsized amounts of capital and real estate and resulting in higher emissions.

According to VanRoekel, the federal government will close 1080 data centers by the end of 2015, with an estimated cost savings of $3 to $5 billion. GSA is working with agencies to achieve these savings by migrating to shared infrastructures through our data center services and cloud solutions.

Using a shared infrastructure also enhances service, since agencies can rapidly scale their capabilities up and down to match their mission needs, and recover more quickly after an emergency.

Shared procurement

Agencies also use GSA vehicles to minimize their contracting overhead. The State Department has done this by consolidating more than 100 existing task orders down to four through our Alliant and Alliant Small Business Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs) for a secure network infrastructure.

When agencies buy alone, they also miss out on the volume discounts available when the government pools its buying power. Customers can get these kinds of discounts from the SmartBUY software program. GSA is also defining new ways for federal, state, local, and tribal government organizations to aggregate their demand by buying IT products as a commodity.

Shared best practices

GSA helps agencies use current best practices in contracting by posting sample statements of work (SOWs) for many of our contracts, such as Alliant and Connections II.

To support common standards, we aligned two GWACs (Alliant and Alliant Small Business) with the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) and Department of Defense Enterprise Architecture (DoDEA). This means agencies can more easily use past SOWs and report their IT investments to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). It also means that the scope of both GWACs grows and changes as vendors’ technology capabilities grow and change, without requiring a technical refresh.

Give us your feedback

I encourage everyone involved in government IT acquisition to review the federal Shared Services Strategy (PDF) and provide comments. For background, you can watch VanRoekel’s speech or read a transcript. I’d like to know how you plan to use a “Shared First” approach for your agency – please leave a comment or find me on Twitter!

Will IT Eat Your Agency?

Last week I attended the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2011 in Orlando. What a conference! It featured great speakers and great ideas for IT, particularly government IT.

I was especially intrigued by Andrea Di Maio and Jerry Mechling’s predictions for government IT spending, because they spoke to problems GSA is already helping to solve.

Constraints on Government IT Spend

Andrea predicts that by 2013, government financial sustainability will join cost containment as a top driver and constraint for government IT spend. What did Andrea mean by “financial sustainability”, and how does it differ from cost containment? The answer is rather bleak: It’s the survival of the services we’re used to the government providing.

Jerry said IT spend will remain a greater portion of overall budgets, even as budgets shrink overall. In the past, IT investment was a “nice to have.” Now, agencies must keep a laser-like focus on their technology budget to make sure it contributes to their core mission.

Who Decides IT Spend?

Andrea also predicts that by 2014, over half of IT spend will be decided outside the IT department in at least 30% of government organizations. This prediction took me aback. If the IT department isn’t deciding what they spend on IT, who is?

One answer is industry. IT investments will be driven by changes and initiatives in the IT industry, not by IT buyers.

The other answer is tightening budgets. Agencies are considering consolidation and transition to shared services models, which will require the IT department and CIO to take on new roles to make that happen. In the near future, CIOs may need to see themselves more as “Enterprise Program Managers” than as pure CIOs.

How GSA Can Help

We have programs in place to assist agencies facing these trends:

Innovative new acquisition models. Our new IT commodity buying solution is coming online this quarter. We’re leveraging the bulk buying power of the government to offer lower prices for leading IT commodities like laptops and warranty services. We’re issuing blanket purchase agreements (BPAs) off of IT Schedule 70 to leverage existing contracts, and we’ll also be creating a more comprehensive solution that’s not limited by today’s processes and systems. From what I heard at the symposium, we‘ll need that future acquisition model yesterday.

IT consolidation. We can help agencies consolidate both their IT systems and the way they manage their IT programs. Our cloud and data center services solutions enable agencies to fulfill OMB’s Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative and Cloud First policy. In terms of IT program management, the State Department is consolidating more than 100 existing task orders down to four task orders on our Alliant GWAC.

Innovative shared services. For shared services, agencies can look to TEMS, our telecommunications expense management offering, and USAccess, which provides end-to-end identity management services to 90 agencies and over 620,000 employees. Our Assisted Acquisition Services (AAS) can also manage part or all of the IT acquisition process.

