GovWin
 
 
FY 2015 Net New Army IT Funding Less than $200 Million

Times are tough for vendors that provide IT products and services to the U.S. Army.  For nearly a decade, the Army received billions of dollars in budgetary resources and it spent a generous portion of that funding on IT.  Following the drawdown in Afghanistan and the onset of sequestration the Army’s budget began to roll over.  Now it’s downright difficult to locate new program funding in the Army’s IT budget.

This difficulty is illustrated clearly in the DoD’s funding request for fiscal 2015.  The Army’s portion of the request shows a total of only $195 million in net new funding, with “net new” defined as development funding slated in FY 2015 for programs that received $0 in FY 2014.  The table below shows the programs for which funding has been requested.  The list is short, indeed.

Of these programs, the largest is the second increment of IPPS-A, the Army’s new integrated Enterprise Resource Planning system for personnel and pay.  Those familiar with the effort know that the contract competition for IPPS-A, Increment 2 is currently in source selection, so funding requested for FY 2015 will go to the winner of the contract.  This leaves only $24 million in remaining new development funding to potentially compete for in FY 2015.  I use the phrase “potentially compete for” because it’s unclear at this point if these are programs for which new contracts will be competed.

For example, Army Processing Centers are computing hubs located in DoD facilities where IT applications are stored, executed, replicated, and managed.  Work at these centers is procured, but more often than not the competitions take the form of task orders under contract vehicles held by a select number of primes, leaving the rest out in the cold.  That the Army will continue to use task order competitions to fulfill this requirement is not guaranteed.  Given the history, however, chances are high that they will.

As for the remaining investments …

Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) tactical radios offer the possibility of generating some revenue for vendors that supply the Army with these devices.

The Petroleum Quality Analysis System, developed by the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center (JMTC) at the Army’s Rock Island Arsenal, sounds promising.  Funding in FY 2015 will buy one system and the Army intends to procure a total of 17 systems through FY 2019.  No notice of a pending acquisition could be found for this post, but it looks like there was some activity on Federal Business Opportunities in 2008-2009 related to earlier versions of the PQAS so it might be worth calling around ACC-Warren to find out if work will be required.

Funding for the Software Engineering Center’s C2 Solutions Directorate is probably for operations not necessarily related to contractor support, or for support contracts that already exist, so possibilities are limited here.

Lastly, work related to the third version of the Corporate Account Management System appears to offer some potential.  Unfortunately, I was unable to identify where this work would be done, so there are no leads on where to search for it.  Hopefully the better connected of you folks out there will have more success than I did.

Recommendations

Over the last two years, the Army’s Development, Modernization, and Enhancement (DME) funding has decreased by more than $1.5 billion.  Declines like this leave few contract dollars to compete for.  What I’ve seen in the FY 2015 DoD budget request suggests the following recommendations.

First, the Army’s overall FY 2015 DME budget totals $3.1 billion.  As the analysis above shows, only 6% of this is net new funding, meaning that the other 94% is going to established programs.  Translation – it’s more important than ever to know your customers, both potential and current.  You will want to know potential customers to develop new business by anticipating requirements, knowing how to improve current systems, and how to offer the savings and efficiencies they want.  Current customers you will want to hold close because there are plenty of competitors out there ready, willing, and able to eat your lunch.  Defensive tactics are best in this environment, meaning service and products suppliers should be responsive, accommodating, and helpful to existing customers.  They will expect this from you and this is no time for complacency.

Second, a lot of funding across the Army and DoD in general is going to operations and maintenance of systems.  This being the case, there is new spending under O&M budgets that does not fall in the DME category.  This translates into a need to investigate programs/projects funded under O&M to determine where they are investing in.  As usual, these programs come with incumbents, so be prepared to compete for work someone else is doing.

 

Is DISA’s Commercial Cloud Services Acquisition Dead?

