The Virginia Opportunity to Jump on Now

Rachel EckertWelcomeToVirginiaBy Rachel Eckert, Consultant

In business, one company’s loss can be another’s gain. In the case of Virginia disentangling from its 13-year, $2.3 billion IT contract with Northrop Grumman, it will be several companies’ gain.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch recently reported that the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) decided to launch a new strategy, going from the current single-service provider to multiple vendors for shorter periods of time.

The state is starting the transition of some information services now, three years before the contract is due to expire. Northrop Grumman, disagreeing with the new plan, announced it would not participate as a prime contractor in the state’s multi-vendor IT strategy. Why? The company says it poses “significant risk” to the security of the Virginia’s IT system to have multiple vendors.

No matter who’s right or wrong here, the removal of Northrop Grumman opens the doors to many other technology companies. But vendors should not wait until 2018 to begin pursuing the opportunity. With multiple vendors and shorter contract terms, there’s going to be lots more competition. Messaging has already been put out to bid and will be removed from Northrop’s contract.

State officials told the Times-Dispatch the new strategy, adopted after a year of study and research, allows Virginia to contract with multiple providers for specific individual services at market rates with competitive conditions.

VITA has published a notional timeline for proposed competitive procurements to be issued in three waves:

  • Wave 1

-Messaging—RFP released February 2016

-IBM Mainframe—RFP released March 2016

  • Wave 2

-Service Integration/Service Desk—RFP estimated August 2016

-Server/Storage—RFP estimated August 2016

-Security—RFP estimated September 2016

  • Wave 3

-Desktop—RFP estimated August 2017

-Data/Voice Networks—RFP estimated February 2018

Wave 1 procurements are already underway, but given the published timeline from VITA, companies need to start planning their pursuit and capture strategies now.

Want more guidance on Virginia and other state and local IT opportunities? Reach out to the Market Intelligence team today.

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