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The New Centers of Excellence are a Step in the IT Modernization Direction

Published: January 10, 2018

General Government ServicesGSAInformation TechnologyIT Reform

To begin putting its IT modernization efforts to operational use, the White House announced the creation of the Centers of Excellence (CoE) under GSA. The CoE will focus on five primary areas of need with USDA as the test pilot for the initiative.

On the heels of the MGT Act signed into law and the final report on IT modernization released by the American Technology Council last month, the White House is looking to put to action some of its goals to update federal IT infrastructure through the creation of five Centers of Excellence (CoE). The CoE will provide the consulting and implementation needed by federal agencies to provide top-notch customer services through the modernization of supporting technology.  

Housed under the Technology Transformation Service (TTS) within the General Services Administration (GSA), each CoE will consist of teams made up of members from the White House, GSA, industry and participating federal departments. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) will serve as the pilot agency for the initiative in order to improve its customer-centric offerings. The Centers are expected to act as a core function for agencies to update their federal systems.

The five Centers of Excellence will be formed around the following key areas, each with their own objectives:

  1. Cloud Adoption: assist agencies with cloud adoption through analysis of current systems and provide recommendations for the development and management of migration plans.
  2. IT Infrastructure Optimization: assist agencies with infrastructure enhancement initiatives such as network consolidation and data center optimization plans.
  3. Customer Experience: assist agencies with improved customer service experiences through enriched performance and methodologies such as use of emerging technologies.
  4. Contact Center: assist agencies in refining contact center operations by leveraging heightened business processes, best practices, tools, data and new technologies
  5. Service Delivery Analytics: assist agencies in providing services and tools to optimize customer delivery services and in measuring the outcomes.

GSA released a Request for Quotes (RFQ) for the first phase of the CoE project to 00CORP Schedule holders on December 20, 2017 with quotes due January 8, 2018. The initial phase will provide professional services and work plans for GSA to establish each CoE. Specifically, the RFQ tasks vendors to identify the agency’s needs, suggest solutions, find the best method to procure the support needed and oversee the implementation of formulated plans.  A second phase is expected to be separately contracted out by GSA to perform the execution of solutions from Phase 1, including purchases of the needed technologies. Awards for the first phase are expected by the end of January with the awards for the second phase expected by June 2018, according GSA contracting officer, Al Munoz, in a Nextgov article.