March was an interesting month for cloud computing at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).  First, on March 18th the agency posted an announcement on its website that it “now offers milCloud, a cloud-service portfolio, featuring an integrated suite of capabilities designed to drive agility into the development, deployment, and maintenance of DoD applications.”  That same day, DISA’s Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Fred Henry, assured an audience at the AFCEA Army IT Day that the offerings of milCloud are comparable to those available in a commercial cloud, both in cost and capability.  One week later, Amazon Web Services announced that its cloud services had received from DISA “a DoD Provisional Authorization under the DoD Cloud Security Model (CSM) for Impact Levels 1-2.”  In receiving the DoD ATO, AWS joined two other infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) providers – Autonomic and CGI Federal – eligible to provide cloud services to Defense customers.  This announcement came less than two weeks after DoD CIO Teri Takai told a House Armed Services subcommittee that a total of nine cloud service providers are currently in the process of receiving authorization to provide cloud services to the DoD.

DISA’s milCloud announcement took many by surprise, particularly because the implications of it are that vendors will need to compete with the agency to provide cloud services to Defense customers.  On the face of it, this appears to be the case.  Defense customers will have the option of using milCloud services or those offered by commercial cloud providers at approved data impact levels.  In practice, however, I suspect there will be plenty of business to go around for commercial providers.  I think this because ever since the issue of DoD using cloud services arose some 4-5 years ago, there have always been core systems and capabilities that the DoD said it absolutely would not host in a commercial cloud.  Add to this the security requirements imposed by U.S. Cyber Command, and you can see why DISA would choose to play it safe by developing its own cloud solution.  At the same time, the department has for years sought to effectively leverage the benefits of cloud computing.  The milCloud solution seems to offer DoD the best of both worlds by balancing the need of Defense customers for access to cloud services in a secure, non-commercial environment.

More curious to me has been the issuance of ATOs to commercial cloud providers in the absence of a competitive setting.  I understand why the Cloud Broker PMO has done it, but is DISA now going to hold a competition for the Commercial Cloud Services Provider acquisition among only the handful of CSPs that have received ATOs?  Can you imagine the howl that will rise from industry (and maybe Congress too!) if competition is limited to only a small number of vendors?  How could contracts be awarded without dozens of protests that hold up the acquisition for years?

The question also arises if a competition to put a cloud services IDIQ into place is even necessary.  Now that multiple CSPs have been authorized to provide cloud services, what’s to stop any Defense customer from simply putting out an RFP for cloud hosting or migration services?  Having an ATO would be a requirement like any other professional certification (CMMI or ISO 9001:2000, anyone?).  The competitive pool would be limited to those vendors that have authorization. 

In short, I find the announcement of milCloud less interesting than the announcement from AWS about its ATO.  By awarding ATOs to AWS and others, DISA may have managed to side-step the entire question of whether a commercial cloud services IDIQ is needed.  Anyone want to bet on when the cancellation notice comes out?

 

 

Deltek Pulse: Justice/public safety and homeland security month in review, March 2014

The most common terms appearing in justice/public safety and homeland security solicitations during March were camera/surveillance, fire alarm and radio. The below maps provide information on where solicitations were released during the month. 

  • Number of public safety bids: 1073
  • Top three states (by number of solicitations released): California (148), Pennsylvania (58) and Ohio (58)
  • Keywords: camera/surveillance, fire alarm and radio

Frequency of terms

  • Surveillance: 31 (9 state; 22 local)
  • Radio: 14 (three state; 11 local)
  • 911: 8 (three state; five local)

Trends

  • Quite a few states either issued or had open solicitations for corrections technology in March. Texas chose to combine its previously separate radio frequency electronic monitoring and GPS electronic monitoring projects into a single solicitation. Florida, Arizona and Nashville, Tenn., have solicitations out for inmate phone systems, and several others have open projects for other corrections technologies.
  • Radio system projects renewed their prominence with several states and counties moving forward with solicitations.
  • Computer-aided dispatch (CAD) and related public safety software systems also saw resurgence with several RFIs and RFPs released, including an RFI released by the Arizona Department of Public Safety for a law enforcement CAD system.

