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Deltek releases state and local government social media report

Social media is one of the hottest topics in both government and the government contracting community today. Since 2008, overall social media (SM) use and state and local adoption rates have been astronomical. SM is also presenting a new paradigm for service delivery and innovation in state and local government. SM platforms (including mobile applications) can be used for direct government/citizen engagements that are profoundly changing society.
Beyond the influence of direct engagement, these SM platforms and related mobile devices can aggregate crowdsourced data to inform decisions. In turn, these informed decisions can be used to innovate and improve government by delivering more efficient services (either directly or by augmentation). SM interactions (including data gathered to inform decisions and services) can lead to greater innovation, improved government accountability, and broader civic engagement.
For the government contractor community, this change presents a myriad of business opportunities:
·         Working collaboratively with state and local government now to build short and long-term policy and related solutions; these solutions will be the foundation for future implementations.
·         Creating new solutions that were previously unimagined.
·         Adding value to existing vendor solutions through IT integration.
·         Adding social media integration to existing state and local government IT systems, including at the enterprise level.
·         Aggregating the big data of social media for government innovation.
·         Creating purpose-built mobile solutions that integrate social media to improve government service delivery
Deltek has researched and tracked these state and local government opportunities with SM components since 2008, when they first appeared in solicitations. As expected, while initially slow, the number of opportunities has grown and remains relatively steady (Figure 1, below). Opportunities are also spread across each state and local government type. While the majority of opportunities reside with the states, some of the more cutting edge and interesting opportunities are in the localities. Looking forward, opportunities are projected to grow along with state and local government’s increased use and integration of SM technology.
Figure 1: Deltek Opportunity Analysis – Social Media

For more insight on the implications of social media on state and local business opportunities, read Deltek’s recently released report, here.
Subscribers also have access to this article in Analyst's Perspectives, here.

Read our recent blog on crowdsourcing, here.

Read our recent blog on social media, here.

Follow me on Twitter, here.

