Agencies Starting to Embrace New Telecom Contract

By Kevin Shaker, consultant

In August 2017, the GSA awarded the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract to 10 companies that will provide systems integration work to civilian agencies to update telecommunications infrastructures with modernized next generation networks. The EIS contract replaces the current Networx contact, which expires in FY20. While most agencies are ramping up to use EIS and send out solicitations for telecom projects, the Treasury Department and the Social Security Administration seem to be ahead of the curve.

Iris Cooper, senior procurement executive at Treasury released a statement at the ACT-IAC Network Modernization Forum on June 19, affirming that the department is looking to move forward with EIS and was expected to release its first task order solicitation in early July. Eric Olson, who replaced Sonny Bhagowalia as the Chief Information Officer at the department, will be overseeing this solicitation. In a departure from standard procedure, the contract will not be managed by a contracting officer. Therefore, having his buy-in, along with the blessing of the prime contractor, will be crucial for getting your solution in the door.

The Social Security Administration is also looking to get an early start on the EIS contract. SSA’s use of the contract coincides with their ongoing infrastructure modernization initiative to replace outdated storage systems and implement a private cloud with virtualization enhancements in network administration and data center technology. SSA is one of the first agencies to prepare and plan for the EIS utilization and released an RFP last September. Unlike Treasury, SSA is looking to award its EIS work to two providers. SSA is still evaluating proposals, which means telecom and infrastructure solution providers still have time to get involved after the contracts are awarded to the primes.

While Treasury and SSA are tackling EIS usage straight on, most other agencies across the civilian landscape are still drafting their own contracts and looking to push out solicitations in the foreseeable future. It’s a great time to be in the telecom space, and if you offer next generation solutions, you’ll want to team up with SIs to win some early opportunities at Treasury and SSA. Those wins will serve as successful business cases for future messaging as the larger agencies push out their solicitations.

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