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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Can collaboration save us from cyber attacks?

By Tim Larkins, director of Market Intelligence

By 2020, businesses will experience $3 trillion in economic loss due to cyber attacks globally. Seventy-four percent of the world’s businesses expect to be hacked this year. If that’s not a crisis, I don’t know what is.

If you were one of 45,000 people who attended the RSA conference last month in San Francisco, you likely picked up on a few common themes related to this cyber crisis. Thought leaders and industry experts seemed to agree that we need more collaboration between companies, governments and associations in developing standards, policies and regulations for both cybersecurity and the internet of things.  We need more threat intelligence sharing, and some even advocated for creating an entire government agency dedicated to cybersecurity and IoT.

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What is government contracting?

Chris Wiedemann_65 x 85what-isBy Chris Wiedemann, consultant

Are you surprised by our headline? Don’t be. Selling to the government is like doing business with a foreign country. It has its own culture, language and customs and it’s truly unlike doing business in the commercial world.

Our industry is so full of terms and nuances that are hard for many of us to define to a layperson, which is why we’re kicking off a monthly “What is…” blog series to help alleviate some of the head scratching. So let’s get started.

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Philly’s Cloud-First Plans Delayed…For Now

Rachel EckertPhiladelphia, cloud, Charles Brennan, IT infrastructure, SLEDBy Rachel Eckert, SLED Consultant

It was nearly a year ago that I blogged about Philadelphia’s mission to become a cloud-first city. The CIO at the time, Adel Ebeid, said the goal was to host 30 percent of the city’s IT infrastructure in the cloud—primarily through SaaS delivery.

But as state and local governments know all too well, plans around technology don’t always come together.

Philly’s cloud plans have been put on ice as officials tackle ongoing projects and a struggling procurement system. The new CIO, Charles Brennan, has made a few changes to the city’s technology teams, including separating Open Data and Web Services roles.

He’s also indicated an interest in more open data, tackling the city’s aging IT infrastructure, and reworking the procurement system.

Read more about my take on Philly’s plans in StateScoop.

I’m also presenting a state and local market overview at immixGroup’s 3rd Annual Government IT Sales Summit on Nov. 17 in Reston, Va. Early bird ticket prices end soon, so register soon.

The Secret to Navigating Government IT

Chris Wiedemann_65 x 85US Capitol-Cheat SheetBy Chris Wiedemann, Consultant

Not much in business is harder to navigate than the federal government. Figuring out how to sell a single IT product into this massive universe of agencies and departments that spends trillions of dollars a year can be daunting.

That’s why every spring we go through the painstaking process of putting together our meaty Federal IT Cheat Sheet. It’s chock full of information on where agencies are spending the bulk of their budget, including what each program does, their tech requirements, and the large contractors working on them. It’s a useful planning tool for veterans of the government IT space, as well as newcomers.

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Why GWACs Are A Good Bet

US Flag, Capitol Building and MoneyBob Laclede 100x135by Bob Laclede, Vice President, Channels

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has dusted off a 2011 policy for stamping out “unnecessary” government-wide acquisition contracts. With so much time left to do business in FY 2016, it’s time to review the fundamentals of a good GWAC strategy. And a few of the techniques manufacturers can use to maintain or even boost their federal sales even if they don’t have a prime contract on one of the main GWACs.

What I’m suggesting may sound obvious, yet I’ve heard so many manufacturers over the years complain that they’re blocked out of this or that agency or requirement because they miscalculated their GWAC strategy. Read more of this post

New FedRAMP Initiatives Driving Cloud Adoption in DOD

FedRamp_SMStephanie Meloni_65x85by Stephanie Meloni, Senior Analyst

Matt Goodrich, the director of the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) at GSA, recently published a blog outlining some big changes ahead in the mandated cloud security certification program. The changes center around accelerating authorization time so users can capitalize on the speed of building systems using cloud capabilities.

These technology enhancements will create a publicly available dashboard, demonstrating how agencies are using the cloud. Additionally, changes include finalizing requirements for high impact security systems so Cloud Services Providers (CSPs) can start working with data and applications at higher security classifications. All of these efforts are aimed at making FedRAMP scalable and increasing cloud adoption at government agencies. Read more of this post

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