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Social media shows strong growth in state and local contracting


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State and local governments are using social media solutions for IT in virtually every area of government, according to a new report from Deltek.
The new report, Social Media in State & Local Government, a New Paradigm for Engagement and Innovation 2012, also suggests state and local governments will likely need help from contractors to do more, particularly in a handful of functions.
Analyzing opportunities from 2008 through 2012, Deltek shows particularly heavy social media use in higher education, general government, economic development, transportation, social services, and health care. Comparing state and local government solicitations from the third quarters of 2009 through the third quarter of 2012, Deltek analysts found strong growth and projected increased government solicitations through 2013.
For example:
·         In Health Care IT, government is looking to use social media to connect customers with service providers, and get feedback that will help improve customer service.
·         In Emergency Communications, governments are starting to integrate both third party platforms and their own emergency and disaster response software into systems that allow multi-directional emergency communication, including crowdsourcing disaster data. First responders in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy benefited from these systems in some areas.
·         In Educational Technology, schools are using social media to encourage engagement and manage class content. Higher education is building social media into student information systems, driving content and information among all members of the university communities.
·         Agency Human Resources professionals are turning increasingly to social media for both hiring and internal employee communications.
·         Transportation IT systems are using mobile applications to help citizens navigate public transit more easily.
Agencies have even turned toward social media for internal processes, managing service tickets for IT needs and facilities repairs, taking advantage of the anytime/anywhere collaboration of social media to streamline the work environment.

Governments are looking for help with using tried and true social media solutions, third party platforms, and integrating social media into their websites.

They are also looking to pay developers for purpose-built mobile apps with social media components that help government directly engage with citizens, deliver services, and gather data wherever citizens use government services, through their smart mobile devices.

In the short term, there will be opportunities to integrate social media into existing government enterprise applications. In particular, these will include health care IT, emergency communications, customer relations management educational technology, GIS/location-based, human resources, student information systems, and transportation IT.

In the long run, companies that can integrate mobile technologies into every IT solution will win contracts over those who can't.

Terms like "smart cities" and "smart government" win headlines for government officials – and sometimes win elections. Actually developing them, however will fall to industry. Companies that can deliver mobile apps that deliver improved services to citizens and gather data from them, and assist government in analyzing the big data that results from smart government efforts, will find a growing market in state and local government for years to come
This article was originally published on AOL Government.
Follow me on Twitter @GovWinCCotner.

Oregon and California get “Covered”

Branding and marketing for upcoming health insurance exchanges (HIXs) will be a huge focus for many states as they inch closer to launching their insurance portals. Oregon and California, two states that have taken great strides in implementing these systems, have already created the name for their hub, and are one step closer to bringing all the pieces of the HIX initiative together.
 
Cover Oregon, the name of Oregon’s upcoming health insurance exchange, built by Oracle, will be a central marketplace where Oregonians can shop for health plans and access financial assistance to help pay for coverage. The state is working to put the final pieces in place, which include setting standards for health insurance plans, and designing a website to make comparing plans and enrollment a breeze. The state is confident that it will be able to begin enrolling individuals and employers by the October 2013 deadline.
 
Similarly, Covered California is the name of California’s health insurance exchange portal. The state, which anticipates about two million people purchasing insurance through premium subsidies of the exchange, faces a unique challenge: The state also expects to enroll three million residents under Medi-Cal, the state’s Medical Assistance Program. California contracted with Accenture in May 2012 for development of the California Healthcare Eligibility, Enrollment and Retention System (CalHEERS). The system is expected to provide an open, fair and accurate process that maximizes competition.
 
Stay tuned for the release of Deltek’s new HIX Vertical Profile Application (VPA) product. This new, expanded coverage will provide detailed information of all 50 states’ progress in implementing Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements. The launch of the HIX VPA product is expected to go live the first week in December!