NASCIO and NASPO themes: Crowdsourcing to win

One theme that emerged through sessions at both the National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO) 2012 Midyear Conference and the National Association of State Procurement Officers (NASPO) 2012 Meeting was crowdsourcing, both in terms of data and procurement. The whole idea of crowdsourcing represents a change in how state and local government acquires the information, goods, and services it needs in order to function effectively.
The traditional approach to data exchange has been through labored capture by the government through government driven processes. In turn, government drove data back to citizens (G2C) and businesses (G2B). This was hardly engagement and certainly a top down approach. For procurement, government has engaged in a similar G2B information flow. While government assessed citizen needs and designed models for services based upon these perceived citizen needs, government was very much in the driver’s seat in terms of deciding what sorts of solutions best fit its needs.
Since the recession, much of that is changing. There is a groundswell in the state and local government procurement and IT communities for increased engagement. Crowdsourcing is beginning to flip the G2C and G2B information flow upside down. Increasingly, government is directly acquiring data both from its citizens (C2G) and vendors (B2G). By getting data more directly from citizens, and even engaging citizens in the process of ideation or solution creation, state and local government is driving efficiency and innovation through crowdsourcing. Additionally, state and local government is looking more now for direct partnership and collaboration with vendors, even allowing vendors to participate in the creation of solicitations for which they will compete. Both of these shifts in sourcing from the “crowd” are completely changing how government and procurement can be accomplished. Again, the necessary reason has been that state and local government is increasingly understaffed and needs to find every way possible to innovate to improve both efficiency and efficacy of service delivery.
Crowdsourcing data
While government gathering data through an increased online presence and online delivery of services is old news, there are exciting changes afoot. State and local government is increasingly searching for ways to gather data from its citizens.
Not only are state and local governments gathering data through their own online services, but they are also capturing data organically through social media and purpose built mobile applications that include social media-type citizen engagement.
·         See the Deltek report on social media for examples, here.
·         Boston’s New Urban Mechanics Office.
However, the types of data gathered are also growing and changing, expanding beyond basic registration data, service use data, or demographics, and toward real-time trending data on topics as widespread as emergency conditions to citizen opinions and ideas.
·         Newark, Philadelphia, Maryland’s crowdsourcing natural disaster data for state and local government response (for more, click here).
·         Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s emergency management system incorporating crowdsourced social media data.
The uses of this crowdsourced data are also changing, from the old idea of capturing data and databasing it for quarterly or annual reports, to the new idea of using data to develop solutions to be implemented within a matter of months to traffic or natural disaster data being used immediately to improve service delivery.
·         See emergency and natural disaster examples, above, and here.
·         Philadelphia’s upcoming City Planning Commission mobile application that will enable direct engagement around city planning, soliciting ideas and solutions directly from all stakeholders (for more, click here).
With the rapid proliferation of technologies and increasing growth of citizen mobile and smart phone use (for information, click here), the reality of smart cities and smart services is finally becoming a real possibility. Smart government is government that captures and uses data from citizens to innovate and improve responsively, even in real time.
Crowdsourcing procurement
More accurately, it could be called crowdsourcing the ideas for solution that eventually become the procurement solicitations. With efficiency drivers firmly entrenched, procurement and IT officials in state and local government are kicking down the doors and asking for vendor collaboration and partnership. Technology is changing rapidly, and government is having difficulty keeping up with all the available solutions. Crowdsourcing ideas allow government to find efficiency solutions they did not even know existed.
·         From both the NASPO and NASCIO conferences, many procurement and IT officials were asking for this type of vendor education and engagement (both during official presentations and during off-the record conversations). 
Agencies are also increasingly looking for public-private partnerships, including those along revenue-sharing models.
·         Maryland is working on these now, especially related to the development of mobile applications (for more, click here).
·         Philadelphia and Boston’s New Urban Mechanics offices both deliberately partner with vendors in developing mobile applications (for more, click here).
On the other hand, having solicitations custom designed for solutions that are possible allows for a much more efficient procurement process. Again, crowdsourcing procurement flips the paradigm from G2B communication to B2G communication and can allow for a faster pace of innovation toward more efficient and effective service delivery.
However, it would be remiss to ignore the legal challenges that exist in some states for vendors participating in the creation of solicitations for which they will bid. Maryland is a recent example of success. Bryan Sivak (Maryland’s Chief Innovation Officer) recently worked with state procurement and legal officials to find a way within the system.
·         Maryland vendors may now aid in creating solicitations to which they will respond, as long as:
o    The solicitation is not sole-sourced
o     Vendors are required to partner with other contractors.
·         Sivak’s suggestion to other states and government contractors is to work collaboratively on finding ways to make procurement crowdsourcing possible, as everyone wins in the end.
Analyst’s Take and Recommendations
·         Vendors should look to actively collaborate and partner with state and local government for procurement; government wants collaboration and it can be the new differentiator between those contractors going out and acquiring new business and those waiting on business to come to them.
·         Vendors should always look for ways to incorporate more crowdsourcing capability into their solutions; the ability to crowdsource and use data from customers (citizens) is a value-added proposition for any IT solution.
·         Vendors can help government integrate social media-type engagement and data crowdsourcing into their existing systems.
·         Some specific IT solution areas that incorporate crowdsourcing and are more frequently on state and local government wish lists include:
o    Emergency and natural disaster response
o    Aggregating organic social media data
o    Mobile applications
o     Direct C2G engagement platforms (social media types) to inform decisions
·         Vendors willing to adapt with government in this changing environment are likely to succeed; now is the time to build or rebuild the state and local pipeline.

For the full article, subscribers can click, here.

Read our recent blog on social media, here.

Read our recent blog on social media, here.

Also check out our recently published report on social media in state and local government, here.

Follow me on Twitter, here.