Notable projects

  • Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency (CRESA) released a request for proposals for public safety communication equipment.
  • The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) released a request for information for text-to-911 foreign language translation services, which will be utilized at public safety answering points (PSAPs) throughout the state.
  • The Western States Contracting Alliance (WSCA) released a solicitation for public safety communication equipment, which at least 10 states intend to participate in.

 Analyst’s Take

March had 44 fewer solicitations released compared to February, and many of the key solicitations released were for larger entities and larger projects, which have longer-than-average timeframes for completion. It is also expected that these projects will take longer to award as they may require more extensive review of technical responses.

One of the most expensive and technical systems required in public safety is the public safety radio system, which proved to be extremely popular in March, along with other traditional JPS technologies such as CAD and records management systems. Besides the large WSCA contract, which is expected to be used in at least 10 states and can be used by localities within those states, several other entities released radio RFPs as well. The radio systems, however, varied in type and location. Several projects, such as one in San Francisco, focus only on individual entities, while others are more regionally focused to cover a broader area, like in Sarasota. Still, the requirements are generally similar regardless of where the system is being implemented.

The majority of entities looking to replace or upgrade their system are choosing an APCO P25-compliant replacement in the 700 or 800 MHz band. These systems are also consistently narrowband, as required by the FCC. What remains to be seen, however, is whether the entities currently working on solicitations will choose to include long-term evolution and other broadband options in the future.

GovWin IQ subscribers can read further about these projects in the provided links. Non-subscribers can gain access with a GovWin IQ free trial.

 

Business Opportunities in DOT’s Fiscal 2015 IT Budget

The Department of Transportation’s information technology (IT) budget request for fiscal year 2015 is $3.3 billion, an amount almost identical to that enacted in FY 2014. Of this total 51%, or $1.7 billion, is slated to be development, modernization, and enhancement (DME) funding. Compare this to $1.6 billion in operations and maintenance (O&M) funding for FY 2015 and what appears is yet another year that DME spending on IT surpasses spending on legacy IT assets at the DOT.

This remarkable situation (remarkable because IT budgets have stagnated everywhere) makes the DOT one of the more attractive business development targets in FY 2015. This post takes a look at a few of the programs receiving the highest percentage of DME funding at the DOT and examines the competitive environment surrounding some those programs.

Federal Aviation Administration



Not surprisingly, all of the top programs receiving 2015 DME funding are at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). I noted in a previous post that the FAA is slated to receive $836 million in FY 2015, plus an additional $186 million if Congress chooses to fund the president’s so-called “Opportunity, Growth, and Security Initiative” for the Department of Transportation. The programs listed in Table 1 will benefit from those DME dollars, as all are related to either the Next Generation Air Transportation System or the legacy National Airspace System that preceded it. Table 2 below shows that major support contracts related to some of those programs are due to expire by the end of fiscal 2015, providing a potential business opportunity for competitors and follow-on opportunity for incumbents.
 
 
Non-FAA Programs

Having looked at NextGen/NAS related programs at the FAA, what about other programs across the DOT that may be of interest and have DME funding in FY 2015? Table 3 below lists several programs offering potential business opportunities based on new funding in FY 2015.
 
 
Contract information for the DOT Common Operating Environment is readily available, but the opportunity here is limited given the long-term support contracts (#DTOS59D1000008 and #DTOS59D1000009) held by ActioNet which don’t expire until 2019. This leaves the remaining programs to consider. Of these, available details are hit or miss. Here is what could be found.
  • National Pipeline Information Exchange (NIPX) – A program planned by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the NIPX is an integrated database of state and non-PHMSA data sources tracking “unregulated miles, inspection results, enforcements, SRCR and incident investigation on operators” that will enable information sharing between the PHMSA and state partners. No incumbent contract could be found, suggesting this may be a new requirement.
  • FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse – A program planned by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to create a controlled substances and alcohol test results database for Commercial Driver's License holders, the D&A Clearinghouse is part of MAP-21 legislation requirements intended to improve safety by ensuring the effectiveness of testing programs. No incumbent contract could be found.
  • MARAD Ready Reserve Force (RRF) Support – Automation capabilities provided by the Nautical System 5 (NS5) and Ready Reserve Force Management System (RMS) for the Maritime Administration’s RRF program. The current support contract (#DTMA91C20120008) held by Management Systems and Consultants expires in December 2016.
  • DOT Departmental Procurement Platform – A program for which the DOT last carried out market research in 2010, the DPP consolidates departmental procurement systems that integrate with DOT's Delphi financial system. An incumbent contract for DPP support couldn’t be found.
Summing up, this handful of programs illustrates that there are pockets of opportunity in the DOT’s $3.3 billion IT budget for FY 2015.  These aren’t multi-million dollar programs the size of many FAA investments, but winning contracts for this work would provide respectable revenue for small and mid-sized businesses in particular.