Do you agree with these predictions? What do you think will happen to government IT spending in the next few years? What do you think agencies will need to do to adapt? And how can GSA help you?

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Buys into the Cloud

I’m thrilled to announce that the Department of Homeland Security has awarded the first task order using GSA’s Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA). DHS is consolidating and migrating many of its primary public websites to the cloud to reduce costs and comply with the Administration’s Cloud First policy. To accomplish this, they awarded a five-year, $5 million contract to CGI Federal Inc. CGI is one of four companies – Apptis Inc., Computer Literacy World, and Eyak Tech LLC are the others – that now have an Authority to Operate (ATO) on this streamlined, pre-competed contract. We are currently working with the remaining eight vendors to complete the ATO process by year-end. The ATOs are processed in accordance with NIST 800-37 and 800-53 (rev 3) and can be accepted by any federal agency for cloud storage, virtual machines, and web hosting at the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) Moderate Impact Level or lower.

So what does all of this really mean? In short, it means GSA’s IaaS BPA is “open for business.” The flexibility of our BPA gives federal, state, local and tribal governments faster, easier access to a host of infrastructure offerings, including cloud storage, web hosting and virtual machines. These are technologies that will greatly reduce infrastructure maintenance costs and make government more efficient and cost effective. GSA’s IaaS BPA provides cloud solutions with reduced procurement time and risk to help agencies comply with the OMB’s Cloud First policy and data center consolidation initiatives. And the ATOs demonstrate that customers using these services meet federal cybersecurity requirements.

Most importantly, the award demonstrates DHS’s confidence in GSA’s IT acquisition expertise. From self-service e-Tools to step-by-step assistance throughout the entire procurement process, we are committed to providing our customers with the level of service they should expect from their best friend in government, GSA.  The Service Line Managers in our cloud services office are available to assist agencies with market research, requirements development, service level agreements and other aspects of putting together their cloud acquisitions.  This service is available not only for our BPAs, but any suitable ITS acquisition vehicle, such as Alliant. More comprehensive assistance for agency cloud acquisitions is also available through the FAS Office of Assisted Acquisition Services.

Finally, let me give a “shout out” to my staff in ITS, our colleagues in Dave McClure’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies (OCSIT), OMB, and our federal agency partners who’ve worked so hard to develop these innovative solutions for cloud services. These contracts truly put Administrator Johnson’s description of GSA as a “proving ground for innovation” into action and I’m thrilled at the outcome.

Need more info on GSA’s Cloud IT Solutions and cloud policy efforts? Check out the Cloud IT Services page and

Big Opportunities for Small Businesses

At GSA, we promote small businesses because they are engines of innovation. They’ve got insights and expertise and I love working at an agency that helps them grow and compete in the federal marketplace.

So I’m thrilled that on July 29, 2011, 599 small businesses from across the country received awards on our 8(a) STARS II Governmentwide Acquisition Contract (GWAC). Now in its third generation, 8(a) STARS II is a streamlined program making it easier for government agencies to purchase IT services and meet small business contracting goals. At the same time, the new contract creates real opportunities for these companies to grow in communities across 38 states.

I have seen first-hand what small businesses can do to help government operate smarter and more efficiently. They helped transform GSA’s IT systems, enabling one third of our employees to telework.  They are providing the Federal Acquisition Service’s Chief Information Officer with critical program and application management support. They are even helping us find more environmentally sustainable solutions for our operating environment, something that will reap benefits for years to come.

But don’t just take my word for it. The Department of Defense is now encouraging its acquisition community to use GSA’s Alliant Small Business, 8(a) STARS, and VETS GWACs to access small businesses’ creativity and innovation. The Navy is using Alliant Small Business as part of its IT Services Strategic Sourcing Initiative, something that will ultimately save them money and resources so they can focus on other mission critical activities.

At GSA our commitment to small businesses — such as the 8(a) STARS II program — is a big deal, and we remain committed to working with them and our agency customers to build a stronger America. Let me know how we can continue to do this by leaving a comment or reaching me on Twitter.