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.

 

 

Outdated Software, Meet Innovation!

We all know that the Defense Department’s outdated software lags behind current industry standards. Procurement and updates take entirely too long. To get a handle on the situation, the Defense Innovation Board, through the DoD, conducted a year-long study with the results of the study, released last Friday. (Federal News Network, May 3, 2019)

The Defense Innovation Board suggests the following to get DoD software up to speed:

  • Congress updating laws to reduce procurement timeframes;
  • All military agencies working together to test and optimize software;
  • Ensuring cybersecurity; and
  • Enriching software employees through services. (ibid)

The DoD undersecretary would like to complete multiple pilots with one line of funds for software development, which would give DoD administrative flexibility. Other suggestions include special pathways for rapid acquisition of applications and upgrades, quicker turnaround time for software requirements processes, and a fund available for rapid software acquisition and upgrades. (ibid)

Any new defense acquisition system should be optimized for software-centric (not hardware) systems that prioritize security, speed, and cycle time over cost, schedule, and strict requirements.. Additionally, “DoD will need to create and maintain an interoperable digital infrastructure that enables rapid deployment, scaling, testing and optimization of software as an enduring capability; manage it using modern development methods and eliminate the existing hardware-centric regulations and other barriers for software programs.” (ibid)

The report emphasizes bringing software development into the modern age by making it a high-priority career track with specialized recruiting, education, promotions, and salaries to attract the talent necessary to maintain, optimize, and develop products over time. It also pointed out that procurement requirements must move from rigid lists to a format of desired features and required characteristics: this will keep programs from bottlenecking. (ibid)

The Pentagon is currently rewriting D0D’s primary acquisition policy document, Instruction 5000.02, in an effort to start improving the acquisition process.  Many see this as a step in the right direction, albeit a small one.

Do you have a talent pool ready to work with DoD to modernize their software and new acquisition process? Give us a call at 301-913-5000, and we can talk about your options.

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.

 

Automating Robots, the GSA Way

To deal with the breakneck pace of emerging technology, GSA has formed a Community of Practice (CoP), specifically for Robotic Process Automation (RPA). This will give government leaders a forum to collaborate and share ideas on how RPA might be implemented into respective agencies.  (GSA.gov, April 2019)

Executive Sponsors of the RPA CoP are GSA Chief Financial Officer Gerard Badorrek and GSA Technology Transformation Services Director Anil Cheriyan. The CoP will be chaired by Ed Burrows of the GSA Office of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). (ibid)

The RPA aims to shift members of the federal workforce from low-value to high-value work. Additionally, it allows agencies to cost-effectively automate manual, repetitive, and rule-based operations. (ibid)

Some RPA benefits include:

  • Improving and re-engineering processes as they are automated
  • Using fewer resources to complete work
  • Increasing the efficiency of existing operations
  • Reducing costs partly by absorbing various new requirements without additional hiring or spending
  • Reducing processing errors
  • Reducing processing cycle times (ibid)

The GSA Office of the CFO will leverage the existing TTS CoP management capabilities to lead the RPA CoP. If all goes as planned, the RPA CoP will assist in advancing agency missions well into the future.

Do you have questions about the RPA CoP? Give us a call at 301-913-5000 to discuss how this can affect you.