 

Deltek Pulse: Justice/public safety and homeland security month in review, February 2014

The most common terms appearing in justice/public safety and homeland security solicitations during February were camera/surveillance, radio and fire alarm. The below maps provide information on where solicitations were released during the month. 

  • Number of public safety bids: 1,117
  • Top three states (by number of solicitations released): California (122), Pennsylvania (93) and Virginia (68)
  • Keywords: camera/surveillance, radio and fire alarm

Frequency of terms

  • Surveillance: 40 (13 state; 27 local)
  • Radio: 20 (eight state; 12 local)
  • 911: 4 (zero state; four local)

The below graph provides information on the break-down of the types of entities purchasing justice and public safety technologies.

 

Trends

  • Very few projects were awarded in February; however, numerous solicitations were released.
  • Several localities decided not to release solicitations for projects, particularly radio system projects, in favor of utilizing existing contracts. Franklin County, Ohio, decided to upgrade using its current Motorola radio system, and the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority executed a rider on Prince George’s County’s contract with Motorola. The San Francisco Department of Emergency Management also decided not to release a solicitation for its computer-aided dispatch upgrade project as the upgrade will be sole-sourced to Tiburon.
  • A significant number of solicitations were released for consulting or planning opportunities, particularly for larger, statewide opportunities.

Notable projects

Analyst’s Take

February was a busy month at the state level, with many solicitations released – 60 more than the 1,057 released in January. Many of the solicitations were for large-scale, multi-step projects finally coming to fruition. Included in this is Massachusetts’ re-release of its next generation 911 products and services solicitation. This project was originally released in October 2013, but was canceled in December due to concerns by vendors over their ability to meet the expectations established in the RFR. The scope of work has been revised to address these concerns.

Another large procurement is the state of New Hampshire’s statewide radio system functionality and interoperability study and report. The state currently uses a VHF P25 compliant system and is looking to upgrade it. The winning consultant will be charged with completing a report on the state of the current radio system as well as providing recommendations on how to update the system. It is expected that the timeframe for both of these projects will be longer than average due to their complex nature. These and the other large projects released and updated in February have been in the works for months or, in many cases, years. It is expected that numerous updates and addenda will be released as these projects move through the solicitation process in an effort to avoid having to put the project completely on hold, like the Massachusetts 911 project. Vendors are encouraged to ask questions and attend all of the associated solicitation events, particularly site visits, to gain as much information about these projects as possible prior to submitting proposals. All vendors, even those who are not able to bid on consulting and planning portions, should pay attention to solicitation activity. By tracking consulting portions, vendors can gain an understanding of state processes as well as the scope of the project they may one day bid on.

GovWin IQ subscribers can read further about these projects in the provided links. Non-subscribers can gain access with a GovWin IQ free trial.

 

 

Deltek Pulse: Health and human services month in review, February 2014

Last month, the health and human services team saw the release of approximately 900 solicitations with either heath care or social services as a primary vertical. The word cloud below represents the frequency of terms in those solicitations.

 

As one can see from the below map, California, Pennsylvania and Texas saw the largest number of health and human services-related opportunities, while the state of Wyoming had no related activity.

