SLED 101 Series – What is the SLED market?

By Rachel Eckert, SLED Market Intelligence Manager

Welcome to the first blog of our SLED 101 series. Over the next few months, you’ll see a series of blogs that walk through the basics of the state, local and education markets. Topics will include understanding the budget cycles, identifying the IT budget, navigating CIO priorities, understanding procurement, differentiating master contracts and cooperative contracts, and finally, comparing the SLED market to the federal market.

To kick things off, I wanted to start by defining what the SLED market entails and why understanding their independence is crucial to success. When we talk about SLED, we are talking about more than 90,000 different government organizations.

  • 50 States
  • 3,000+ Counties / Boroughs / Parishes
  • 36,000+ Cities / Towns / Municipalities
  • 12,000+ Public School Systems
  • 2,000+ Higher Education Institutions
  • 38,000+ Special Districts
Read more of this post

Top Federal Civilian Cybersecurity Trends in FY21

By Jessica Parks, Market Intelligence Analyst

With the recent Solarwinds breach, IT vendors who sell to the government may be wondering about its impact on their customers’ needs. Federal civilian agencies have already made cybersecurity a top priority for FY21, so while the breach by itself will not directly spur significant new initiatives or projects, it still emphasized the urgency of getting defenses up to speed.

With fresh awareness around cybersecurity gaps, there has never been a better time to check on your government customers and help them fulfill their security needs. Read on for a high-level overview of the top 3 trends in federal cybersecurity for FY21.

Read more of this post

3 Public Resources You Need to Prepare for Meeting With DOD

By Toné Mason, Senior Analyst

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

Investing time in being prepared prior to meeting with a government contact is vital — especially if you are diving into new departments and agencies within the DOD. Here are 3 top public resources at your disposal – and they are free!

Read more of this post

NIST IoT Security Guidelines Will Impact Federal Vendors

Lloyd McCoy Jr.

By Lloyd McCoy, Market Intelligence Manager

Last week, NIST released draft IoT security guidelines which will have far reaching impacts on security requirements contractors must follow before selling IoT-related technology to the government. These guidelines are some of the action items coming from the IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2020, a law passed in December that calls for established cybersecurity standards for IoT devices purchased by the federal government.

The new law requires NIST and OMB to shape and enforce security standards agencies need to follow when purchasing IoT devices. NIST has until March 2021 to finalize standards and guidelines. These draft regulations represent that first step. Vendors are invited to submit comments by February 12, 2021 – and they should take advantage of this opportunity!

Read more of this post

Helping States Align the Right Resources to Combat the Opioid Crisis

By Charles Castelly, SLED Market Intelligence Analyst

States are increasingly relying on a multi-pronged, data-centric approach to tackle some of the biggest health crises of our time. The Commonwealth of Virginia, like many other state and local governments is grappling with containing both the current pandemic as well as the ongoing opioid crisis, both of which continue to ravage communities according to Carlos Rivero, Virginia’s chief data officer in a recent podcast interview.

Fortunately, in tackling the ongoing opioid crisis, a few best practices and lessons learned have emerged that industry should take note of when pursuing opportunities here. States like Virginia now realize that a fully integrated and coordinated combination of cloud services, enterprise applications and cutting-edge cybersecurity is most effective for tracking and anticipating where resources are needed most.

Read more of this post

2020: A Year of Continued Government Contract Growth for immixGroup

By Adam Hyman, Director, Government Programs

2020 will certainly be a memorable year for the obvious reasons. It was also a busy year for government contractors with a host of new government regulations, initiatives and opportunities for new contract vehicles. At immixGroup, we kept very busy throughout the year acquiring new vehicles – both federal and SLED – to support our suppliers’ and partners’ go-to-market strategies and to enable their efficient revenue growth.

Protecting Our Base

During this past year, immixGroup first ensured that we maintained the contracts we currently hold, which are critical to our suppliers’ and partners’ success. On the federal side, immixGroup finalized an extension to one of its largest contracts, NASA SEWP V, for an additional, and final, 5-year period.

Additionally, immixGroup executed extensions to its Army ITES-SW contract to avoid lapse in coverage while the Army finalized awards for its follow-on contract. immixGroup also executed extensions to some of its various DoD ESI Agreements and several SLED contracts, including Pennsylvania COSTARS, State of Oklahoma, and one of its CMAS contracts.

Read more of this post

GSA Unpriced Schedules – A Welcome Change Is Coming

By Jeff Ellinport, Division Counsel

The General Services Administration (GSA) might soon make a shift in federal procurement from contract-level pricing to order-level competition. That’s good for vendors because it could reduce the time it takes to get products on contract.

The Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Section 876 of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (Pub. L. 115-232) was issued by GSA on August 19. It allows GSA to implement “unpriced schedules.” On Oct. 20, GSA kicked off the first of several industry “listening sessions” on how to best implement this authority.

Currently, before a GSA Schedule contract is awarded or new items added to an existing one, GSA contracting officers determine fair and reasonable prices of supplies or services (fixed price or hourly). Negotiation follows after offerors submit various data, information and documentation to support their pricing.

Read more of this post

2020 Federal Contracts: A Busy Year for New Regulations and Initiatives

By Hollie Kapos, Corporate Counsel

With all that happened in 2020, it was easy to miss some of the new regulations and initiatives impacting government contractors. This blog summarizes the key updates immixGroup has been tracking that are particularly relevant to commercial item contracting.

January-Current

GSA MAS Consolidation. Twenty-four former GSA Schedules, each for different supplies and services, were consolidated into a single schedule. We started the year in Phase II of the GSA MAS Consolidation, which was the process of updating terms and conditions to reflect the new solicitation. Phase II was completed in July, with 99% of contractors signing the mass modification. Under Phase III, which began in August, multiple vendor contracts will be consolidated into single contracts. Read more of this post

Three Top Cloud Opportunities in the SLED Market

By Rachel Eckert, SLED Market Intelligence Manager

As I discussed in my recent session at the Arrow Technology Summit (now available on-demand), state and local governments are slowly making investments to upgrade and update aging legacy IT systems. As they do, they are presented with opportunities to increase their use of the cloud to provide digital and online services that will expand their constituent support — an especially important goal as many government buildings are currently closed.

While state governments are making larger and more substantial migrations to cloud services, many states are still working on what I’ll call the basics, things like email or other collaboration tools. Also topping the list are disaster recovery and office productivity tools. States that had already migrated these solutions to the cloud have had a significant advantage in terms of their preparedness to support a large-scale work-from-home environment. Read more of this post

Finding Strategic Opportunities in Flat Federal IT Budgets

By Jessica Parks, Analyst

While federal agencies are currently making do with their FY20 budgets for IT, the end date for the current continuing resolution looms on December 11. A few agencies, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, have requested a significant uptick in FY21 IT funding for large ongoing projects. However, for other agencies such as Treasury, Justice and Homeland Security, IT funding will remain steady or even drop a bit.

It is important to keep in mind that “steady” does not automatically equal a drop in opportunities. The mission continues regardless, and the focus is going to be on working smarter and more efficiently. Here are three focus points to consider when your customer is looking to squeeze every drop out of a flat IT budget.

1) Automation and Machine Learning Solutions

Departments across the entire federal government, both defense and civilian, are already incorporating automated solutions to make their employees’ lives easier. To work within tight budgets and (sometimes) shrinking workforces,  departments are automating business processes, parts of customer service operations and some cyber operations. The goal is not just speed, but also efficiency and accuracy. Read more of this post

%d bloggers like this: