The Air Force is looking for a few good offers

The Air Force Materiel Command (AFCM) has issued a Sources Sought notice for product data systems and processes at Robins AFB. (Executivebiz.com, May 14, 2019)

Technical support is being sought for the Product Data Service (PDS) within the Product Services Division. Support requests include:

  • Technical services to manage, maintain, and administer hardware and software utilized to support the management, creation, sustainment, and storage in distributing technical and engineering data.
  • Technical support to assist in developing and executing digital data support, sustainment, and transformation strategies for digital data and transformation strategies.
  • Technical support to aid the evaluation and implementation of hardware and software infrastructure as well as the transition of technical data systems to recently adopted Air Force data standards, newly implemented local system and data environments, and Air Force enterprise-level systems which may be in conceptual, planning, or development stages.
  • Technical support to maintain relationships between various types of data.
  • Technical services capable of extracting, capturing, converting, and restructuring data to sustain product data element associations. (FedBizOpps.gov, May 13, 2019)

Interested vendors may submit responses to the Sources Sought notice through June 13, 2019. (ExecutiveBiz.com, May 14, 2019)

Need more information on the notice? Give us a call at 301-513-9000.

The Future is Cloud-y

In February, GSA released a draft request for proposal (RFP) to consolidate and upgrade all of the Defense Department’s back office functions into the commercial cloud. GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service is now in the early stages of doing the same for civilian agencies with Civilian Enterprise Office Solutions (CEOS). (Federal News Network, May 7, 2019)

To help ensure supply chain security, DHS took the lead on early efforts. GSA has taken over efforts to reduce the attack surface of the network. With managed service, security is already embedded in the solution, making it more secure than the currently situation. (ibid)

Alan Thomas, GSA FAS commissioner and a board member managing the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF), has recommendations/lessons learned for agencies applying for Fund loans to modernize their IT:

  • Agencies submitting proposals this year need to build incremental benchmarks into their proposal, or their funding will likely be pulled.
  • Quarterly reviews will be conducted on agencies receiving funding.
  • Agencies should make sure their proposals focus on value creation and cost savings as the agencies must pay back funding provided by TMF.
  • Agencies should coordinate internally on proposals prior to submission; otherwise, they run the risk of being turned down for funding. (ibid)

FAS is also in need of IT modernization. The FAS internal systems, FSS 19, is nearly 40 years old. It uses older programming languages (COBOL, PowerBuilder) that solved specific problems instead of approaching an integrated solution. FAS is in need of a new, updated IT solution to bring the agency out of the 1970s. (ibid)

Are you a software provider or integrator looking to bring civilian agencies into the 21st century? Let’s talk! 301-913-5000.

 

 

The Eagle (II) is Not Landing

DHS will not be recompeting their EAGLE II IT services contract when it expires in 2020. They are moving toward a strategy called EAGLE Next Gen, which allows them to rely on existing contracts in order to meet IT services needs. Agile development and special or niche mission needs will be met by smaller targeted contracts competed as necessary. (Nextgov, April 20, 2019)

The EAGLE Next Gen strategy is just that, a strategy whereby DHS would use already established governmentwide acquisition contracts or GWACs. These include:

  • the National Institutes of Health’s CIO-SP3 and CIO-SP3 Small Business
  • GSA’s Alliant 2, 8(a) STARS II
  • GSA’s VETS 2

When requirements cannot be met by this strategy, DHS will build in-house contracts.

So far, DHS is beginning to build an in-house contract for cloud and data center optimization. Over 100 responses were received from their initial RFI. Most likely, resulting RFPs will ultimately be the family of contracts under DHS Next Gen, and are expected in the Fall. (ibid)

Some Homeland Security components are still using EAGLE II to support their agile development. Work with each of the components is at various phases of the procurement process. Each component has different requirements; therefore procurements will be specialized to meet individual needs. (ibid)

The future procurement strategy is far from finalized. There may be full and open competition or a blanket purchase agreement using pre-vetted vendors.

Would you like to learn more about the EAGLE Next Gen strategy and where you might fit in? Give us a call at (301) 913-5000.

 

Innovate and Create Opportunities!

A number of federal agencies are updating their acquisition strategies to attract small technology businesses and innovators, in an effort to speed up the time-to-market of technology solutions. (Fedscoop, April 2019) Here’s a breakdown:

  •  The National Science Foundation (NSF) – In 2017, the NSF published “Ten Big Ideas” for investing in tech pilots. The first two of these — harnessing the data revolution (a proprietary type Siri)  and the future of work — are moving forward. NSF is shaking things up a bit by looking at startups and nonprofits to award a $1 million planning grant toward phase two delivery. Past proposals were only accepted from academia. (ibid)
  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)  – The Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) within DHS operates like a startup, including in its acquisition process and a similar talent pool. SVIP has shortened their proposals to just 10 pages with a 15-minute pitch followed by a 15-minute question/answer period. Awards are now made within 24 hours as opposed to the month-long timeframe previously experienced by potential awardees. (ibid)
  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – Customs and Border Protection are currently involved with the Internet of Things security interacting with blockchain and distributed ledger tech. Recently SVIP issued an RFP for a solution to issue credentials, using blockchain or ledger technology. (ibid)
  • The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) – TSA is hoping to speed up the checkpoint process. Using similar solutions, Customs will track the movement of oil from Canadian pipelines. (ibid)
  • The Cyber Apex Solutions Consortium (CASC) – CASC is working with DHS within the financial services sector to identify cybersecurity solutions. With varying budgets, generally due to the size financial entities, they plan on pulling together tech components to create solutions. DHS takes into consideration the consortium’s recommendations, then chooses the solutions to fund in order to solve the issue. (ibid)

With the time to respond to RFPs growing shorter and technology changing so quickly, contractors must be more nimble than ever in their ability to resolve federal agency issues.

Are you aware of the many new strategies federal agencies are deploying to solve their tech issues? Give us a call at 301-913-5000 if you’re interested in discussing some.

 

TSA = Try Speedy Action?

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) powers that be can stress out, just like TSA lines can stress us all out, especially running late for a flight. But to keep lines short and travelers safe, TSA requires the latest technology, which often becomes antiquated while in testing/evaluation. (Nextgov, April 2019Now the agency is turning to contractors to help speed the timeline.

In 2014 TSA began work on a third-party testing program, finalizing it this January. (Prior to 2014 TSA relied on the Homeland Security Department’s Science and Technology Directorate to provide testing teams and data.) The new third-party testing allows TSA to review and accept data from external data sources and includes third-party testing organizations for use in system evaluation, per a Request For Information (RFI) posted in Fedbizopps last week. (ibid)

TSA wants to step away from the process, handing it off to a contractor that can handle the entire testing lifecycle, including managing cooperation between the manufacturer, industry provider, and testing organization. According to the RFI, bidding companies must already maintain a stable of pre-vetted/qualified testing organizations for all required areas, prior to their bid submission. (ibid)

Fedbizopps shows that TSA will consider small businesses and consortiums of multiple complementing firms and of potential third-party testing organizations. (ibid)

Questions are due by 29 April, RFI responses by noon on 22 May.

Interesting, huh? This could be worth a lot of money to the right contractors. Call us at 301-913-5000 if you’d like to discuss the RFI requirements further.