Truths and Lies About Year-End Funding

Chris Wiedemann

By Chris Wiedemann, consultant

The end of another government fiscal year means another September, with all the craziness and excitement that it brings. As we’ve noted before, the government doles out an average of 40 percent of its annual IT expenditure in the final month of the fiscal year. In fact, given the relatively late arrival of this year’s appropriations, we might see that share go up this year. The conditions are ripe for a hectic four-week period, where we should all expect long hours to make sure every order gets filled.

You’ll also want to make sure you’re keeping an eye on the phones, no matter when they ring — September is the month for blue birds, but you need to be responsive to land those last-minute deals and capture year-end money. Steve Charles, one of immixGroup’s co-founders, has a great video running down other best practices for the end of the government fiscal year you might want to review.

All that said, I do want to address a common misconception about year-end money: in most cases, customers aren’t going to identify any new requirements for FY18. One of the most common requests our market intelligence team gets is to help reps “find” year-end deals — but the realities of the government buying cycle make it impossible to accurately track which customers have the right combination of unfulfilled requirements and unspent budget. Don’t add to the stress of the month by chasing new deals – instead, keep the following tips in mind:

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President signs online marketplaces bill—now what?

 By Jeff Ellinpgovernment procurementort, division counsel, and Steve Charles, co-founder

The FY18 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), signed by President Trump earlier this

month, not only authorizes appropriations for the Department of Defense and military services, but it also includes a provision that will change the way the private sector sells many commercial products to the federal government. It could have a dramatic effect on future supplier go-to-market plans.

As the General Services Administration develops its plan to implement this legislation, the time is now for OEMs to speak up about how they want to see this part of their public sector channel evolve. The next opportunity will be Jan. 9 at GSA’s first public meeting on this issue. But first, a little bit on the impact of this change.

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What is FBO?

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

In my last post, I covered solicitations – where the rubber meets the road in federal procurement. As I mentioned, solicitations take different forms and come out in different ways. Most of them come out on specific contract vehicles, and in turn, most of those vehicles have specific bid boards (for example, solicitations on the SEWP GWAC are released to the SEWP website, while GSA Schedule solicitations are released to eBuy).

This has the advantage of limiting the universe of competition, which makes the buying process easier on the government. However, there are occasions when a government buyer wants to open up a solicitation to the entire industry. This is known as an “open market” solicitation – and if the value of the planned acquisition is greater than $25,000, you’ll find it listed on Federal Business Opportunities, better known as FBO.

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Here’s what you’ll get out of this year’s Summit sessions

government, sales, ITBy Rita Walston, senior director of marketing

This year’s Government IT Sales Summit will be a full day of rich, actionable content on Nov. 16. We’ll cover everything from how the public sector is spending IT dollars in FY18 to the latest trends in cloud, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. What makes this content come alive is our speakers, who hail from private industry and government.

We recently spoke to a few of them about their sessions. Here’s a teaser of what you’ll hear:

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Here are the top 5 public sector tech trends for FY18

Chris WiedemannFY18, government, ITBy Chris Wiedemann, consultant

There are only two days left in the federal government’s 2017 fiscal year. Are you ready for 2018?

While we still don’t know the amounts for federal IT budgets, we do know the government IT sector is a healthy one at around $80 billion a year. Add in state and local governments and educational institutions and you have a market valued at more than $180 billion.

Here are the five government trends we’re tracking for 2018:

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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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The Time is NOW for Software Publishers to Examine Government License Terms

Steve Headshot 65 x 85by Steve Charles, Co-founder

One of the{139d2873-a0fe-4038-b1d6-98fbd57fb9ba}_GSA main benefits of the GSA Schedule contract is its capability to define line item-specific license and service terms in the contract so they automatically apply at the order stage, with no disconnects or need for negotiation. For years, some software publishers and their government contracting partners have simply linked to the OEM’s commercial license agreements via a URL, hoping those terms would then somehow magically apply to subsequent orders. GSA’s new rule states clearly that such “pointing” is not contractually binding. Further, the burden is on the publisher and the contracting partner to add the terms they care about for each priced item explicitly within the contract.

The new rule also lists 15 terms GSA regularly sees in commercial license agreements that it says violate federal law and cannot be legally enforced. Our summary of these is published in this Washington Business Journal article.  While most manufacturers will learn to manage around these exceptions, many have yet to build a solid, disciplined process to assure that the terms defining each item purchased are expressly stated and contractually binding.  At immixGroup, this has been our standard practice since our founding in 1997, so we’re happy to address any questions or comments as well as provide scalable solutions for manufacturers and their channel partners!

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