The government’s latest move to reel in spending on mobile

mobility_121416Tom O'KeefeBy Tom O’Keefe, consultant

Earlier this year, the federal government’s Mobile Services Category Team released a draft roadmap for how agencies and departments should be acquiring mobile devices and services. The plan will eventually be codified much like previous category management efforts to eliminate buying redundancies and save money.

The federal government has been trying to pull back the $1 billion agencies spend per year on mobile devices and service contracts. Several policies have been adopted to reduce unnecessary mobile devices and services spending and better position agencies for leveraging the government’s vast buying power. The Mobile Services Category Team’s draft roadmap is the next step in the government’s plan.

So what should industry know about this latest roadmap? It’s likely that companies selling mobile devices and voice and data services to the government will be the most impacted by this new policy, but any mobility vendor should be aware of what’s contained within the guidance because it will likely influence your sales into government.

The roadmap proposes a mobility framework that delineates the types of services that make up the mobile ecosystem for the federal government. The framework shows us which types of acquisitions are going to be more regulated by the roadmap and where agencies are going to have more leeway in their acquisitions:

  • Core Commodity Services like devices, service plans, and dashboards and reporting are going to be the most impacted by standardization of contracts (leveraging already existing vehicles like GSA 70 and SEWP V).
  • Level 2 Services like asset management in the cloud and on-premises, cloud-provided Mobile Device Management, and Mobile Application Management, of which only standardization might include the more cloud-based offerings.
  • Level 3 Services like application creation and vetting, security, ID & credential management, and other mobile supporting infrastructure, which will still largely be left to the agencies to procure how they desire.

Overall, for software companies, the framework leaves a lot of realm of opportunity for agencies to buy the way they want to buy, and provides mobile vendors with many avenues to sell into government. Mobile security and application vendors will find plenty of opportunity to bring to market new and advancing technology, as the roadmap calls for a process of constantly identifying emerging leaders in the space and vetting their products for inclusion in the government.

And of course, even if you’re providing core commodity services like devices or service plans, government wants them to be provided via vehicles like GSA 70 or SEWP V. So partnering with a distributor that holds those vehicles is a surefire way to get continued access to agencies’ mobility markets.

Want more insight into federal mobile strategies? Reach out to immixGroup’s Market Intelligence team.

About Tomas O'Keefe
Tom O'Keefe has over 7 years of market research experience as an Analyst and Consultant in the federal space. He also earned an MA in Political Science from George Mason University. He has covered both civilian and defense agencies and has presented to clients ranging from junior-level associates to executives from some of the largest Systems Integrators and contractors in the federal marketplace.

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