All systems go! Supreme Court upholds health care reform law

It is a good day and a bad day for states, depending on their status with the controversial health insurance exchange initiative. This morning, the Supreme Court ruled (5-4) the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), including the mandate, constitutional. The mandate, which will now be referred to as a tax, is being upheld as a valid exercise of Congress’s power to tax. This new language as a tax penalty makes it less of a “requirement” for Americans to purchase health insurance, and more of an encouragement. Medicaid expansion has also been upheld by the court; however, states that were not already on board with ACA provisions for expanding coverage will not have to return existing Medicaid funds.
The ruling comes at a critical time for most states, and many will be scrambling to assemble implementation plans for their health insurance exchanges. States that fail to meet federal deadlines will be forced to have the government step in and set up its own version of the exchange, which is being developed by CGI. The deadline to have these systems up and running is still January 2014. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will continue to release grants through 2014 to help states employ their exchange portals. For that, vendors must pay attention to every state. Expect to see an influx of procurements for various insurance exchange components, including Web portal services, call centers, system integration services, quality assurance services, eligibility system enhancement services, marketing and outreach services, and much more.
To learn more about the health care reform legislation and states’ efforts with their insurance exchanges, download a copy of Deltek’s most recent report, “Evolving Health Insurance Exchanges.”  Also, Deltek will be releasing an analyst perspective soon on the Supreme Court ruling and what it means for states nationwide.
Follow Deltek's Health Care and Social Services Team on Twitter @GovWin_HHS or connect with us through LinkedIn.

State Medicaid Spending Wrap-up

In wrapping up Deltek’s series highlighting increased state Medicaid spending, the health care and social services team decided to take a deeper dive into the numbers to identify any patterns and correlations. After comparing Medicaid spending and budget information to unemployment numbers, poverty levels, obesity rates, foreclosure rates, etc., the team was surprised to learn that Medicaid spending did not accurately correlate with any of these measures.
Another measure, the intersection of politics and policy, is evident even within the black and white of budget figures. A deep analysis of Medicaid spending from the states of Florida, Georgia, Alaska and Indiana answers some questions about the spending increases previously noted. However, of equal value, our analysis yielded some unanswered questions and surprises. From the perspective of politics in these states, no solid trends can be gleaned from Medicaid. With Republican majorities in power, only one state saw a decrease in spending as a percentage of the budget on that entitlement. While every state except Alaska decreased its overall budget total, Medicaid spending as a percentage of the budget was at or above FY 2011 levels in the FY 2013 budgets. For a deeper dive into more states and numbers, please click here (log-in required).
As always, be sure to follow Deltek’s Health Care and Social Services Team on Twitter @GovWin_HHS and LinkedIn!


OMB’s Science and Technology Priorities for FY 2014 Presents Targeted Opportunities

At this point in the fiscal year most eyes are on Congress and the status and direction of the various appropriations bills for the upcoming FY 2013. But agencies are already well underway in their normal budget planning for fiscal 2014, which starts October 2013. Evidence of this is the ongoing trickle of budget policy guidance coming out of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the latest of which gives direction to agencies on the Obama Administration’s Science and Technology (S&T) priorities that should inform their budget formulations. And while it seems unlikely that the heightened sense of fiscal constraint will recede by then the guidance does give hope for some targeted information technology investments.

In his memorandum, Jeffrey D. Zients, Acting Director of OMB lays out the Administration’s mindset on S&T research and encourages agencies to pursue "Grand Challenges" defined as “ambitious goals that require advances in science, technology and innovation to achieve.” Yet, the directive recognizes the trade-offs agencies must make to prioritize among options and instructs them to explain how they are redirecting available resources from lower priorities to the nine science and technology priorities outlined in the memo, which are:


Information Technology Areas in OMB’s S&T Priorities for FY 2014
Simulation and modeling for climate change
Data and tools for policy and management decision support
Fundamental research in computer science and engineering
Cybersecurity to protect systems against current and future attacks
“Big Data” analytics and management
Large-scale high performance computing systems


In a fiscally constrained environment that shows no sign of easing, federal agencies will continue to face trade-off decisions on where to spend their shrinking IT dollar. And this latest OMB guidance adds yet another layer of complexity to the budget process for agency IT planners that already have been directed to find a 10 percent reduction in their IT budgets for FY 2014. The pressure continues on redirecting resources from lower to higher IT priorities.
Solutions and services providers that have offerings in these S&T areas and other high-priority areas may find some cover in an otherwise limited opportunity environment. Similarly, contractors who have a level of visibility into their partner agencies’ prioritization process will be best positioned to benefit from the end result. This latest OMB guidance also emphasizes inter-agency collaboration which may present opportunities for a trusted company to act as ambassador among agencies that share a common interest while expanding its customer footprint in the process.


