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CAD system, content management software top list of Chicago IT procurement opportunities

The city of Chicago, Illinois, released its most recent buying plan for the Q2 2014 – Q2 2015 period, which provides vendors an idea of what goods and services the city plans to procure over the next 15 months. The plan includes 242 possible procurement opportunities in areas such as work services, commodities, professional services, and small orders. This number is only a slight decrease from the 246 opportunities listed in the previous buying plan for Q4 2013 – Q1 2015.
 
Not surprisingly, construction opportunities dominated, accounting for 32.6 percent of projects listed, as shown in the figure below. The plan includes projects varying in value, from less than $10,000 to more than $20 million, allowing for companies of all sizes to become vendors for the city.

Source: Deltek
 
Of the 14 departments that have solicitations expected between now and Q2 2015, more than 55 percent of projects listed in the buying plan fall under the Water Management, Transportation, or Fleet & Facility Management departments. A majority of these projects are construction requirements valued at $1 million to $5 million. However, public library projects also have a strong presence, including an integrated library system valued at $1 million to $5 million, and a new website development opportunity.
 
While there are only nine Emergency Management and Communications projects included in the buying plan, three of them are in the $10 million to $20 million range, including a computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system. This project, which is expected to be solicited in Q1 2015, will replace the department’s current Northrop Grumman CAD system.
 
The Innovation and Technology Department has five solicitations planned through Q2 2015, though a number of projects in other departments have IT aspects included as part of their requirements. The largest project coming out of the Innovation and Technology Department is a content management and process modernization program (CMPM). While the specific details of the CMPM solicitation are not yet known, the CMPM division of Innovation and Technology oversees the city's content management systems and has a goal of reducing paper operations by 2017 while streamlining overlapping business processes for the city.
 
Nearly 48 percent of the opportunities listed in the buying plan are valued at $1 million to $10 million, while the majority of big-ticket projects are construction requirements. However, there are eight projects that the city anticipates will cost more than $20 million, including a water utility billing project that will require IT professional services.

Source: Deltek
 
The city has also included 14 projects with small business set-asides of two types: Small Business Initiative (SBI) and Target Market. The SBI is a construction program the city established in order to augment the projects awarded to local small businesses. The city reports that 30 contracts valued at nearly $50 million have been awarded under the SBI program. Target Market opportunities are directed to minority businesses, including women-owned businesses. The plan includes five Target Market opportunities, including an Innovation and Technology master consulting agreement for IT professional services.
 
Vendors can expect to see the greatest amount of these opportunities procured during 2014. However, Chicago does tend to roll over its projects from one buying plan to the next, so don’t be surprised if a project listed in the current plan is delayed until the next one, or even further. Since 2011, the city has only issued between 140 and 175 solicitations in any 15-month period, meaning that 65 to 100 projects listed in the buying plan will not be procured during this cycle.
 
In addition, not all of the opportunities listed in the plan are guaranteed to be solicited. As is the case with many projects, sometimes the owning agency reprioritizes projects or decides a requirement can be met using internal resources. In other situations, funding can’t be secured and a project is canceled. Deltek has seen opportunities included in buying plans continue to be pushed out for up to two years, and in several occasions they have been canceled.
 
While it can be used as a guide to develop strategies for doing business with the city, it’s also important to keep in mind that not all solicitations that are released by the city come from the buying plan. For example, in 2013, of the 11 solicitations that Deltek considers IT the primary requirement, only four were listed in any of the procurement forecasts released by the city. So, if you don’t see any projects of interest in the plan, be assured there are other opportunities available. 
 
You can learn more about current procurement opportunities in Chicago 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

 

 

 

FirstNet releases consultation packages: State talks are next

On April 30, FirstNet released initial consultation packages to each state and tribal government. The package is the first step in states developing plans for a national broadband network. Through this process, each state will complete the consultation checklist prior to meetings and conference calls with FirstNet, starting in July.
 
 
Each state will have to meet with its stakeholders and other contacts in order to determine if it will opt in to the Radio Access Network (RAN) or opt out. If a state opts out, it will have 180 days to develop a plan for its own RAN, which must be approved by the Federal Communications Commission and FirstNet. The state would then initiate its own solicitation process. States that go this route will be able to apply for grant funding; however, the total allocation is not yet known. There will be a lot of work required of each state in order to make this decision; the consultation phase of the FirstNet process will essentially end when a final state plan is presented to its governor.
 
Analyst’s Take
 
While it may be too soon to determine how many and which states will opt out of FirstNet, there will most certainly be states that make the decision to develop their own RAN. Like with Affordable Care Act, many states decided to build their own health insurance exchange rather than use the federally run network. Still, there were obvious hiccups with both state networks and the initial rollout of the federal network.
 