Notable Opportunities

  •  The Connecticut Department of Children and Families released a request for information (RFI) on February 19 for its Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS). The limitations of the state’s current SACWIS (LINK) are numerous, given that LINK was initially implemented in 1996.
  • The South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released an RFI on February 6 for technologies and related services that can be used to advance price and quality transparency in health care for the state.
  • The California Department of Public Health released a draft invitation for bids (IFB) for consulting services relating to the California Immunization Registry (CAIR) 2.0 System.
  • The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health, is currently working on a request for proposals (RFP) for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) electronic benefit transfer (EBT) services. The state is planning to implement an online system.
  • The New York Department of Health recently confirmed that it will be releasing an RFP for an all-payer claims database (APCD) data intake solution. The state previously released an RFI for these services.
  • The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services released an RFI on February 7 for Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) services. The department’s Office of Emergency Preparedness is seeking information from qualified companies that can demonstrate the capacity to design and maintain DSNAP in any contingency. Responses are due on March 10, 2014.
  • The Alabama Department of Human Resources released an RFP for SNAP quality control review assessment and training. The department plans to develop a new review process that will result in improved accuracy in the review of SNAP cases.

Analyst’s Take

Again, the month of February brought several notable opportunities released in the health care and human services space. States will continue to tweak their health insurance exchange (HIX) systems to make sure they are functioning properly for consumers. State officials will also start thinking about ways to ensure these systems are financially sustainable from 2015 and beyond, since grant funding from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will close at the end of 2014. Vendors needing an updated report regarding the HIX market can find a new Deltek Industry Analysis piece, here. Vendors should also be on the lookout for an upcoming Deltek report on the ever-evolving MMIS market, expected later this spring.

You can learn more about current procurement opportunities in the GovWin IQ State and Local Opportunities database. Not a Deltek subscriber? Click here to learn more about Deltek's GovWin IQ service and gain access to a free trial.

 

 

 

Deltek pulse: Health care/social services January review

The first month of the 2014 saw an influx of health care and social service solicitation, approximately 150 more than in December 2013. In January, the health and human services team saw the release of nearly 750 solicitations with either health care or social services as a primary vertical. The word cloud below represents the frequency of terms in those solicitations.

As one can see from the below map, California, Texas, and Virginia saw the largest number of health and human services related solicitations, while the state of Wyoming had no related activity. Alaska released three solicitations and Hawaii released twelve.

Notable Opportunities

  • The District of Columbia Department of Health Care Finance released a request for information (RFI) for a Medicaid management information system (MMIS) case management solution on January 8, 2014. The existing MMIS case management Solution, CaseNET, is independent of the MMIS, but shares the MMIS' interfaces for data related to provider, recipients, and claims.
  • Vermont canceled its integrated eligibility solution (VIEWS) design, development, and implementation request for proposals (RFP). The Agency of Human Services will revise and reissue the RFP, with an anticipated release date of March. According to Vermont's IT Strategic Plan for 2013-2018, the state estimates VIEWS to cost $115 million over 5 years.
  • The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development released an RFP on January 9, 2013 for an Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits system. The state previously released an RFP for a UI system on behalf of the Southeast Consortium.
  • The Hawaii Department of Health released an RFP on January 2, 2014, for the transfer and implementation of its Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) management information system (MIS). Proposals are due on March 14, 2014 at 4 PM.
  • The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, on behalf Mountain Plains Indian Tribal Organizations NATIONS, released an RFP on January 10, 2014 for project management during the implementation phase of a new WIC MIS. The selected vendor will also serve as the project manager for the planning and implementation of WIC electronic benefit transfer (EBT) services.
  • The Washington Health Care Authority released a Request for Quotes and Qualifications (RFQQ) for Medicaid Information Technology Architecture (MITA) Framework 3.0 and State Self-assessment advisory/consultative services on January 24, 2014. Proposals are due on February 24, 2014.
  • The Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange (Access Health CT) released an RFP for a Connecticut All Payer Claims Database (APCD): Data Management Contractor on January 27, 2014.
  • The Nebraska Division of Behavioral Health released an RFP for the Division of Behavioral Health Centralized Data System. Proposals are due by 2 PM on March 21, 2014.
  • The Arkansas Department of Health released an RFP for a WIC EBT project implementation contractor on January 10, 2014.
  • The Connecticut Department of Administrative Services released an RFP for a Connecticut WIC case management system on January 27, 2014. The state is looking for the procurement, transfer, and implementation of Michigan's MI-WIC case management system.