  • Advanced manufacturing – Programs to advance the state of the art in manufacturing, with particular emphasis on government-industry-university partnerships and enabling technologies like robotics, materials development, and additive manufacturing.
  • Clean energy – R&D to advance clean-energy technologies, improved meteorological and oceanic forecasting to support deployment of clean-energy technologies, and increasing energy efficiency in industry, buildings, and manufacturing.
  • Global climate change – Research that advances understanding of the vulnerabilities in human and biogeophysical systems and their relationships to climate extremes, thresholds, and tipping points.
  • R&D for informed policy-making and management – Programs that strengthen the scientific basis for decision-making, especially for health, safety, and environmental impacts.
  • Nanotechnology – Efforts that promote the safe, effective, and responsible development and use of nanotechnology as outlined in the 2011 Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Research Strategy.
  • Biological Innovation – Research investments that foster biological innovations, especially those which enhance “translational sciences and science that supports regulation to accelerate innovation and regulatory decision-making” as well as enhancing post-secondary biological training.
  • Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education – Evidence-based programs to guide the design and implementation of STEM programs and enhance cross-agency coordination of funding to maximize impact.
  • Innovation and commercialization – Promote innovation and commercialization through inducement prizes, early-stage technology development, university-industry partnerships, and workforce education.
  • Information Technology Research and Development – Agencies are instructed to give priority to investment in various S&T-related areas of IT that range from fundamental research to applied cybersecurity. (See table below.)

Want an iPad? Move to Montana

While reading through several requests for proposals (RFP) over the past few months, I noticed the state of Montana has started an interesting trend: requiring the submission of RFP proposals on iPads. Funny thing is, until the vendors submitted questions, the state wasn’t returning ANY of the iPads after an award had been made. In a recent RFP for a new unemployment insurance tax system, the state required an original technical proposal, paper copy, two electronic copies on CDs or USB flash drives, and 13 Apple iPads Wi-Fi/32GB, with a copy of the proposal preloaded on each. The original RFP read that the state would own ALL materials submitted in response to the RFP. In the question and answer period, prospective vendors asked if the iPads would be returned, and questioned the intent of the iPads after the contracting project had ended. This prompted the state to amend the RFP to return only those iPads from unsuccessful vendors. Another RFP released with these requirements did not result in any questions and answers regarding the intent of the iPads, which meant the state kept the original language in the RFP and all of the submitted iPads.
If say, only five companies submitted proposals for an RFP that allowed the state to keep all iPads, at a reasonable $300 a pop, this would mean nearly $14,000 in free technology for the state of Montana. With no hints or reasons behind the intentions of the technology after the contracting process, minds are left to wander. Is there good reasoning behind the submission of iPads? Is the text easier to read than on a USB drive or paper copy? One thing’s for certain: Despite unanswered questions, vendors are coughing them up for a chance to bid on an RFP. This begs the question: What’s the next requirement down the road?

Check (in)mate

One of the newest corrections technologies gaining popularity is inmate kiosk systems. While different institutions use them for different things, the systems generally act as an integrator to bring previously disparate systems together in one neat package. This coordination makes life easier for both inmates and corrections officers in charge of monitoring them. As with the majority of prison technologies, identification components are salient to each system to ensure the correct inmate is using the account. The access control mechanism comes in multiple forms, such as through the use of inmate PINs, ID-card scanning, and biometric options including fingerprint scanning.

Most kiosk systems involve bringing inmate commissary systems and trust-fund accounts together. These kiosks usually involve touch-screen computers that allow inmates to order commissary items electronically. Once a commissary package is ordered, the inmate’s account is automatically debited for the cost of the items. Kiosks can also be placed in the lobby of the facility, which visitors can use to add money to an inmate’s account through debit or credit cards.

More recently, kiosks have begun offering the option of integrating phone and video visitation systems as well, in which inmates can use the same screen they use to order soap to view and chat with friends and family. The kiosks can also be used to send and receive email messages and pictures; they also have a built-in monitoring device that determines the appropriateness of these emails and photos, with the ability to block content if deemed inappropriate.

