Security Is the Key to Growing Fed Blockchain Interest

Lloyd McCoy Jr.

By Lloyd McCoy, Market Intelligence Manager

Blockchain technology is gaining interest from the federal government. This secure, decentralized and interoperable solution can reduce IT security costs – and that checks all the boxes in federal procurement.

Things are moving pretty quickly with federal blockchain adoption, which is significant given how the government can drag its feet on new technologies. Back in July 2017, the GSA held the first U.S. Federal Blockchain Forum to pose uses for the technology from 100 federal managers.

Since then, blockchain requirements have shown up in more solicitations throughout the federal procurement process.

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What is a contract vehicle?

what-isChris Wiedemann_65 x 85By Chris Wiedemann, consultant

Last month, I began our “What is…?” series by looking at the very basics of government contracting. However, that information can only get you so far – knowing the size of the market doesn’t tell you how to capture any of it.

To that end, today’s post is going to look at one of the building blocks of selling technology – or anything else – to the federal government: contract vehicles.

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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!

Time to Tell GSA What You Really Think

Steve Headshot 65 x 85by Steve Charles, Co-founder and Executive Vice President

Have you ever wished you could give GSA a piece of your mind about its schedules program Anonymously? Well, here’s your chance.

{139d2873-a0fe-4038-b1d6-98fbd57fb9ba}_GSAThe MITRE Corporation is conducting research for the GSA Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) Program about the GSA Schedules. This study is part of a multi-method research initiative that includes primary and secondary research of GSA and stakeholders from industry and from federal and state government buyers. This survey is designed to collect inputs from suppliers who participate in the GSA Schedules Program and from suppliers who do not hold contracts with the Schedule Program.
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6 Ways FITARA Could Make a Dramatic Impact on COTS Sales

Christopher Wiedemann_headshot-65 x 85by Chris Wiedemann, Senior Analyst

On FridayUS Capital Building of last week, among all the furor around the FY15 “cromnibus” passing, another long-awaited bill passed; the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) made it through both the House and Senate as part of the FY15 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). All indications point to FITARA becoming law shortly.

Here are 6 ways FITARA could dramatically impact sales in the COTS community:

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GSA RFI Requires O&M, Middleware & Hosting Support

Mohamad Elbarasse_headshot_7-23-2013_For WordPressby Mohamad ElbarasseAnalyst

GSA recently extended the response date for the Pegasys Hosting and Operations and Maintenance contract to August 5, 2014. GSA’s primary goal is to find application and support models that will lower the overall hosting and O&M costs of Pegasys, GSA’s version of Momentum Financials and core financial system. Pegasys supports funds management (budget execution and purchasing), credit cards, accounts payable, disbursements, standard general ledger, and reporting at the GSA.

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Task Order 2 for CDM Approaching

Tomas OKeefe_65x85by Tomas O’Keefe, Senior Analyst

Industry has been waiting on more news about the next set of contracts for the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) $6B Continuous Diagnostic and Mitigation (CDM) initiative, and we’re finally starting to get some concrete details about what that’s going to entail. DHS, with the aid of the General Service Administration’s (GSA) Federal Systems Integration and Management (FEDSIM) group, is still focusing on phase 1 of the CDM initiative, which is aimed at tackling end point integrity and identifying network vulnerability. There will be additional phases of CDM over the coming years. But we’re now starting to get more details on Task Order 2, which is the next step in the current phase.

However, a bit of recap before we proceed. Back in January of this year, DHS awarded the Task Order 1 to four Continuous Monitoring-as-a-Service (CMaaS) BPA holders for some network and endpoint protection products. In March, DHS and GSA awarded a contract to develop a federal-wide cybersecurity dashboard that departments will submit CDM information to. Ideally, this dashboard will ease the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) reporting requirements on departments, meaning CISOs can spend more of their time protecting networks and less time filling out paperwork.

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