Understanding the GSA Ascend BPA

By Tara Franzonello, Program Development Manager, immixGroup

The General Services Administration’s FAS ITC (Federal Acquisition Service, Information Technology Center) is standardizing cloud acquisition with the “Ascend” blanket purchase agreement (BPA). Here’s what you need to know:

Ascend is a multiple-award blanket purchase agreement against the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Special Item Numbers 518210C cloud and cloud-related IT professional services and 54151S IT professional services. It is intended to help agencies simplify cloud acquisition and meet cybersecurity requirements.

BPA task orders can be placed under any of three independent primary pools identified by the government: 

  • Pool 1: Infrastructure- and platform-as-a-service
  • Pool 2: Software-as-a-service
  • Pool 3: Cloud IT professional services

The Primary Special Item Number (SIN) for the three pools is 518210C, Cloud Computing and Cloud Related IT Professional Services SIN.

All three pools will have a secondary SIN of “any additional awarded MAS Contract SIN determined to be necessary.” Pool 3 will also include 54151S, Information Technology Professional Services SIN, as a secondary SIN.

Cloud service providers should make sure any cloud service offerings that they want included in the upcoming BPA are awarded on the cloud SIN. If they are not, preparing and submitting a modification to add the offerings to SIN 518210C will ensure that you are ready for the upcoming Ascend BPA.

Reducing cloud acquisition complexity provides cloud service providers the opportunity to deliver their IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS solutions to customer agencies more quickly – provided that the CSP has its solutions on a GSA MAS contract (Information Technology Large Category, IT Solutions Subcategory, and Cloud Computing and Cloud Related IT Professional Services SIN 518210C).

GSA is gathering industry feedback on Ascend and hopes to issue a draft request for quotations in the second quarter of 2023. Government agencies who want easier cloud acquisition, and CSPs who want a simplified vehicle to deliver their cloud solutions, should stay tuned.

Want to keep on top of federal procurement regulations. Subscribe to immixGroup’s Government Sales Insider blog now!

For more information on immixGroup’s federal contract vehicles, click here.

This blog was adapted from a commentary that appeared in Washington Technology. For the complete commentary, click 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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