 

Police Pinterest piqued

Deltek has covered the use of social media by state and local governments extensively, including a three-part blog series this past summer, a June report on social media, and many others. It is clear that Facebook and Twitter dominate the social media conversation when it comes to state and local governments; however, during Hurricane Sandy, the public safety social media spectrum shifted with increased use of Instagram to share pictures of the storm. Now, we are seeing another shift – this time, to Pinterest.
 
For those unfamiliar with Pinterest, the site describes itself as a way to “organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the Web.” It enables individuals to share discoveries with others by allowing everyone to connect “through the ‘things’ they find interesting.” You are probably wondering how state and local governments utilize this social media tool. The Philadelphia Police Department has an answer.
 
The Philadelphia Police Department has decided to take to Pinterest in an effort to post pictures of criminals at large. ThePhilly Pinterest page is divided into various divisions and provides mug shots and other pictures that citizens can view to help solve open cases. The department is definitely the first agency to try this tactic, but with 100 previous successful arrests using other social media platforms, there seems to be nothing to lose.
 
The city of Philadelphia isn’t just coming up with these ideas on a whim. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter opted to follow in the footsteps of Boston and establish an Office of New Urban Mechanics. The office will pilot and develop in-house applications, develop uses for social media and transform government to better the city. The idea is to create a more open government that allows inclusion from outside sources. Software and app developers can submit ideas that could be developed into tools to further help fight crime.
 
Analyst’s Take
 
There’s no denying public safety agencies’ creativity when it comes to utilizing social media. Though using Pinterest may come off as a bit odd, if any of the outstanding suspected criminals are brought to justice, it could be seen as a model to emulate in other cities. Social media, though used extensively across state and local governments, still has not become a standard. Innovative uses like that in Philadelphia will showcase how much good social media can do for state and local governments. 

Vendor landscape in relation to JPS contracts won

Vendors looking for business opportunities in the justice/public safety (JPS) market are more likely to turn their heads toward California and Texas. According to Deltek’s database, a majority of JPS contracts awarded over the last three years have taken place in these states.  Vendors seem to have picked up on this trend, as California and Texas are also home to many JPS vendors’ headquarters.
 
Deltek compiled a list of vendors who sell a multitude of JPS technologies, including radio communications, 911, surveillance and analytics. Most vendors who sell these technologies are primarily located in California, Texas, Florida, Virginia and New York, as shown below.
 
 
Over the last three years, the greatest numbers of awarded JPS contracts have come out of California, Texas, Washington state, Florida, Massachusetts, Virginia and New York. This is most likely due to the fact that these states have larger budgets and greater populations. Many of the darker-shaded states are home to some of the most populated cities in the United States. In addition, major cities within California, Texas, New York, and Massachusetts were among the top recipients of UASI grants in both FY 10 and FY 11, including New York City, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth and Boston. Allocations for 2012 show that cities in New York, California and Florida will be among top recipients.
 
There is also strong correlation between where JPS contracts are being won and where the majority of vendors’ headquarters are located. This is likely due to vendors seeing greater business opportunities in these areas, and catering the majority of their marketing to these states.
 
 
The map shown below better depicts the correlation between vendor locations to contracts awarded in each state over the last three years. The vendor-to-contract ratio is pretty close, as shown by the darker states having the greatest number of both awarded contracts and vendors.
 
 
 
Analyst’s Take
 
Most vendors are focused on larger states such as Texas and California. Vendor location is highly important for business since vendors find greater benefit in locating where they can lobby for more contracts. Vendors looking to expand business, whether through relocation or setting up an additional office, may consider doing so in states that sign the most contracts.
 
Larger companies may have shied away from setting up headquarters within some of the centrally located states, not because they can’t win business, but because some of these states house small cities and counties that have an allegiance to home-based companies. The JPS market is traditionally more localized; therefore, smaller companies, though less likely to win a plethora of contracts, are more likely to win business with localized cities and counties. This also holds true nationwide. Many smaller governments like to localize their purchases, which in turn stimulates the economy and creates a ripple effect of generating more local business and creating more jobs.
 