While RAN is not at all the same system or type of network, states may be wary of both scenarios. In either case, states that cannot afford their own network – even with grant funding – will join the feds. Other states that may see this as an opportunity to build out a stronger network will go at it alone.
 
Over the next six months, vendors need to follow the new FirstNet website for updates and state consultation results. While these state consultations will take place from July 1 through November 30, 2014, they will be occurring on a rolling basis and some states will complete tasks ahead of others. States that decide to opt out early may begin developing solicitations soon, while others may clearly be in favor of joining the federal RAN.
 
Several states have already begun the process of building out their own broadband networks. Pennsylvania is currently reviewing vendor proposals, and Minnesota awarded a contract to Televate for its own broadband system. Surely, the next six months will be a very important and exciting time as FirstNet inches closer to reality.
 
Read more about state initiatives in the links provided. Non-subscribers can gain access to GovWin IQ with a free trial.
 

 

Governors focusing on educational performance, corrections, and mental health

2014 finds the governors as committed as ever to their growth agendas launched over the previous two year. Continued budget surpluses open the door to state innovation and experimentation.

Each year Deltek compiles the forward-looking agenda items from each of the governors' state of the state addresses.  This year found some interesting shifts in the areas of emphasis.  States have been out of recession for more than two years now, and governors have been ambitious with their agendas.

Deltek classifies each of the governors' agenda items by vertical (as shown in Figure 1 below).  We also track the popularity of each vertical as compared to the recent trend.  For 2014, Education, Justice/Public Safety, and Social Services are the stand-out verticals.

Figure 1. 2014 Agenda Item Popularity vs. 2012-2014 Average, by Deltek Vertical

Source: Deltek

Deltek also subclassifies each agenda item below the vertical level (not shown above).  In the Education vertical, the governors were specifically interested in improved performance for Pre-K through 12 public education.  They are also keen to blend high school education into the two- and four-year higher educations systems to create a seamless pipeline of educational attainment for workforce development purposes.  Containment of higher education tuition costs is also a significant interest and a key part of performance measurement for these institutions.

Corrections continues to dominate the Justice/Public Safety vertical, where governors want to contain costs by moving non-violent offenders to community supervision.  They also want to develop better processes for reintroducing ex-cons back into society and the workforce.  This year marks the first time government have begun to look at the economic impacts of incarceration as well as the fiscal impacts.

Governor interest in Social Services increased for the first time since the recession.  With little federal direction in this area, the vertical has been adrift.  However, this year found governors interested in addressing public mental health concerns, driven in part by school shootings, veterans, and drug addiction.  Drug addiction and treatment, given recent upswings in crystal meth and heroine usage, has emerged a top level priority.

Learn more at our FREE upcoming webinar (May 8th).

More detailed information for all of the verticals covered in Deltek's recent report "State of the State, 2014." The report is available for immediate download by Deltek State & Local Industry Analysis subscribers.  It can be purchased online by those who are not subscribers.  The report comes with a spreadsheet that includes all of the governors agenda items categorized for easy sorting and reference by market strategists.

 

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.

 

President Obama’s 2015 budget: Bringing back homeland and justice grants

The White House and President Barack Obama posted the fiscal year 2015 budget, which includes a number of initiatives from job growth and fiscal responsibility, to improving the nation’s security. Usually we think of national security at the federal level, with the Department of Defense and intelligence agencies, but often the first line of defense within the United States is held by state and local officials.
 
For nearly a decade, most Homeland Security and Justice Department grant programs have been reduced or remained stagnant. In cases like with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), there are numerous grant programs, each with their own rules and regulations. As part of President Obama’s budget for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), these grant programs will be simplified and consolidated into the already existing Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP). While it is unclear the amount of funding that will be allocated, a more easily understood program will benefit state and local agencies vying for that money. Oftentimes agencies, particularly smaller ones, get bogged down with grant proposals and ultimately fail to win funds for reasons such as being unqualified for the grant to begin with.
 
As part of the budget proposal, both DHS and the Department of Justice (DOJ) would offer billions of dollars in grant funding. The DHS would have $1 billion for border protection and another half-billion dollars for technology research and development, and other initiatives. The DOJ and the DHS would offer local agencies millions to retain and rehire employees, including emergency management agents and police officers. The Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) has been funded in previous years, but a renewed commitment to these funds would be a vital source of money for local agencies. Agencies that are not connected to many of the federal criminal databases could utilize these funds to get up to speed as well as invest in officers.
 