Analyst Take

January saw a slew of opportunities released in the health care and social services space, most likely due to the end of the holiday season and beginning of a new fiscal year. States are also continuing to address any continued service delays and system errors with their health insurance exchanges (HIX). Vendors needing an updated report regarding the HIX market can find a new Deltek Industry Analysis piece here. Vendors should also be on the lookout for an upcoming Deltek report on the ever evolving MMIS market, expected later this spring.

You can learn more about current procurement opportunities in the GovWin IQ State and Local Opportunities database. Not a Deltek subscriber? Click here to learn more about Deltek's GovWin IQ service and gain access to a free trial.

 

 

California is talking and vendors should be listening

The California Technology Agency recently stripped down its procurement process and took a hard look at what is working and what is not. The California IT Procurement Task Force recently completed an analysis, and the findings were presented this week in a webinar led by the Rosio Alvarez, head of the task force; Carlos Ramos, California Department of Technology Director and CIO; and Richard Pennington, general counsel and task force member.  

While there were many issues worth investigating, the task force focused on project approval, timeliness, and reducing complexity in the procurement process. Alvarez explained that project approval is a daunting, time-consuming step in the procurement process. The state used to require a feasibility study before every major IT endeavor, which proved to be time consuming, expensive, and not always necessary. The task force eventually ran a business process analysis and recommended removing the feasibility study requirement. Now, the state will be required to do market research to gain knowledge of the technology being procured, provide a thorough procurement plan, and develop a comprehensive budget. If the established procurement timeline is adhered to, then it is less likely that the project will fall behind. Expediting the approval process and replacing the feasibility study with simpler steps offers time saving and reduced costs while providing the same valuable information.

Currently, California has many measures in place to ensure a fair procurement that is open to all vendors, but it is not working as it should. In fact, it is decreasing the pool of vendors that can bid because the procurement process is too lengthy. This leads to the state acquiring technology that is outdated once the procurement process is all said and done. This current process is not beneficial to the vendor or the state.

In an effort to eliminate these outdated measures, the state has set a 10-month procurement goal from RFP release to contract execution. Ramos even went on to set a loftier 6-month procurement goal. He acknowledged that the timeline is not always feasible, but he’s had success with it in a recent cloud-computing procurement.

A major focus of the task force during the webinar was reducing complexity. Outdated measures, inefficient processes, and miscommunication with vendors have been an obstacle; therefore, the state went to the bidders and asked how they could better the procurement process. One answer rang clear: improve communication.

States will benefit from developing clear project goals and requirements ahead of time by determining the business problems to solve and why a new solution is needed. If the state is confident and detailed in what it wants to procure, it makes the proposal writing much easier for vendors. It also provides an opportunity to pre-screen vendors so that only the most qualified are spending time developing a bid.

California is also toying with the idea of working with potential bidders before a solicitation hits the streets. In a recent test run, the state reached out to vendors it thought were a good fit for procuring a new technology and asked them to come “live” in the California Department of Technology for a few days. The vendors observed the antiquated system, saw the problems that needed addressing, then sat down with state officials and wrote the requirements of the request for proposals (RFP) together. Vendors were then asked to submit bids for the project, and the state selected the most suitable provider. While slightly unconventional, it allowed maximum transparency for the vendors who were a good fit and gave them a say in what the state needed. It also offered valuable insight into their key competitors. This may not be the way of the future for all procurements, but it may be a successful method for more specialized projects.

In another effort to maximize communication, California has been using contract code 6611, which allows negotiations and communication all the way up to the day a contract is signed. It provides a vehicle for best and final offers as well as pre-mortem and post-mortem debriefs so that unsuccessful bidders can see who won and why.

