NASA SEWP Continues to Grow after 25 Years

Published: April 04, 2019

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After 25 years and five iterations, the NASA SEWP GWAC continues to see growth year over year as more federal buyers learn the benefits of the speed and efficiency it provides to acquire commercial IT products and services.

What is SEWP?

The NASA Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP, pronounced “soup”) is a multi-award Government-Wide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) vehicle.  Its primary focus is on commercial IT products and services, although there is a particular emphasis on products.  This is an important difference from other GWACs, which tend to place a greater focus on professional services.  Managed and administered by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, SEWP is used by all Federal agencies and approved agency support services contractors.

SEWP was established 25 years ago and was the first GWAC in the Federal marketplace.  Currently on its 5th iteration, it is one of GSA’s Best in Class contract vehicles under the IT Category. 

SEWP V Contract Information

SEWP V consists of more than 200 Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts to more than 140 prime vendors.  The contracts are divided into five groups based on Socio-economic status, competition type and NAICS Code:

  • Group A – Computer Based Systems: Full and Open competition consisting of large and small Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and Value Added Resellers (VARs)
    • Mid-range Computer Clusters
    • High-end Computer Clusters
    • Data Archive Systems
    • Private Cloud Container Systems
  • Group B (1) – Mass Storage Devices: Small Business Set-Aside competition for HUBZone business VARs
    • Disk, Tape, Storage Area Network (SAN) storage devices
    • Unlimited Power Supply (UPS)
    • Virtual Storage
  • Group B (2) – Mass Storage Devices: Small Business Set-Aside competition for Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) VARs
    • Disk, Tape, SAN storage devices
    • UPS
    • Virtual Storage
  • Group C – Server Support Devices: Small Business Set-Aside for Small Business VARs
    • Monitors
    • Projectors
    • Printers
    • Plotters
    • Scanners
    • Multi-functional Printers
    • Tablets
    • Mice, Keyboards
    • Video Conferencing
  • Group D – Networking / Security / Video and Conference Tools: Full and Open competition for non-set aside VARs – large and small businesses participation
    • Routers, Wireless Products, Network Bridges, Switches
    • Communication Devices
    • Security Software and Hardware Appliances
    • Audio Visual Products

The primary NAICS Codes include the following:

  • 334111 – Electronic Computer Manufacturing (Group A)
  • 541519 – Other Computer Related Services (All other Groups)

All SEWP V contracts have an ordering period from May 1, 2015 through April 30, 2025, consisting of a five-year base period with one five-year option period.  Each contract has a $20 billion ceiling value.

GovWin IQ clients who are SEWP V prime contract holders may subscribe to the Task Order Opportunity Notification System (TOONS) in order to have direct access to SEWP V postings and documents through their GovWin IQ account.

SEWP V Contract Spending Data

This chart highlights the spending obligations to date of the top ten federal agencies who are utilizing SEWP V:

The following charts provide an overview of the spending obligations to date for the top ten vendors under each of the five Groups:

This final chart provides an overview of the combined total spending for all of the Groups in SEWP V and compares it to the combined total spending for SEWP IV.  Specifically, it looks at the funding obligations for the first five years of performance.  SEWP IV spending is highlighted in red, SEWP V spending is in blue.  NOTE: FY2019 includes spending to date only. 

SEWP V Procurement History

The full procurement process – from Solicitation to Award – took a little under 20 months to complete.  SEWP V increased the total number of contacts significantly – more than 200 contracts were awarded to 147 unique vendors.  Under SEWP IV, a total of 52 contracts were awarded to 42 unique vendors. 

Other key differences between SEWP IV and SEWP V include:

  • Incorporation of the Small Business Jobs Act and the ability to select specific set-asides in the SEWP Quote Request Tool (QRT)
  • Inclusion of fees in the price of products – where previously it was a separate item
  • Reduction in the surcharge from 0.45% to 0.39% (As of February 1, 2018, the surcharge was reduced to 0.375%)
  • Removal of the Open market CLIN (Open-Z)
  • SEWP V also saw an increased focus on cloud and product-based services in SEWP V

Prior to the release of the SEWP V Solicitation, NASA provided interested vendors with the following information:

  • Mandatory requirements for Proposals to be considered:
    • Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) certification
    • Energy Star compliant
    • Trade Act Agreement (TAA) compliant
    • Section 508 compliant
  • Additional Evaluation Criteria – Once a Proposal met the mandatory requirements, the depth and breadth of offerings beyond the minimum mandatories – those items which fit under the entire scope of SEWP – were used as competitive evaluation criteria to distinguish one Proposal from another. 

