GSA Looks beyond Networx

Published: June 12, 2013

Communications ServicesInnovationMobilitySatellite Communications

Now that the government transition to Networx has been completed, the General Services Administration(GSA) is turning its attention to Networks Services 2020. According to Mary Davie, they’re not waiting for the next iteration of the program and are aiming to implement changes as soon as possible.

The American Council for Technology Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC) hosted the launch of the Network Service 2020 (NS2020) Working Group.  The event was organized by the Networks & Telecommunications (N&T) Special Interest Group (SIG) and included roundtable sessions for each of four committees:
GSA/Vendor Operations
Program Development, Goals and Metrics
Business Growth and Collaboration
The NS2020 Working Group aims to provide an ongoing forum for government and industry discussion on topics related to the entire lifecycle of the NS2020 program.
GSA and Vendor Operations explored service ordering, portal and prices, vendor contract operations, and effectiveness around terms & conditions.  Investigating government and industry operations highlighted the importance of inventory management. Transition success can be greatly impacted by good inventory.

The Program Development, Goals and Metrics committee looked at transaction costs, service level agreements (SLAs), success factors, value proposition models, and program management approach. Suggestions from this roundtable included offering positive incentives for providers to exceed SLAs, making it financially attractive for providers to get solutions in place rapidly (through the government covering up front costs), and improving inventory management.
Business Growth and Collaborationdiscussedstrategies for maximizing portfolio business, Small Business strategy, regional strategy, promoting competition, and collaboration. Three points that resulted from this topic are were the need for re-iteration of GSA’s value proposition, the need for better visibility into the services covered by the fees GSA charges, and the need for standardization (e.g. order placement, inventory, and billing).

The Technology committee addressed the current and future scope for products and services, innovation, and technology evolution. Needs recognized in discussion of capabilities not currently provided under Networx included ubiquitous access and cloud computing. The vision for the future this group described unlimited bandwidth, on demand, anytime, anywhere, with any device. Achieving this future would require more focus on services and less modification of commercial offerings.
The near term challenge for the working group is identifying where technology is heading and what services should be included in the scope of NS2020 (e.g. cloud computing, satellite services).  Currently, GSA is working on determining what can be improved with the Networx program; for example, how inventory and service ordering can be made easier. At least for the time being, government is looking to get direction from industry.
The next ACT-IAC N&T SIG meeting will be held on June 27th to discuss cloud computing services.