- Focus business development efforts on programs already in full swing. These programs will have incumbents so be prepared to fight hard for a piece of them as support contracts come up for recompetition.
- Incumbents, prepare to defend yourselves. Stay in your customers’ back pockets.
- Concentrate on programs mandated by Congress and/or Executive Order, like business system modernization and data center consolidation. By law the DoD is required to fund these efforts, making them as close to a ‘sure thing’ as is available in this market.
- Seek out and capture work related to Programs of Record. Even PoRs are not guaranteed funding nowadays, but you can probably count on them being first in line if funding becomes available.
- Communicate how your solution or service can save money. Areas like systems automation, cloud computing, and, to an extent, big data, should be strong plays.
Early fall brought a flutter of procurement activity to the general government landscape. With the majority of states operating under the June-July fiscal year, late summer brought new funding, which filled September and October with solicitation releases.
Autumn’s in-demand technology is clearly enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, which are being procured across the nation, with active solicitations in Michigan, Florida, Illinois, and Hawaii.
September brought Hawaii’s highly anticipated statewide enterprise resource planning RFP, which has been quite active. Eleven addendums have been released, with the most recent announcing the solicitation being put on temporary hold after a primary project contact’s retirement. This solicitation has been in the works since early 2011 and looks like it will be 2014 before next steps are taken.
Another statewide ERP solicitation released this fall is Michigan’s procurement to replace the state’s existing financial system, known as MAIN. The state is seeking a vendor that will include hosting services, a disaster recovery site, and disaster recovery services as part of the overall effort.
On a county level, Miami-Dade County, Fla., released its enterprise resource planning implementation, integration and related services RFP in September. The county previously contracted with Oracle for an ERP system that only covered two departments – Water and Aviation. The county is expanding to a county-wide system with this procurement.
October brought an ERP system RFP release in Cook County, Illinois. This has been another highly anticipated procurement since an RFI release in February 2011. The county decided to separate the ERP system and the implementation into two separate solicitations. The system RFP is currently underway, and the implementation RFP will move forward once the county is satisfied with the software solution.
In non-ERP news, two notable statewide education RFPs were released. The Arizona Department of Education is seeking a new student information system, while Rhode Island is procuring a vendor to develop a K-12 scoring and reporting system for use with interim assessment data.
Further trending technologies include telephone systems and wireless solutions. A handful of telephone system RFPs were released, with heavy focus on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP.) The bids spanned from state to county level, to school systems. This trend seems to be cyclical as phone systems become antiquated and the desire to implement systems compatible with existing infrastructure increases.
Wireless solutions are more of a growing trend in procurement. As more technology becomes available in wireless forms, government entities are jumping at the chance to increase efficiency and convenience. Last month saw a steady increase in solicitations for wireless communication systems and wireless infrastructure upgrades.
Vendors who can provide a robust ERP solution should be on the lookout for these and similar solicitations that may pop up through the end of the year. These systems are in high demand nationwide, and with funding for projects finally coming to fruition, vendors can expect solicitations across the states throughout the season.
The government shutdown last month may have been on a federal level, but it still affected state spending. Many states that receive government funding saw cash flows slowed or halted completely. This will directly affect projects that are funded by federal funds (such as Race to the Top) in such a way that we may see anticipated RFP releases pushed back a few months. Vendors should still expect solicitation releases before the holiday season is in full swing, but the larger, federally funded projects may be pushed to 2014.
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’s recently published State and Local Regional Top Opportunities for FY 2014 Report shines light on state and local contracting from a regional standpoint, spanning all verticals (health care, social services, justice and public safety, homeland security, transportation and general government). Using the GovWinIQ opportunities database, the free report analyzes the quantity and value of projects in each region across all vertical areas, and also takes a closer look at how the verticals are represented in each of the four regions. The top opportunities highlighted in the report were selected for their representation of major technologies within the six vertical areas and their illustration of state and local contracting as a whole.
