Getting Started With OTAs (Part 2 of 2)

By Troy Fortune, VP and General Manager

In my previous blog I talked about how OTAs can offer real advantages to both government agencies and suppliers. This blog provides more information about the types of OTAs and when they should be used. We also provide tips on how to assist your potential customers in the process.

There are three categories of OTAs and it’s important for you to know how and when they’re used.

  1. Research OTAs (also known as “original” or science and technology OTAs) are for basic, applied and advanced research projects. These OTs are intended to spur dual-use research and development. Companies can take advantage of economies of scale without the burden of government regulatory overhead.
  2. Prototype OTAs are authorized for acquiring prototype capabilities and allowing those prototypes to transition into Production OTAs. Both dual-use and defense-specific projects are encouraged. Successful Prototype OTAs streamline the transition into follow-on production without competition. They also reduce the possibility of a future protest.
  3. Production OTAs are authorized as noncompetitive, follow-on OTAs to a Prototype OT agreement that was competitively awarded and successfully completed. Under this statute, advanced consideration is required, and notice is to be made of the potential for a project to go into production.

Role of Consortiums

Consortiums play a very important part throughout the OTA process – pre- and post-award. They take direction from government and act as facilitators between a government agency and its members. They help navigate the process but do not have evaluation responsibilities.

Unlike traditional awards, the government awards an OTA to a consortium. The consortium then makes the award to the member (supplier) and acts in an administrative role to track the project. Assuming all is on track, the consortium will pay the awardee in 30 days.

immixGroup is a member of several consortiums. This allows our suppliers to have access to all the opportunities that become available through various branches of the government, without having the cost and administrative burden of being a member themselves.

Starting the OTA Conversation

If you think your customer may be in a situation to use an OTA to acquire your technology, your customer may not be aware of OTAs or how they work. After you understand the basics of OTAs, you can start the dialog and help them work through the process.

Know that the process starts with a Problem Statement. Understand the issue and why they have not been able to solve it. You may be able to help craft the problem statement. From the first discussion you should frame your solution in terms of the applicable OTA – research, prototype, or production.

Your solution must be able to address the need presented in that problem statement. At a minimum, you should offer a general, non-product-specific white paper to provide some perspective on both the problem statement and a way to approach solving that problem.

If an organization has the right use case for an OTA, both the government and the supplier can benefit greatly. Knowing what OTAs are and what they aren’t and how the process works are the first steps in approaching a customer to have a meaningful discussion.

OTAs can be awarded very quickly – in as little as a month. If you have an opportunity that might be a good fit, talk to us. We are committed to helping our channel community navigate the OTA process. We can assist your company by providing guidance on how to evaluate and pursue an OTA if it is the right path for you.

 

To find out more about how immixGroup help you, visit our OTA webpage.

Keep up with the latest trends in government IT. Subscribe to immixGroup’s Government Sales Insider blog now.

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