The Solicitation defined the evaluation factors for the submitted Proposals as Management / Technical Approach, Price, and Past Performance.  It indicated that the Management / Technical Approach factor would be approximately equal in importance to the price factor. 

The Management / Technical Approach factor consisted of the following three sub-factors:

  • Excellence of Proposed Systems
    • The breadth and depth of proposed available components
    • The extent to which offerors exceeded minimum specifications
    • How other features proposed by offerors enhanced suitability for the group and supported government initiatives and policies
  • Offeror’s Support and Commitment
  • Management Plan

As the procurement process continued, a total of twenty-five (25) Protests were filed with the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  Early in the source evaluation process, five Proposals were removed from consideration because the companies exceeded the page limit set in the Solicitation.  In their Protests, those companies argued that certain pages should not have been included in the count, but the Government Accountability Office (GAO) agreed with NASA’s decision to remove them.  

In the ensuing months, with 20 additional Protest filed, NASA decided to take corrective action by re-evaluating all the submitted Proposals.  In the ensuing months, additional Protests were filed.  In response, NASA decided to take corrective action by re-evaluating all of the submitted Proposals. 

SEWP Training and Industry Day

On April 3, 2019, a SEWP Training and Industry Day was held for both government employees and industry.  The federal attendees received a basic overview of IT acquisitions with SEWP and explored the various internal tools to create requests for market research and solicitation.  Industry attendees were provided an overview of SEWP from the vendor perspective, including information on SEWP contract holders, provider relationships and how to add new products to existing SEWP contracts.

Emphasis was placed on both the ease and speed of using the SEWP contracts.  It was noted in particular that, as of March 16, 2019, a total of 115,826 individual orders were processed.  Additionally, the SEWP PMO is continuing to grow.  There are currently two designated Contracting Officers – this number is expected to increase.  Additionally, an Industry Relations team was established in January 2019, for the purpose of educating and assisting IT companies on the SEWP GWAC.

Tips for Interested Vendors

  • Interested vendors who are not SEWP Contract Holders can look to partner or assist those companies who are participating.  This can be done by working with incumbents to add new products and services to existing contracts.
  • Incumbent SEWP Contract Holders can work with the new Industry Relations team if needed to increase their visibility to potential buyers.
  • No On-Ramp or Onboarding opportunities are expected to occur during the remainder of SEWP V’s period of performance.
  • Vendors who have previously submitted Proposals should look to take advantage of one-on-one opportunities with the SEWP PMO, even if the Proposals were unsuccessful.
  • Deltek suggests interested vendors review the following information:
    • Previous Solicitation documents for SEWP V for specific information regarding requirements and evaluation criteria,
    • Source Selection Statements for each SEWP V Group.  The Contracting Office released these documents publicly after the evaluation process was complete and provides specific information regarding the vendors that submitted Proposals and how each were evaluated,
    • SEWP V Contract Holders List for specific information regarding each of the incumbents, their core competencies, and specific points of contact for possible teaming partners,
    • The Vendors & Teaming section of the SEWP V Opportunity Report for additional information about past vendors who advertised interest,
    • The SEWP V Catalog for the available products and services which can be procured,
    • Contract Holder Program Performance, which provides a chart of performance ratings based on criteria such as customer satisfaction, contract adherence, and delivery,
    • Prior GAO Protest Decision documents for information regarding the past Protests which were filed, the factors that GAO took into consideration, and the rationale for their decisions, and
    • The SEWP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page before reaching out to the Contracting Office points of contact.
  • Deltek has not yet created a GovWin IQ Opportunity Report for the anticipated SEWP VI procurement, because the follow-on is not expected for a few more years.  Representatives from the SEWP PMO suggested that procurement activity may begin to move forward as early as FY2023, although a more specific schedule is unavailable.  Deltek fully expects the procurement process to be as open and transparent as it’s been in the past.

Conclusion

The SEWP GWAC continues to grow in popularity as more federal buyers and procurement officials recognize it as a very quick and effective way to procure IT products and services.  As new technology continues to be developed, more products are added to the SEWP catalog for purchase.  Deltek believes that the constant innovation which drives the 21st Century and the continuing demand by the government for the latest and greatest technology will only continue to increase the usage of SEWP in the years to come.

For additional information on the previous procurement process, please see GovWin IQ Opportunity Report # 82396 SOLUTIONS FOR ENTERPRISEWIDE PROCUREMENT V (SEWP V).