GovWinIQ Active Opportunities and Leads
Key takeaways from our regional analysis of state and local contracting opportunities include:
- The South has the highest number of projects per region (662) as well as the highest total value of projects per region ($15.2 billion), mainly due to the inclusion of Texas, Virginia and Florida. Southern states, especially Florida, often utilize regional projects and initiatives and later implement them statewide.
- The Midwest has the highest average value per project ($23.3 million), but the lowest number of total projects (423). Midwest states are innovators for cooperative contracts (WSCA) and many generic term contracts.
- The Northeast has an interim number of projects (514) as well as interim average value per project ($22.2 million). Northeast states are often early adopters and innovators for federally mandated initiatives.
From a vertical and regional standpoint, key takeaways include:
Justice and Public Safety (JPS) and Homeland Security (HS) Verticals
- The Northeast has the highest concentration of JPS contracting opportunities
- In the Midwest, most JPS initiatives occur at the local level (Ohio, Ill., Wis.)
- FirstNet will be a huge driver for state broadband initiatives nationwide
Health Care (HC) and Social Services (SS) Verticals
- Eighty-three percent of active HC/SS opportunities are for statewide systems
- Consortiums are increasingly popular nationwide for social services IT systems, including WIC MIS, SNAP/TANF EBT, and UI systems
- Most local-level HC/SS opportunities are for electronic health/medical records or vital records
General Government (GenGov) Vertical
- The South has the most active opportunities in the GenGov vertical (35.4 percent), followed by the West (24.6 percent), Northeast (21.6 percent), and Midwest (18.3 percent)
- Data center consolidation/modernization, disaster recovery services, server virtualization, and cloud services are expected to be popular technologies/services procured over the next few years
- California, Illinois and Texas have the most active GenGov opportunities, while active GenGov opportunities out of Pennsylvania, Virginia and California have the highest total value
Deltek is hosting a free webinar on the State and Local Regional Top Opportunities for FY 2014 Report on November 7, 2013, at 2 p.m. EST. The webinar will delve into all three state and local verticals, providing insight into some specific projects and overall trends for fiscal year 2014. To register for the webinar, please click here!
As industry observers, we've been somewhat trained over the last several budget cycles to expect to be taken to the edge of the fiscal cliff, only to be jerked back at the very last moment. Not this time. We're in Day 2 of the first shutdown since 1995, and with the debt ceiling debate coming within the next 2 weeks, it seems unlikely that government operations will resume before then. Contractors are caught in the cross-hairs, so we've assumed some of the most important things to know about government shutdowns, and recommendations for what to do now.
1. Agencies cannot incur obligations unless it’s otherwise authorized by law; but they have permission to incur obligations (but not payments) necessary for the “orderly termination of an agency’s functions,” and to perform “essential” duties. This includes:
• Medical care – Inpatient and emergency outpatient
• Activities to ensure continued public health and safety
• Continuance of air traffic control and other transportation safety functions
• Border and coastal protection and surveillance
• Protection of federal lands, buildings, waterways, and other property
• Care of prisoners
• Law enforcement and criminal investigation
• Emergency and disaster assistance
• Activities essential to the preservation of the money and banking system
• Ensure the production of power
• Maintain protection of research property1
2. Agencies are allowed to spend funds that DO NOT originate from annual appropriations.
Agencies such as GSA, which funds much of its operations with user fees, have funds to continuing running - at least for now. Obligations made from FY 2013 dollars, and programs funded with multi-year dollars can also continue to operate, however, they may be impacted by the lack of federal employees around to manage them if they are not considered essential services.
3. A government shutdown impacts everyone, but the scope of the impact depends on who you are. A federal hiatus impacts anyone relying on or providing federal services.
