Leverage Your Agency Relationships to Win Cybersecurity CDM Program Business
Published: October 29, 2014
In a parallel to the common expression that real estate is all about “location, location, location,” I have heard it said that winning government contracting business is all about "relationships, relationships, relationships." Recent comments by an official leading the GSA Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) program acquisitions shop gives hearty credence to this.
In a previous post, I discussed some comments made by Jim Piché, the DHS Group Manager of the Federal Systems Integration and Management (FEDSIM) Center at GSA who was a panelist at an event focused on the CDM program where he did a little damage control and reset expectations for the forthcoming CDM dashboard contract competition and award. Throughout the event, his forthright, candid and tactful comments on the various topics were valuable and appreciated, especially when government officials so often speak in very general and nebulous terms, often out of necessity.
Juxtaposed to the technical and organizational perspectives predominant among the other panelists, Piché provided a contracting point of view. To broaden the accessibility and use of the CDM Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA), GSA continues to push Delegations of Procurement Authority (DPA) from their contracting office out to the other departments and agencies so that they can write their own contracts against the BPA. To date, Piché says they have 30 DPAs out there across government. So far, only one agency has used it to create two small tool-type delivery orders.
Like so many federal business opportunities, a major factor in winning business is leveraging existing relationships and for the systems integrator team leads and team members on the BPA, CDM is no different. “If you have existing relationships with government contracting officers and program officers, encourage them to get their own DPA rather than pursuing business through the contracting officers that have just recently received it. It might be a better strategy to let your existing business relationships know that this capability is out there. They can request and receive a DPA from GSA and go immediately to a competitive procurement. … So my advice to the SIs is to encourage those relationships.”
The axiom endures.