Analyst’s Take

As with the majority of corrections technology, inmate kiosks are procured primarily at the state and county level; however, cooperative contacts do exist. One contract particularly worth noting is one procured through the Multi-State Corrections Procurement Alliance (MCPA). Nevada acts as the lead state for the kiosk contract, in which 12 other states and the District of Columbia are represented by MCPA. This contract was last bid out in 2011 and is set to expire in 2015.

Solicitations released by cooperative purchasing organizations often reflect future trends in the technology, as these solicitations usually detail the desires of multiple states and encompass numerous requirements. It is worth mentioning that the requirements laid out by the MCPA solicitation include video and phone-call requirements. Therefore, vendors should begin focusing on how to include these technologies in their current hard and software systems for kiosks. Vendors should also consider allying with current video visitation and phone system providers to ensure they have the capability of including those systems in their kiosks should a solicitation require it. 

California not slowed down by Supreme Court Ruling

California is one state that refuses to let the Supreme Court ruling slow it down from implementing a health benefit exchange. The state recently contracted with Accenture to build the California Healthcare Eligibility, Enrollment and Retention System (CalHEERS). Initial development and implementation of the system is expected to be approximately $183 million. Moreover, a total of $176 million has been allotted for the continued development and initial operating costs over approximately three-and-a-half years.
The system is expected to start enrolling Californians in the fall of 2013 for coverage that will begin in January 2014. There will be two releases: One, for CalHEERS to go live on July 1, 2013, as a Web portal to provide initial ability for consumers and small employers to shop and compare plans; and two, for enrollment that will take place on October 1, 2013. At this time, CalHEERS should be able to add functions that allow people to assess their eligibility for Medi-Cal, Health Families or subsidized coverage of the exchange.

Lockheed Martin Racks-Up Several Big Contract Wins Over Past Month

Over the past month, Lockheed Martin Corp. has been on a roll, racking up several billion-dollar contract wins despite the talks of possible sequestration and the tightening budget environment in Washington.
Earlier this month, Lockheed Martin was (once again) named the top provider of IT services to the federal government (for the 18th straight year) in Washington Technology’s annual contractor review.
For 2011, Lockheed posted net income of $2.66 billion on $46.5 billion in sales. The company also had a record backlog of $80.7 billion at that time. For 2011, the contracting titan derived 82% of its sales from the U.S. Government, including 61% from the Department of Defense (DoD).
Below, we highlight some of Lockheed Martin’s big wins over the past month:
A few week's ago, Lockheed Martin was awarded a $1.9 billion contract to carry out the day-to-day operation of the Global Information Grid (GIG) network. The GIG is an all-encompassing Defense project, and is the network that facilitates all communication between DoD department sources. The GIG contract is expected to run for three years, and includes two two-year options. This is a huge contract win for Lockheed, as it bested incumbent SAIC to secure the coveted award. Since 2001, SAIC has booked over $3.6 billion in work under the predecessor contract, which was previously the largest in SAIC’s pipeline.
Lockheed also recently won a U.S contract worth $490 million to start buying parts, material and components for a seventh batch of 35 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter planes, the Pentagon said. Lockheed, the DoD's largest supplier, welcomed the agreement and said it would help ensure that the $396 billion F-35 program, which has faced numerous troubles in recent years, continued to meet its production schedules.The DoD said the order included 19 models for the U.S. Air Force; three models for Italy; two for Turkey; six aircraft for the U.S. Marines; one for Britain, and four aircraft for the Navy.
Elsewhere, Norway recently ordered the first two fighter jets of an expected combined order of 52 from Lockheed Martin’s Joint Strike Fighter program, as it embarked on a 2008 plan to replace its aging fleet of F-16 combat aircraft. Norway Defense Minister Espen Barth Eide noted that the F-35A Lightning II jets are expected to arrive in 2015, with a further 50 aircraft expected to follow two years later at a total cost of $10 billion.
In other news, Lockheed Martin Space Systems recently won a $2 billion contract to build missile interceptors for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency. The U.S. is buying at least 42 of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor missiles. The production will coincide with a THAAD order by the United Arab Emirates, which is buying 96 THAAD interceptors from the company. Work under the contract is expected to be completed by mid-2018.
In late May, Lockheed was also selected by the National Institutes of Health as a government-wide acquisition contract (GWAC) supplier for the $20 billion Chief information Officer Solutions and Partners 3 (CIO-SP3) program. This 10-year multiple-award contract vehicle is available to all federal agencies to procure IDIQ contracts for a wide range of information technology (IT) and health IT products, services, and solutions. Lockheed was one of 54 contractors selected to support the program.
Our Take:
While Lockheed Martin has been on a hot streak of late, this is par-for-the-course for the U.S.’s top defense contractor. Over the past several years, Lockheed seems to consistently win the contracts which are of paramount importance (see GIG above), and we believe the company has one of the top portfolios to weather the upcoming federal budget storm moving forward. 
Besides sporting a well-diversified portfolio, Lockheed has also drastically reduced its headcount over the past several years, allowing the company to reduce labor costs while raising its overall profit margin. Looking ahead, we believe Lockheed’s unmatched portfolio, steps to reduce operating costs, and consistency in winning major contracts, will allow the company to continue to prosper in the federal contracting market over the next several years.