Non-exempt federal employees:
• Depending on the length of the shutdown, they would be furloughed with benefits intact
• Based on past shutdowns, Congress often comes back later and provides backpay
Agencies (depends on the length of the shutdown):
• Increased backlogs for transaction and process-heavy agencies like SSA, VA, and State
• Ripple effect from delayed programs
• Lost revenue from user fees collected for various services across government. Many agencies rely heavily on user fees and collections. The losses for lost revenue in the 1995 shutdown was the hundreds of millions when accounting for the ripple effect of lost revenue for states and small businesses that dovetail on some government services.
• Administrative costs associated with shutting down and ramping up – this was estimated in the millions for some agencies in 1996.
• Additional costs and penalties related to late payments to various entities, including contractors. Contractors can receive reimbursement for some costs incurred due to the shutdown.
• Lost productivity
• Loss of disillusioned employees who leave public sector employment
• The ability to continue to work depends on the nature of the contract and where the work is performed. Information and communications systems that support historically-defined “essential functions” will likely be operational (e.g. supporting defense communication networks, information security, systems related to critical infrastructure protection, etc.)
• Incrementally funded contracts not funded
• Delays in program solicitations and awards
• Part of contracts may be essential while others aren’t
• Delayed payments - vendors with products paid for in advance are likely unaffected but services not yet rendered will be halted
• Direct and indirect expenses due to the shutdown may or may not be recouped
• Impact on schedule and milestone-based performance metrics
• Potential need for employee layoffs – depends on length of the shutdown
• Services are limited – call centers not staffed; applications for visas, social security and veteran’s benefits are delayed; museums and national parks are closed.
4. Federal employees supporting essential functions will get paid after appropriations are passed.
However, it’s up to Congress to decide to pay non-essential furloughed employees once the shutdown is over. In past shutdowns, employees did receive backpay.
5. The number of essential employees can vary and may be more than you think.
It’s highly likely that more employees will be exempt than furloughed. During the 1996 shutdown:
• Roughly 64% of employees of agencies funded through the Commerce, Justice, State and Judiciary appropriations bill were NOT subject to furlough
• 53% of Interior’s employees were exempt
• 78% of employees under VA, HUD and the “Independent Agency” category were exempt.
6. Mandatory programs are exempt but will still be affected.
For example, Social Security payments will continue and field offices will be open, but they cannot issue or replace Social Security cards.
What Should Contractors Do?
Regardless of whether this shutdown lasts 10 days or 100 days, contractors should have a shutdown plan, because it’s likely that 2013 will not be last year that this occurs. Contractors should treat like its shutdown plan like a real project with a project owner, and resources assigned to identify and document how schedules, costs, employee status would be affected. Contractors should:
• Review contracts (funding, period and place of performance, statement of work, etc.)
• Classify contracts
• Stop work order
• Not essential but can be performed
• No stop work order but can’t be performed
• Separately document costs incurred specifically due to the shutdown
• Analyze the impact of:
• Award delays
• Task orders/Modifications being delayed
• Options not being exercised
• Work deadlines NOT being extended
• If your contracting officers have not been furloughed, talk to them NOW about the potential impact and solutions to mitigate impact once operations resume
• Identify possible reassignments for affected employees
• Develop contingency plans for subcontractors
• Collect outstanding receivables ASAP (if possible)
• Reevaluate/slim down your BD pipeline and Bid & Proposal (B&P) costs
The best thing contractors can do now is arm themselves with information about their customer’s plans and positions, and develop internal strategies to mitigate the impact of a prolonged shutdown.
Originally published for Federal Industry Analysis: Analysts Perspectives Blog. Stay ahead of the competition by discovering more about . Follow me on Twitter @GovWinPeterson.
With an estimated $20 billion in state and local government IT spending annually, statewide term contracts are a significant vehicle for government agencies procuring IT commodities and professional services. As part of our series of reports on top opportunities in FY 2014, Deltek analysts identified 10 large-scale term contract opportunities with expected solicitations in the coming months.