Analyst’s Take
 
It is too soon to know whether President Obama’s budget will pass as constructed today. However, the inclusion of the public safety, emergency preparedness and other justice programs is a promising sign, especially to cash-strapped state and local agencies. There are numerous programs, including state criminal history initiatives that could move forward if funding is made available. The use of new technology in the justice system and within homeland security and emergency management would be welcomed by vendors with new tools, software and hardware that could reduce time in the field. Vendors should begin to follow the budget process to see what grant programs are funded, and reach out to existing clients who may want to expand existing systems or explore new opportunities.
 
 

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: Justice/public safety and homeland security January review

The most common terms appearing in justice/public safety and homeland security solicitations during January were camera/surveillance, fire alarm and radio. The below word cloud provides a visual interpretation of key-term frequency.

  • Number of public safety bids: 1,057
  • Top three states (by number of solicitations released): California (13), Virginia (58) and Texas (57)
  • Keywords: camera/surveillance, fire alarm and radio

Frequency of terms

  • Surveillance: 23 (eight state; 15 local)
  • Radio: 11 (one state; 10 local)
  • 911: 6 (one state; five local)

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

Trends

  • States have begun focusing on broadband projects recently, though, unlike Minnesota which awarded its FirstNet project, few are ready to commit to a course of action at this point. Florida released an RFI for its FirstNet project in late December and it is likely that other interested entities will begin the process through RFIs or consulting projects.
  • Several 911 projects moved forward in the final months of the year, including South Dakota’s release of a solicitation for an ESInet and Pueblo County, Colorado’s awarding of its project for NG911 CPE.

Notable projects

  • The state of New Hampshire released a request for proposals for Computerized Criminal History AKA Criminal History Record Information and Sex Offender Registry Requirements Documentation. The consultant hired through this project will help to develop the technical requirements for a solicitation to purchase these systems.
  • Texas released a solicitation for an Automated Fingerprint Identification System and Mobile Identification Maintenance Services. These systems serve as the primary resource for providing AFIS to Texas law enforcement agencies and non-criminal justice practitioners.
  • On January 24th the Pennsylvania State Police released a solicitation for a National Public Safety Broadband Network Planner.  This consultant will help the state determine how to move forward with the implementation of this project and will help the state to coordinate with FirstNet.

Analyst’s Take

Despite the significant drop-off in the number of projects released in December compared to November, the number barely rose in January. Only five additional solicitations were released in January for JPS projects over December.  These projects ran the gamut of technologies from solicitations being released for a mass notification system in Nebraska to Montana’s RFP for an offender tracking system. The singular trend from the month was that of entities continuing to cancel their need for projects, or, in many respects, their need to go out to bid for projects.  These too, however, varied significantly in both location and technology. Kentucky, for instance, made the decision to build out its long awaited court case management and e-filing projects in-house.  New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority determined that it will be moving forward with a pilot project for its bus camera security system project.  The participants in the pilot project were chosen from the RFI respondents and those successfully completing the pilot project will be awarded contracts without a formal solicitation being released.  Funding also continued to hamper many projects and continues to be one of the leading causes of project cancelations.  It remains to be seen whether the large number of canceled projects that has been seen over the last few months will continue, however, vendors are encouraged to seek information about all of the ways entities are considering fulfilling their needs, including whether they may complete the project in-house.  Vendors should also pay special attention to projects that have been on the books for a long time without having ever secured sufficient funding. The longer a project goes un-funded either through successful grant applications or city or county budgets, the less likely it is that it will ever be completed.

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: Justice/public safety and homeland security December review

The most common terms appearing in justice/public safety and homeland security solicitations during December were camera/surveillance, fire alarm and radio. The below word cloud provides a visual interpretation of key-term frequency.

  • Number of public safety bids: 1,052
  • Top three states (by number of solicitations released): California (116), Texas (69) and Virginia (51)
  • Keywords: camera/surveillance, fire alarm and radio

Frequency of terms

  • Surveillance: 25 (seven state; 18 local)
  • Radio: 11 (three state; 8 local)

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

Trends

  • States and localities awarded numerous projects in December after a slowdown over the past several months. The state of Nebraska awarded its study for its next generation 911 system project. Likewise, Cook County, Ill., awarded its video camera and recording system for the sheriff’s office.
  • Many entities delayed the release of solicitations until early 2014, due primarily to the fact that issues arose during the approvals process with city and county boards and legal departments.
  • Several computer-aided dispatch and records management system projects began moving forward, which is likely due to the fact that many of these systems were implemented in the mid-2000s and have reached the end of their useful lifecycle.