Still, with most massive statewide initiatives such as radio communications, there is less of a trend toward vendor location, as states tend to consider top technology providers regardless of where they are located.

 

Arkansas releases long-awaited Medicaid RFPs

Arkansas’ Department of Human Services (DHS) released the long-awaited requests for proposals (RFPs) for its replacement Medicaid management information system (MMIS), called the Arkansas Medicaid Enterprise (AME). Four individual RFPs were released for the AME MMIS core system, decision support system (DSS), pharmacy services, and project management office (PMO), with proposal submission deadlines ranging from January 8, 2013, for the PMO, to February 26, 2013, for the core system.
 
The intended completion date of the MMIS replacement project is December 2016. Hewlett-Packard (HP) Enterprise Solutions, formally EDS, holds the existing MMIS contract, which is set to expire in December 2015, but “will remain in full operation until an agreed-upon extension approval date by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).” DMS previously released multiple iterations of the procurement strategy and MMIS RFPs (all of which were canceled) prior to releasing the final procurement strategy that was used to develop these four RFPs.

 

Maine scraps $32 million contract

The state of Maine has decided to scrap a $32 million contract to upgrade the statewide emergency 9-1-1 system to next generation 9-1-1. The awarded contract to FairPoint Communications was overturned due to improper scoring requirements following an award protest from two bidders, Oxford Networks and Intrado.
 
The state’s current 9-1-1 environment, provided by FairPoint, can only administer a limited number of data to customer praise equipment (CPE) installed within each public safety answering point (PSAP). Customer name and home address associated with a wireless number are not delivered with a wireless call. The state is looking to upgrade to an Internet-based, secure IP network infrastructure that can receive emergency notifications from different feeds in real time, including text messages from mobile devices as well as other notification services. The state had an initial deadline of August 2013, but may have to go to the drawing board again.
 
Maine has not made a formalized decision on whether a new request for proposals (RFP) will be issued. Due to the state’s pressing need to implement NG911, it is likely that a rebid will take place in the near future.
 
Analyst’s Take
 
Challenges to multimillion dollar procurements occur more frequently than one would assume. It is important for agencies to promote procurement practices that ensure a fair and open bidding process. Agencies should take the extra time to develop clear and concise requirements to avoid having to redo solicitations in entirety; they should also provide adequate deadlines that can be met by bidding participants. This is especially true for major statewide projects that have a specified deadline. Rehashing the entire procurement process costs states and localities a significant amount of time and money that could be used for drafting and implementing other needed projects. Maine’s proposed NG9-1-1 project has taken more than15 months, and still no contract award has been finalized.
 
Lastly, vendors should always familiarize themselves with protest rules and regulations in case bidding procedures are challenged, as well as learn how to appeal an award protest.

 

Vermont releases integrated eligibility system RFP

The Vermont Agency of Human Services (AHS) released a request for proposals (RFP) today for its new integrated eligibility system (IES), one part of Vermont’s Health Information Technology Plan (VHITP) aimed at modernizing the state’s health technology and business processes. AHS submitted an Implementation Advanced Planning Document (IAPD) in April, calling the document the “first of its kind,” as it serves as an umbrella Advanced Planning Document that covers the common IT shared services and tools, including the health benefit exchange, eligibility and enrollment systems, financial management systems, public health information, health data, health surveillance technologies, and Medicaid enterprise solution architecture.

 

Medicaid Information Technology Architecture (MITA) standards are a big part of the project, as the state requested enhanced federal funding to retool its health enterprise. Vermont plans to utilize service-oriented architecture (SOA) as much as possible, and is looking to implement an enterprise master person index (EMPI) to “clean” patient records down to a single, holistic view of a person/family and its needs.