Did you know that the WSCA Computer Equipment, Peripherals and Related Services contracts are set to expire on August 31, 2014? More than 45 states utilize this contract, collectively representing more than $2 billion a year in state and local government IT spending. While most manufacturers on this contract are big-name vendors, depending on the state, resellers can also qualify to sell commodities. Deltek estimates a solicitation will be released in Q1 2014 for the rebid contract, which could mean big revenue for both manufacturers and resellers awarded a piece of the action.
Understanding cooperative contracts and statewide term contract strategies from state to state is essential if you sell or want to sell IT commodities to state and local governments. GovWin IQ’s Term Contracts Resource can help you determine the following:
- Where your competitors hold contracts
- Term contract pricing per vendor
- How states qualify vendors
- Which levels of government can use a specific contract
With detailed records on more than 12,000 state IT contracts, Deltek’s Term Contracts Resource is also a great place to find upcoming opportunities. In the newly released top term contracts report, Deltek uncovered 10 key opportunities varying from IT hardware and software, to IT professional services, all of which are representative of the commodities being purchased by states. These opportunities are open for qualification over the next year, with anticipated solicitation releases in the near term.
To learn more about term contract opportunities and read our recommendations for vendors looking to qualify for these contracts, visit Deltek’s FY 2014 Term Contracts Top Opportunities report, here.
- The use of cloud-based storage increased 90% and cloud-based memory 100%
- The number of Virtual Machines deployed grew by 35%
- Enterprises increased their average monthly spend on cloud by 45%
- Growth in big data will drive cloud adoption
Originally published for Federal Industry Analysis: Analysts Perspectives Blog. Stay ahead of the competition by discovering more about . Follow me on Twitter @GovWinSlye.
Although I’ve mentioned a few large vendors doing business with Defense Agencies, I don’t mean to pick on them specifically. The reality is that big programs and high spending make big targets in this environment, and unfortunately the vendors attached to those programs tend to rise to the top of the statistical heap. All vendors whose contracts are funded through the O&M and RDT&E budget accounts are very likely to see reduced obligations in the years to come. The question is how much and what vendors will do to mitigate the impact.
In the midst of the summer slowdown is July, which kicks off a new fiscal year for most states. Though only 1,464 IT-related general government solicitations were captured in July – a 14.9 percent decrease from June – several represented highly anticipated procurements for FY 2014.
Below is a snapshot of July’s top 11 most common IT solicitations captured in the GovWin IQ state and local database:
The dashboard below breaks down July’s 1,464 IT-related solicitations by state, requesting agency, and government type:
Here is a look at current tracked general government IT opportunities:
The Philadelphia Department of Finance released a request for proposals (RFP) for an enterprise resource planning system and implementation services on July 29. The city is embarking on a significant initiative to modernize its administrative processes and related legacy technology systems that currently support business operations. Based on a prioritization of its needs, the city has made a decision to proceed with administrative modernization in a phased approach. The RFP is for phase one: Workforce Management. The city expects phases two and three will be high in future technology priorities.
The California Department of General Services (DGS) released an RFP on July 1, seeking a centralized revenue opportunity system (CROS). The CROS project's objectives are to replace legacy mainframe-based revenue and collection management systems with an integrated tax system that streamlines business processes, improves and expands online services to customers, and uses business intelligence to increase revenue opportunities. The RFP is being issued to address the limitations of the BOE’s existing legacy systems and to seek the procurement of a state-of-the-art information technology system that supports BOE’s mandated and statutory tax administration responsibilities. The RFP is a multi-step, competitively-bid procurement that includes conceptual, draft, and final proposal submission phases and sealed cost proposals.
The Idaho Department of Administration, Division of Purchasing, released an RFP on July 3 for a Web-based electronic procurement system. Deployment of the system will be statewide to all agencies/departments to meet individual program acquisition needs and budgetary constraints.
GovWin IQ subscribers can read further about these projects in the provided links. Non-subscribers can gain access with a GovWin IQ free trial.