Make it easier for your Army customers: How the ITES-SW2 helps you sell into this market

By Tara Franzonello, GSA Programs Consultant

Are you selling or planning to sell to the Army? Then you need to add your company and its products to the Information Technology Enterprise Solutions – Software 2 contract.

Nearly 3% of DoD IT contract spending in FY 2020 flowed through an ITES contract – that’s $1.64 billion. The Army believes that number will increase over the next couple of years.  

The ITES-SW2 contract is part of the Army’s Computer Hardware, Enterprise Software and Solutions (CHESS) program. It is a mandatory source for commercial IT hardware and software purchases. Here’s how the two connect:

The CHESS program’s mission is to be the primary source to “support the Warfighter’s Information Dominance Objectives” by developing, implementing and managing commercial IT contracts that provide “enterprise-wide net-centric hardware, software and supporting services to the Army.” 

CHESS contracts provide IT products and services that comply with U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command, Army and DoD policy and standards. Army commercial hardware and software buyers must use CHESS contracts first, no matter the dollar value.

A recent immixGroup webinar outlined how this can be leveraged by suppliers and partners as well. CHESS contracts may shorten the acquisition process and sales cycle, provide competitive opportunity and offer quick turnaround for adding new OEMs.

It is important for systems integrators (SI), too. If SIs purchase IT for the Army through a third party, their solicitations and contract vehicles also include the provision to buy through the CHESS selected agreements.

In fact, if an Army customer wanted to purchase outside of the CHESS program, they’d have to get special permission as an exception to the regulation. They’d also need to go through both a formal request and a waiver process. That’s not only more work for the Army customer, but it draws out the acquisition process much longer than is necessary.

ITES-SW2 is part of the CHESS program. It is a fixed price ID/IQ contract vehicle for software products and maintenance (with related incidental hardware and services). It is focused on speeding up the acquisition process through commercial off-the-shelf products and agile software development. With a $13B contract ceiling, the new ITES-SW2 contract was awarded with a five-year base in August 2020 and an option for an additional five-year period.

The ITES-SW2 contract is also open to all DoD and federal agencies, not just the Army.  What’s more, there is no fee to use this contract. It is a straightforward, efficient way for Army customers to satisfy their competition requirements. Ordering is decentralized, it typically falls to a contracting officer to request, obtain and evaluate proposals – and to obligate the funds for any delivery orders.

In addition to being a no-fee, flexible procurement option for your government customers, ITES-SW2 has quick turnaround times for adding new products to the contract. That is because product groups (rather than individual products) are approved, and pricing is set at the opportunity (rather than the catalog) level. 

The ITES-SW2 mandatory source contract checks all the boxes: No fee, fast product additions and satisfies agency competition requirements – to help you minimize risk, shorten your sales cycle and close business more quickly. 

Keep up to date on the latest trends in IT contracting in government. Subscribe to immixGroup’s Government Sales Insider blog now!

Get more details on the ITES-SW2 contact here by viewing this on-demand webinar.

The information in this blog originally appeared in Washington Technology magazine. The full article can be found here.

About Tara Franzonello
Tara Franzonello is responsible for management, compliance and negotiations of immixgroup’s GSA Schedule contract as well as management of GSA programs and initiatives. Tara brings twenty years of experience in contract administration and program management in the public sector marketplace and has successfully negotiated GSA schedule contracts as well as state and local contract vehicles. She holds a B.A. and M.A. from Providence College.

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