Notable projects

Analyst’s Take

As is typical for December, there was a significant decrease in the number of solicitations released. With the holidays and many individuals taking vacation, it was likely difficult for project officers to coordinate and finalize solicitation specifications. Additionally, the solicitations that were released had longer-than-usual procurement timelines, with many proposals not due until February. This will allow both government and vendor project teams the necessary time to develop proposals and answer questions. Deltek anticipates that project timelines will return to a more normal schedule now that the holidays are over.

Vendors should keep an eye out for projects that have funding and have been worked on for some time. They should also work to keep in touch with localities that signed contracts several years ago, even if they were only implementation contracts. Vendors can gain or maintain a leg up on the competition by keeping on top of the likely rebid schedule of contracts they are interested in.

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

 

Florida releases FirstNet RFI

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) was first envisioned as a federal initiative as part of the 2012 Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act. It was created and charged with the creation of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN); however, each state will be required to create and maintain its own radio and data networks. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released numerous RFIs for FirstNet technologies in July 2013, and it now appears that states are following its footsteps.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles recently released a request for information (RFI) for Florida’s FirstNet project. The goal of the RFI is to gather information and help the state effectively plan for the deployment of the NPSBN within the state’s borders. The state’s system will be required to “support fully interoperable, mission-critical, 700 MHz LTE wireless broadband data communication for all public safety agencies throughout the state of Florida and those that may respond from outside of the state to assist during times of crisis.” 

Florida consists of 67 counties with a total population exceeding 19 million. All told, there are thousands of public safety and critical infrastructure (i.e. public works and transportation) agencies that will be utilizing the network, and the state is keen to ensure complete coverage. 

Analyst’s Take               

As the federal process moves forward, it is likely that we will begin to see more RFIs and consulting and system solicitations released in the future. Vendors should work to keep on top of not only these projects, but also on top of the steps taken by FirstNet through meetings and legislation. It is also worth noting which entities are in receipt of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) or other relevant grant recipients, as those are most likely to move forward first with these projects. The result of the Florida RFI should be telling for government officials and vendors. Those interested in pursuing any portion of these projects, in Florida or elsewhere, would be well advised to pay close attention.

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

 

Nation’s second largest county issues records management bid

On Dec. 9, Cook County, Ill., issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) for a records management system (RMS) for its sheriff’s office, court services, police department and department of corrections. Cook County has a population of more than 5 million, making it the second largest county in the country, after Los Angeles County.

Typically, RMS projects are developed for a sheriff, fire or police department and utilized by various law enforcement officials within those agencies. In this case, the sheriff’s office is also comprised of courts and court services, the department of corrections, and the police department, making it quite unique and an even larger undertaking. Cook County’s court division has the largest unified court system in the country. There are a number of other working units with the court division, all which will utilize this system. It appears to be a trend for agencies to develop systems for more than just one agency. Developing multi-agency systems can save money and ensure continuity among departments. The idea of following someone from arrest to parole can be done with this method by utilizing software in the court, jail and parole.

The sheriff’s office employs 6,800 sworn officers and civilians, divided between various divisions. The new records management system is expected to operate on current Microsoft technologies and must offer single-sign-on methodology that interacts with the existing Microsoft infrastructure. The system must also have full, two-way, real-time data interface connections with the clerk and the department of corrections for inmate tracking. The county utilizes a Motorola PremierOne computer-aided dispatch system, and the mapping fields must be compatible.

One other main component that will enable the county to implement future technologies is an open architecture via non-proprietary platforms for easier modifications. Smaller agencies that need less flexibility may opt for commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) systems, but this would not work with such a large agency. As with any agency, full time access from any computer will be necessary as well as connectivity to other digital justice systems, which comes into play when working with other counties or cities. Finally, the county will consider a cloud, hybrid or on-premises system, depending on the requirements and costs of each.

Cook County, two years into its Set Targets, Achieve Results (STAR) program, released a report in 2012 discussing some of the successes and plans for public safety. One of the goals was to seek information on why there is an increase in the length of pre-trial jail stays. It may be possible to utilize the new RMS to categorize data and come to new conclusions in this regard. With all the tools included in the new software system, more analysis can occur and new detention alternatives can be realized – another goal of the county’s public safety agencies.

Analyst’s Take:


Cities and counties purchase records management systems regularly, but more often than not, these systems are basic COTS products with some aspects customized to fit the needs of the agency. Cook County is a large and populous county with more needs than most. Vendors looking to bid on this project must understand the various requirements that will be necessary. There is just more than a month before proposals are due on January 22, 2014; therefore, it’s essential to ask any questions that are not clearly stated in the RFQ.

While this project is different than most, it is worth noting that the agency is looking at cloud, hybrid and on-premises systems to determine the best fit. Cloud or hybrid systems save network and storage space within the agency, and with the needs of Cook County and the systems that will be required, this may be absolutely necessary.

 

 

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