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.

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Changes in FITARA 11.0: How You Can Help Agencies Improve Their Scorecards

This past December, GAO made changes to the FITARA scorecard. By tracking these changes, you can help your agency customers improve their FITARA grades and meet mission goals. (Click here to review the latest scorecard.)

The next agency self-reporting period comes in April, with scorecards due in May. Agencies are being pushed to better use IT to meet FITARA objectives, such as cybersecurity and modernizing government technology.

So what does that mean for FITARA compliance? From a flyover perspective, first, the new administration is likely to look more closely at transformation in its policy priorities. Next, the FITARA scorecards will retire categories that have had across-the-board success, and shift focus to the next area that needs improvement.

Here are some of the expected shifts.

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GSA’s VPP: Why You Should Care

By Tara Franzonello, GSA Programs Consultant

GSA is beginning Phase I of its Verified Products Portal (VPP), targeting OEMs and wholesalers, with a goal to have the portal up and running in 2021. Why should OEMs, distributors or resellers care? Simple: If you don’t do VPP right, you could cause problems both for you and your supply chain.

The VPP is intended to host authoritative product content — standardized manufacturer names and part numbers, for example – to improve GSA’s supply chain risk management, as well as the customer experience. This information ideally would be provided directly by OEMs, although resellers and distributors can also create VPP profiles.

Besides product specifications, the VPP will accommodate other information such as photos and pricing data. OEMs will be able to use the portal to authorize and deauthorize products and resellers in real-time, which could eliminate the need for resellers to provide letters of supply.  Read more of this post

GSA and Consumption-Based Cloud Pricing … Stay Tuned!

By Tara Franzonello, GSA Programs Consultant

The consumption-based approach is already widely used in the private sector and GSA hopes to leverage a similar model to recognize the same efficiencies, increase cyber security, foster competition and provide cost savings and transparency — benefits that are being realized today by commercial companies.

Cloud computing is offered in various models (i.e. consumption-based with not to exceed ceiling, subscription based, on-demand, per-use-based, tier-based) as well as pay-as-you go and fixed price combinations in the private sector. Each has its own advantages based on the customer’s specific needs (environment, consumption usage, usage term, etc.). The ideal procurement path for consumption-based cloud computing would provide agencies with a flexibility across both funding and consumption models that promotes cost efficiency and private sector best practices.  Read more of this post

5 Years Later and FITARA Remains Relevant

By Tara Franzonello, Contracts Manager

FITARA, also known as the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act, was enacted by Congress in December 2014 with an aim to reform government’s management and acquisition of IT. Although agencies have made progress over the last 5 years, there remain significant challenges in working toward FITARA compliance.

What does this mean for technology providers? Opportunity! Read more of this post

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