A word on assistive technology and universal design for learning: Dispatches from ISTE 2012

While trolling the halls of the San Diego Convention Center at the International Society for Technology in Education's (ISTE) annual conference, I came across a rather interesting session on assistive technology and universal design for learning (UDL). The session was led by Linda Wilson and Lisa Norris, who work for Montgomery County, Md., Public Schools, as leader of the tech team and library media specialist, respectively. Wilson and Norris are often charged with developing new and innovative ways to utilize assistive technology to help special-needs children face the challenges of a public school curriculum. To that end, they convened a 12-person task force made up of various Montgomery County faculty members to compare notes and share ideas regarding better ways to use assistive technology to reach special-needs students.
Apart from the usual declarations about the essential nature of using technology in these circumstances, the pair hit on an interesting concept that tech vendors may find useful. By definition, assistive technology is designed and marketed to a small group of students (special-needs and special-education students, and students with autism or other disabilities) that allows for a leveling of the playing field when it comes to keeping up with the traditional curriculum. This, of course, has the collateral effect of shrinking the market for assistive technology products and dramatically limiting the potential for market growth.
However, this is where the concept of universal design for learning comes in. Wilson and Norris found that the more specialized the technology used in classrooms is, the more stigmatized that technology is in the eyes of their special-education students. They came to see this technology as a scarlet letter of sorts, creating barriers that divided them from the other students. By applying the concepts of UDL to the equation, they were able to make tremendous progress in breaking these barriers and eliminating that stigma for both groups.
Fair warning: UDL is NOT about standardizing your software or products to make them so broad that they cease to serve their original function. It is about providing choices and many different paths to the same destination that give students the option to use assistive technology when necessary, and traditional learning methods when they feel confident enough to do so. Think of a classic piece of assistive technology: closed captioning for television programs. Television manufactures do not make and sell televisions solely for the hearing impaired, with no sound and just digital text. Rather, every television comes equipped with closed-captioning capabilities, and the user has the option of using traditional audio, digital text, or both. Furthermore, by designing all televisions this way, there is literally no difference, no stigma, based on the type of television bought. Likewise, a software program or device that is designed for special-needs students should also have enough options and a broad enough applicability to be useful to all students in a classroom, regardless of their disability status.
Utilizing UDL concepts can also lead to two interconnected side effects. First, it broadens the market for assistive technology and vendors offering assistive technology products. Second, this development leads to increased investment in assistive technology from the IT industry and smarter products for special-needs students and students with disabilities. This last part is not simply theory to Wilson and Norris. Both lamented that when they first began looking into assistive technology products, there were very few companies that offered anything worthwhile, and those companies were typically too small and struggling to make much of an impact. While they conceded that the market has grown since then, they still believe there is plenty of room for improvement, and they hope that by applying UDL concepts to the assistive technology field, that improvement can start happening now.

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