What is a solicitation?

Chris WiedemannWhat is a prime and a sub?By Chris Wiedemann, consultant

In our last “What is…?” post, we covered one of the basics of federal contracting: the concept of a prime contractor and subcontractors, or “primes” and “subs.” However, we left a key question unanswered – how does the government actually decide which company to award prime contracts to?

As you might expect, there are a lot of moving parts involved in the awarding of government contracts, whether you’re talking about relatively simple product buys or complex, multi-layered systems development and integration work. No matter the scope, though, the competition process usually begins in one place – the solicitation.

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Can data save health IT security?

Lloyd McCoy Jr.By Lloyd McCoy, DOD manager

The military’s next battlefield could be moving to a hospital bed.

With the growth of new technologies like the internet of things in health care, the security of health IT systems is becoming more at risk. Another challenge is that medical devices are already several years old by the time they’re in active use in the Military Health System.

So could better use of data and analytics help make these systems more secure?

The military health system has a wealth of data and health IT professionals need to harness it to create business and medical intelligence. We don’t need systems to tell us what already happened, but to predict how to best use and position our medical resources to cater to service members and their families.

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What you need to know about September

2017 may only be rounding into its final quarter on the calendar, but for those of us in federal procurement, it’s approaching its end.

September is the last month of the government’s fiscal year, which means that business as usual is going to go on hold for the next four weeks. Our customers are in use-it-or-lose-it mode with their FY17 budgets, and our sales teams are going to be working around the clock to close deals and win new business.

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Here’s when you should be talking to your SLED customers

Rachel EckertSLED, procurement, sales, public sectorBy Rachel Eckert, consultant

The new state, local, and education (SLED) fiscal year kicked off July 1 for most of the market, and with that governments began a new budget (assuming of course that the legislature passed it). A new budget means fresh money and hope for many in the IT industry about new opportunities.

If you’ve worked in the public sector, be that federal or SLED, you know that nothing in government is immediate. Turning opportunities into deals takes time and careful planning. Also, having an understanding of the government’s planning cycle can help ensure that you’re approaching decision makers with proposals at the right time.

Here is a rundown of their planning cycle and what your actions should be during each quarter:

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The latest on the Social Security Administration’s IT needs

business and operations, infrastructure, social security administrationBy Kevin Shaker, senior analyst

Finding backend technology opportunities in the government has been tricky in recent years as agencies continue to push their environments toward shared services and Internet-as-a-Service.

However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is one of the few civilian agencies that’s a viable target in the upcoming fiscal year for companies that offer infrastructure and infrastructure support technologies.

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A continuing resolution is inevitable. Here’s what you need to do

continuing resolution, install base, federal government, budgetBy Stephanie Meloni, consultant

There’s a strong possibility of beginning FY18 under a continuing resolution (CR), so technology companies doing business in the public sector need to be aware of how this will impact sales. Since a CR keeps the government funded at the previous year’s budget, this will mean no new program starts or capital expenditures. The government is basically funding itself to keep the lights on and performing last year’s mission.

CRs have become more and more common in recent years, however, the next CR we face may be longer than most, as experts say it may need to extend into December.

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When will CYBERCOM Split from NSA?

As soon as Congress passed the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the clock began to tick on CYBERCOM’s elevation to a fully-fledged combatant command.

The NDAA included a clause that mandated CYBERCOM’s elevation to full COCOM status, although there are a few provisions that give us a clue as to when that may occur. Before CYBERCOM can be formally split from Strategic Command, it must reach full operating capability and Congress must approve of CYBERCOM’s readiness.

So what does that mean for the IT industry? With CYBERCOM’s rising and sizeable budget, there’s a lot of opportunity for cybersecurity vendors. But first it’s important to understand what needs to happen for CYBERCOM to split from STRATCOM.

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