 

The state estimates the total value of all projects to near $375 million, with the new Medicaid system costing $125 million, the eligibility and enrollment system costing $22 million, and the HIX totaling $20 million. Deltek has long written about the need for states to break down their IT silos, but as Vermont pointed out, this may be the first instance that a state has broken down its APD silos. This project rewires the network of Vermont’s health systems and gets as close to real-time information management as possible. This project will require immense coordination and communication, as it runs the gamut of departments (both state and federal) and programs. It will be interesting to see if other states adopt this new APD method when attempting to create true health and human services delivery systems.

 

 

American Education Week: K-12 IT market overview, 2012

Vendors considering moving into the K-12 IT market should know that this market has its own needs, demands, budget cycles, and procurement approach, all separate from the general state and local market. With 13,600 K-12 school districts in the U.S., including private and charter schools, there is no shortage of customers. K-12 public schools spend, on average, $580 billion a year, $70 billion of which is spent on non-instruction expenditures. The task at hand is finding your footing in the market and finding customers who are seeking your services and/or goods. Before that step, vendors should learn the terrain to determine if demand for their goods and/or services is congruent in the K-12 market, and worth the venture now or in the future.

 

 
Market drivers 
 

The Obama administration has placed strong emphasis on incentivizing education reform to raise student and teacher performance, with the hopes to meet future workforce needs of a globalized U.S. economy. Federal funding such as Race to the Top and statewide longitudinal data system grants help fuel many states’ focus on education performance initiatives. Due in part to increased federal funding, many governors’ priorities have piggybacked on federal initiatives to improve classroom performance.

Another driver stems from the apparent collapse of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), as states are being allowed to pursue a wide range of uncoordinated reform strategies. Still, in the wake of NCLB, nationally accepted and verifiable criteria of best practices and cost-savings models are still a long way off. State-level response has come in the form of the National Governors’ Association Common Core State Standards, which is a set of curriculum standards to ensure college and career-ready students. This is currently the closest thing to a nationwide education standard. 

Nationwide school enrollment is at 54 million, and student population is expected to increase by nearly three million more students by 2019 (CAGR: 0.7 percent). More than half of that total (1.7 million) will come during the next five years. Spending in public schools continues to increase year over year, and is averaging around $12,700 per pupil. The need for public school teachers is also expected to rise. With roughly three million classroom teachers today, approximately 225,000 more teachers will be in classrooms within five years (CAGR: 1.4 percent).

Landscape

Contracted goods and services in the K-12 market are expected to enjoy a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.9 percent over the next five years, down from 3.1 percent in the 2010-2015 forecast period. This decrease is due primarily to the fact that by the end of 2010, most IT projects funded by federal stimulus dollars had worked their way through the system.

Lifecycle PC consumption is a continual concern for many school districts. In the average school district, most PCs are more than five years old, with many being closer to 10 years old. Unfortunately, few districts can afford to adhere to a five-year PC lifecycle turnover, even in the best of times. Procuring maintenance and support services to keep computer equipment operational is the next best thing. Most school districts participate in statewide or regional cooperative contracts to satisfy general IT maintenance needs.

Emerging classroom and administrative technologies are naturally seeing an increase in demand, while much of market capacity remains primed for growth. The low market capacity for classroom technologies, ranging from 4 to 16 percent, has more to do with specific technology availability and usage rates during classroom instruction. As demand increases, so will opportunities for interactive whiteboards, classroom response systems, handheld/mobile devices, computer/Web-based assessments software and classroom learning software. Because many of these mentioned technologies are viewed as “extras” rather than essentials to increasing student performance, there is a lot of head room for potential demand in the long term. Once K-12 budgets get back on track, more funds will free up for these emerging classroom technologies.

The market capacity for administrative technologies is relatively open, with an average range of 65 to 75 percent still available. This is where federal and state policies, mandates, and grants really drive the growth of technologies, including student information systems, business intelligence/analytics solutions, assessment management systems, and special education management systems. These technologies are quickly becoming the go-to tools for increased efficiency and performance on both the state and local K-12 education levels.

For the full report on the Primary/Secondary Education IT Market, 2011-2015, please go here.