Overall, California is making great strides to improve the procurement process. State officials want to hear what vendors have to say before, during, and after the process. They want to speed things up so that vendors can bid and win faster, and agencies can implement suitable, up-to-date technologies. Ramos acknowledged that technology is the future and California won’t be left behind.

Vendors should be vocal about wanting to be involved in California’s procurement makeover. The state is open and willing to hear bidders’ feedback, and being visible in the eyes of government will surely be beneficial. If these new measures prove successful in California, other states are sure to follow in the near future.

California procurement is going to be moving at a faster pace, and vendors need to keep up. There may be less time between requirements gathering, solicitation release, and award. By eliminating the mandatory feasibility study component, procurements will accelerate, which is bad news for consulting companies looking to win business. They will still find an opportunity to bid on larger, less defined projects where the state needs guidance, but they will be fewer and farther between. This may increase competition, so vendors need to bring their A-game.

Consultants will need to partner with larger companies to ensure they see business. Procurement roadmaps may include a feasibility study aspect in the planning of the project, so consulting companies should pair up with other bidders to win. Again, being vocal will only behoove vendors and push them to the top of California’s list.

You can learn more about current procurement opportunities in California in the GovWin IQ State and Local Opportunities database. Not a Deltek subscriber? Click here to learn more about Deltek's GovWin IQ service and gain access to a free trial.

Opportunities in Army Network Operations

Just before the Christmas holiday I posted a short piece explaining how network engineering efforts in the Army are leading the way to the Defense Department’s new Joint information Environment (JIE).  In this post I’ll elaborate on some of the points I made earlier, especially concerning the Army’s focus on network operations.
 
The December post noted that the Army has expressed an interest in acquiring a number of capabilities that it may host in its new Core Data Centers once those centers are in place.  Upon reflection I realize now that I got ahead of myself.  There is a lot of ground for the Army to cover before it can turn its attention to acquiring the capabilities I mentioned in the earlier post.  This is particularly the case as far as network operations (NetOps) are concerned.

Infrastructure Enhancements

Presently the Project Manager Installation Information Infrastructure Communications and Capabilities (PM I3CS) remains focused on upgrading the network and communications hardware required by the Army to increase bandwidth and network interoperability across the Service’s bases, posts, camps, and stations (B/P/C/S).  This effort includes:
  • Upgrading core routers capable of supporting speeds of up to 100 GB per second.
  • Reducing Non-classified Internet Protocol Router Network (NIPRNet) entry and exit points from 435 in the continental U.S. to fewer than 20 points globally.
  • Deploying upgraded Application Delivery Network/End User Building (ADN/EUB) switches.
These efforts, presumably being carried out largely via orders issued under the Infrastructure Modernization (IMOD) IDIQ contract, are scheduled for completion in the CONUS by the end of fiscal 2014.  Work will then shift to overseas locations for fiscal 2015-2016.  Simultaneously the Army is working to consolidate data centers into a handful of Core Data Centers.  The anticipated result of these efforts is to have built by fiscal 2017 a more highly integrated and interoperable network infrastructure capable of delivering enterprise services.

Network Operations Capabilities

This is where a series of network operations capabilities fit in that I errantly referred to as “enterprise services” back in December.  According to Army documents, some of these capabilities may be procured “as-a-Service.”  Whether these “services” will be hosted in the Army’s CDC’s or in commercial data centers remains to be seen.  The capabilities currently on the Army’s radar to be delivered as managed network operations services are as follows:
  • IP Network Management System (NetMan)
  • Network Intrusion Prevention System (NIPS)
  • Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (WIPS)
  • Firewall Element Management
  • Proxy Management
  • Router Element Management
  • Switch Element Management
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN) Management
  • Virtualization Management System (VMS)
  • Network Access Control (NAC)
  • Identity Management System
  • Directory Services Management
Procurement

Given the Army’s anticipated schedule for completing its network infrastructure upgrades (i.e., the end of FY 2014), I assume we may see procurement activity related to these capabilities beginning this fiscal year.  Where the opportunities will appear remains a mystery.  Some may be competed openly while others may be procured via contract vehicles like PD CHESS’ IT Enterprise Solutions 2 – Services (ITES-2S).  However they are procured, look for them to appear sooner rather than later.

