Cloud Spending on VA’s T4 Contract Vehicle

Published: August 19, 2014

Cloud ComputingContract AwardsHealth CareHealth ITMobilityVA

Since 2011 the Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology (T4) contract vehicle has become the leading instrument for the procurement of IT services at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Among the many services procured through T4 is cloud computing, which VA customers have awarded contracts for totaling more than $150 million in value. When it comes to procuring IT services, VA has demonstrated that having an agency-specific multiple award contract like T4 in place can be of great benefit, providing other agencies with an example they may follow.

Over the last month I’ve been posting series of brief analyses of cloud spending on some of the federal government’s largest task order contract vehicles.  So far this series has focused on Government-Wide Acquisition Contracts like Alliant and on Blanket Purchase Agreements like GSA’s cloud BPAs.  This week I’ll narrow the focus to an agency-specific multiple award contract, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology (T4) vehicle.  Since its inception in 2011, T4 has assumed an increasingly important role in VA’s acquisition of information technology support services.  In fact, with 23% of overall agency IT spending going through T4 annually, one could say that T4 has become the go-to procurement vehicle for VA customers.

Within this context cloud computing has assumed an increasingly central role in the VA’s IT environment, a development reflected in spending on cloud computing on T4.  Since fiscal 2010 the VA has awarded contracts for cloud computing with an overall value of $189 million.  This figure comes from data I keep for Federal Industry Analysis clients and it is not comprehensive.  A lot of work is going on behind the scenes that I haven’t been able to capture due to a lack of reporting by the VA.  Nevertheless, I believe the $189 million figure approximates a good portion of the awards made so far. 

Of this total, cloud contract awards made via VA T4 add up to $153 million, basically the lion’s share of the work.  VA customers have awarded an additional $29 million in cloud contracts via GSA’s Schedule IT 70, and just over $1 million apiece for sole source and set-aside awards, so you can see just how central T4 is to cloud procurement at VA.

How does this break down by project?  Here are the top ten programs by total award value.

  1. Cloud Computing for Mobile Device Management and Mobile Application Environment - $49M
  2. Mobile Infrastructure-as-a-Service - $34M
  3. Cloud Computing Services - $28M
  4. Migration and Cloud Hosting Services for the My HealtheVet Application - $14.5M
  5. Veterans Relationship Management CRM Expansion Hosted Cloud Services - $13M
  6. Mobile Applications Collaborative Environment and Device Manager - $9M
  7. Cloud Hosting of Mobile Applications Collaborative Environment and Device Management - $9M
  8. VA for Vets Program Cloud Computing Support - $8M
  9. Voice-as-a-Service Project Support - $7M
  10. Turnkey Cloud Computing Environment to Support the MI 7 New Model of Care HRA - $5M

As we can see from this list there are two areas in particular where the VA has been investing in cloud computing – mobile communications services/capabilities and health IT.  These are of course related as the infrastructure and capabilities for mobile communications will enable access to and use of health IT applications on mobile devices.  In this sense, the VA has been using T4 for precisely the purpose that it was developed – to speed the acquisition of core technologies central to fulfilling the agency’s mission.   It’s worth keeping an eye on T4 as it progresses through its lifecycle because if the VA continues to demonstrate successful use of T4 to accomplish its technology goals, it will serve as an example for other agencies seeking to establish MACs they can use to achieve their own specific goals.