How to Sell Your Products to the Army in FY15

Stephanie Headshot 65x85by Stephanie Meloni, Senior Analyst

Despite declining budgets, the Army remains one of the largest IT organizations in the world, and it still has the largest IT budget of all the services. Army’s FY15 budget request represents about a 10 percent reduction in funding US Army Logofrom FY14 enacted levels. Many of the IT initiatives the Army is implementing to modernize their systems and networks deal with consolidation, simplification, and standardization – and this accounts for some of the reduced funding levels, since there aren’t as many costly legacy systems to maintain. So, for the COTS community, this reduction in funding isn’t all bad news, especially if your products can help the government operate more efficiently. In FY15, many of the IT modernization efforts will focus on making systems interoperable as well.

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DCMA RFI Offers Enterprise Opportunities

Rick Antonucci_65x85by Rick Antonucci, Analyst

The Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) released an RFI for Legacy System Modernization earlier this month with a quickly approaching August 4th response date. The RFI seeks to obtain modernization of the Mechanization of Contract Administration Services (MOCAS) system. The system, which dates back to the 1950s, is an enterprise solution that provides contract management and disbursement and management of funds. It is 65% owned by DCMA and 35% owned by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS).

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GSA RFI Requires O&M, Middleware & Hosting Support

Mohamad Elbarasse_headshot_7-23-2013_For WordPressby Mohamad ElbarasseAnalyst

GSA recently extended the response date for the Pegasys Hosting and Operations and Maintenance contract to August 5, 2014. GSA’s primary goal is to find application and support models that will lower the overall hosting and O&M costs of Pegasys, GSA’s version of Momentum Financials and core financial system. Pegasys supports funds management (budget execution and purchasing), credit cards, accounts payable, disbursements, standard general ledger, and reporting at the GSA.

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Lower Budget Doesn’t Mean Less Opportunity at HHS

Christopher Wiedemann_headshot-65 x 85by Chris Wiedemann, Senior Analyst

Last week, we talked about looking forward to FY15 and beginning to make some strategic decisions about sales targets at your agencies. Well, if you sell to HHS and you followed that advice, you may have noticed something a little concerning – namely, the department’s requested IT budget of $8.6 billion is significantly down from their FY14 enacted level of $9.6 billion. At first glance, it looks like the department may be getting squeezed in the aftermath of the Affordable Care Act rollout, and a lower budget almost always looks like bad news to industry. If HHS is a customer, you’re probably asking yourself how much the projected budget decrease will affect your total addressable market.

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Want to Help Government Agencies with Their Big Data Strategy?

Stephanie Headshot 65x85 by Stephanie Meloni, Senior Analyst

After years of hearing buzz about Big Data, could it be that the government is actually starting to implement its use? According to a recent survey conducted by IDC Government Insights, the answer is yes. The survey gives insight into how government is using its data – along with what industry can do to help agencies improve upon their current Big Data Strategy and processes. It places most federal agencies at about the mid-point of the maturity cycle for Big Data adoption, which means that those agencies have a defined Big Data strategy and are generating repeatable results. These agencies have made a business case for the use of Big Data, but are still figuring out how to use big data technologies and data consistently. Being only halfway through to optimization also means that these agencies have a ways to go in order to overcome inefficiencies in process.

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Continuing Resolution On The Horizon for FY15

Christopher Wiedemann_headshot-65 x 85by Chris Wiedemann, Senior Analyst

FY14 is quickly coming to a close, and vendors and customers are both scrambling to get the ball rolling on September deals. With all that’s slated to happen in the next few months, and some industry analysts predicting a record-setting Q4 this year, it can be tempting to write off FY15 until October in favor of focusing all your attention on last-minute FY14 sales opportunities. However, it’s always important to keep the big picture in mind. If you don’t spare some thought for the beginning of next fiscal year, especially what the overall appropriations situation looks like, you run the risk of getting left out – or at least failing to properly plan for the first half of the year, when you should be targeting enterprise sales opportunities.

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3 Challenges Lead to Many Opportunities at DHS

Tomas OKeefe_65x85by Tomas O’Keefe, Senior Analyst

The Department of Homeland Security released its second Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR) on June 18, 2014. The QHSR outlines the broad strategic goals of the department over the next four years and is key for technology vendors to be aware of when having conversations with high-level DHS officials. You won’t find information on the next incoming wave of DHS requirements per se, but you’ll find the objectives that are going to inform the types of technology the department is going to look for over the next four years and beyond.

The department has updated its five homeland security missions that were articulated in the first QSHR, and for 2014 they are:

  • Prevent Terrorism and Enhance Security
  • Secure and Manage Our Borders
  • Enforce and Administer Our Immigration Laws
  • Safeguard and Secure Cyberspace
  • Strengthen National Preparedness and Resilience

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Data Services Opportunity at the FAA

Mohamad Elbarasse_headshot_7-23-2013_For WordPressby Mohamad ElbarasseAnalyst

The FAA released an RFI for data services under the Aeronautical Communication Services (ACS) contract on June 10. The solicitation calls out services supporting the exchange of data between various FAA systems and facilities. Responses are due on July 10, 2014.

The contract would support the transfer of data products to and from the following networks and systems:

  • National Airspace Data Interchange Network (NADIN)
  • Tower Data Link Services (TDLS)
  • Traffic Flow Management System (TFMS)
  • Advanced Technologies and Oceanic Procedures (ATOP)
  •  Dynamic Oceanic Tracking System (DOTS)
  • Meteorological Data Collection and Reporting System (MDCRS)

The prospective vendor would be required to comply with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices, International Air Transport Association (IATA) Addressing Standards, FAA Procedures, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requirements as needed.

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A New Event for Government Sales and Marketing Professionals

Photo of Allan RubinWe’ve been hearing it quite a bit from our manufacturer clients and channel partners recently: it’s tough out there. Companies that sell technology to the government have faced one challenge after another. Most of us survived Sequestration, continuing resolutions, and the shutdown — often with some scars to show for it — and we hope those are in the rear-view mirror for good.

Uncle Sam is still spending a lot of money on technology products and services, but that growth curve has flattened, and budget pressures have increased competition for every order. Add to that the significant shifts we’ve seen in technology requirements, acquisition methods, the movement towards lowest-price technically acceptable (LPTA) procurements, difficulty in meeting face-to-face with customers…and the increased pressure you’ve probably seen from your corporate office to exceed revenue goals while cutting back on personnel, marketing, and other resources. There’s a long list of reasons for those in our industry to lose sleep.Print

Luckily, it’s not all doom and gloom. Pockets of technology, like cyber security, remain strong with growing demand. The state and local market is heating up. While some agencies and programs face budget cuts, others are expected to invest more heavily in IT products and services. There are reasons to be optimistic, but you have to know where to look … and what to look for.

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The FirstNet Initiative: A Rare Opportunity in the Federal, State & Local Arena

Tomas OKeefe_65x85by Tomas O’Keefe, Senior Analyst

It’s not often that there are opportunities that stretch across multiple federal government agencies that also expand in to the state & local space, but they do occur from time to time. The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) initiative is one of those rare opportunities that you will want to keep an eye on. FirstNet is still in its infancy, more or less, as the program management office is still being stood up and standards are still being discussed among the component agencies that will work in concert to develop the network like Commerce’s National Telecommunications & Information Administration and folks within DHS’s National Protection and Programs Directorate.

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