 

Deltek Pulse: General Government Services Recap December 2013

Deltek Pulse: General Government Services Recap, December 2013

Along with snow and sleet, the end of 2013 brought a flurry of procurement activity from state and local governments, with 1,226 general government solicitations with IT listed as the primary requirement released across the nation.

As the above word cloud of solicitation titles demonstrates, this month’s batch of bids has a decidedly professional services flavor, with “services,” “management,” “maintenance” and “support” all featured prominently.

Nearly one-quarter of the total bids released came out of four states: California, Texas, New York and North Carolina. Meanwhile, 10 states were responsible for more than half (700) of the total bids released in December. Six of those states (New York, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Massachusetts and Maryland) are located on the Eastern seaboard of the United States, which is typically where procurement activity is the heaviest.

Nearly 300 of the 1,200 solicitations released in December were tagged primarily or partially with the general government vertical designation, while the K-12 and higher education verticals both churned out nearly 200 solicitations each. More than 200 of the bids released under the general government vertical had justice/public safety components, while another 126 had transportation-related requirements.

Tracked Opportunity Coverage

Massachusetts is seeking to establish a new contract for IT professional services for both solution providers and technical specialists. Previously, these services were split up into two separate contracts, but high-level state IT policymakers have decided on a consolidated approach for this iteration. The state estimates the total value of this contract will approach $100 million.

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs is also purchasing an enterprise information system that will promote online collaboration and information sharing among EEA agencies, regulated businesses and individuals, environmental stakeholders, and the public.

Vendors involved in ERP saw some solicitation releases from major government entities this month. Harris County, Texas, released a solicitation for a needs assessment to replace its current ERP solution for finance, human resources, payroll and procurement. The incumbent vendor is SunGard Public Sector. The Illinois State Toll Highway Authority is looking for a vendor to install and implement an ERP system as well as provide independent verification and validation services.

The telecommunications field also saw some significant activity. The Texas Department of Information Resources released a major solicitation for data communications and networking equipment and related services. Given the size and scope of the project, Deltek believes this may wind up having an eight-figure contract value, with the current estimated value of $400 million over the lifetime of the contract. Additionally, North Carolina is setting up the latest iteration of its contract for telephony premise equipment and maintenance. The state currently has nine incumbent vendors under contract for these services: Avaya, NWN Corporation, Nu-Vision Technologies, CenturyLink, Siemens AG, Toshiba Corporation, Brightstar Partners, Centrex and Bunn Communications.  

Procurement News and Analysis

New Mexico passed a law requiring all state and local governments to proactively provide contact information for their chief procurement officers by January 2014. In addition, the law requires all procurement officials to undergo state certification and training by 2015.  

In a move that caught many by surprise, the chief information officer for Cook County, Ill., resigned on December 19, citing personal reasons. The post remains vacant and county officials are scrambling to find a replacement candidate to oversee IT policy for 2014.  

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo liked New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s top technology aide so much, he hired her to his own staff. Rachel Haot will serve as Governor Cuomo’s deputy secretary of technology and will help oversee the newly created Office of Information Technology Services, which has been undergoing a large-scale IT transformation effort over the past three years. On a related note, the Office of Information Technology Services appointed Mahesh Nattanmai as executive deputy chief information officer. Nattanmai starts his post on January 23 and will oversee operations for major IT services and strategic planning initiatives.  

Anyone who has picked up a copy of the Washington Post or New York Times over the past few months is likely familiar with the scandal that has enveloped Governor Chris Christie and the New York/New Jersey Port Authority as details have emerged regarding the intentional closing of bridge lanes as a form of political payback. I posted a blog in December discussing the authority’s history of transparency scandals and my attempts to get the authority to release information related to an award made for a transparency website.

GovWin IQ subscribers can read further about these projects in the provided links. Non-subscribers can gain access with a GovWin IQ free trial.

 

 

More Entries