 
Remember to stay connected to Deltek’s General Government Services team via Twitter @GovWin_GenGov for more updates on trends, analysis and opportunities in the public education IT market.
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This Week in Deltek's American Education Week Blog Series:

Where do states stand today with health insurance exchange plans?

On the eve of the deadline for state governors to declare their intention to establish a state-run health insurance exchange (HIX), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius postponed the deadline by one month to December 14. The push results from the request of Republican Governors – Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal – who have already declared they will not create state-run exchanges.
 
"States have and will continue to be partners in implementing the health care law, and we are committed to providing states with the flexibility, resources and time they need to deliver the benefits of the health care law to the American people,” Sebelius said in response to the governors. States that plan to use a federal partnership model to stand up their HIX have until February 15, 2013, to inform the federal government of their decision. States opting for the federal or partnership model now can take over operation of the HIX later, if they so choose.  
 
With all the news surrounding health insurance exchanges (HIX), Deltek is excited to announce it is launching a health insurance exchange profile as part of our Vertical Profiles product in the near future! The HIX Vertical Profile will provide a state-by-state look at upcoming acquisition opportunities, awarded contracts, latest news, contacts, current program information, future plans, and much more! As states continue to solidify plans for HIX implementation, the HIX Vertical Profiles will provide a quick-and-easy way to keep up with governors’ decisions, funding and legislative news, as well as newly announced and recently awarded procurements.
 
In the meantime, Deltek has compiled a map detailing where states stand today with HIX implementation plans.
 
 
States with gradient colors have either not made a decision yet; want a state-based exchange, but will not have it finished in time; or will utilize a federal exchange until a state-based exchange can be planned. States with asterisks have confirmed they will be implementing a state-federal approach. It will be interesting to watch how states interact with federal implementation, and which staunch opponents now will be clamoring for a state exchange in the future. States expected to make HIX decisions today include Wisconsin, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania.
 
Deltek has been a leading resource on HIX development within the states, publishing its first HIX report back in November 2010. The latest report update can be purchased here. Be sure to keep an eye out for more information on the launch of HIX Vertical Profiles in the next few days!

 

Surveillance: vendor trends

Earlier this month, Deltek blogged and produced a video about surveillance technologies and their use in crime prevention. The term “surveillance” covers numerous technologies, from red-light and speed cameras, to closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems. Due to the wide range of technologies under the surveillance umbrella, an abundance of vendors are participating in this market. The map below provides a visual representation of where these vendors are located.

 

The list of vendors used to create this map was taken from the Ultimate Guide for Sherriff’s on http://ultimateguideforsheriffs.com/

Expectedly, larger states such as California, Texas and Florida have the greatest number of vendors. Virginia is also near the top, likely due to the state’s large defense community. This map aligns well with the red map below, which details the number of solicitations released for surveillance technologies in the last 12 months. California, Texas and Florida continue to lead the pack, showing that larger states, and states with several surveillance vendors, continue to invest in the technology.

While a major portion of this could be due to the significant need for surveillance in border states, there are other important factors to consider. One of the most noteworthy is the fact that many solicitations include a provision that allows agencies to provide additional bid-scoring points in favor of locally owned businesses. This means that vendors located within the state have an advantage over out-of-state vendors.

Analyst’s Take

The extreme correlation between the location of surveillance vendors and where solicitations were released offers vendors a strong indication of where solicitations are likely to be released in the future. The maps detailing released and awarded solicitations show that many surveillance projects are taking place in border states, which is likely to continue. States that recently implemented systems may also require maintenance in the near future, which vendors should keep in mind as the systems begin to age.

Most significantly, however, may be the states that did not procure any surveillance technologies in the last three years, such as Wyoming and South Dakota. Given the growing trend in utilizing surveillance technology, it is likely that cities in these states will soon look to utilize it as well. Vendors should take advantage of this prime opportunity to introduce themselves and make a push for their systems now.

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