What is Exhibit 53?

What is a prime and a sub?Chris WiedemannBy Chris Wiedemann, consultant

As I’ve hopefully conveyed over the course of this “What is…?” series of blog posts, selling to the federal government is a complicated and involved process. It’s been compared to doing business in a different country, and in many ways, that’s an apt comparison. There are enough differences in rules, language and requirements that you can’t just bring commercial sales tactics to bear and expect to be successful.

However, there are some instances where those different rules work in our favor. For example, because the government primarily spends money that is appropriated from taxes, it’s required to show how it’s being used. Which brings us to agency IT Portfolios, formerly (and still informally) known as the Exhibit 53.

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5 ways you can improve your sales skills right now

By ReLita Clarke, learning and development manager

I’ve spent nearly 13 years designing training plans for sales teams and one of the most frequent questions I get is, “Are good salespeople just born to sell or are good salespeople created over time?”

I firmly believe good salespeople are created over time. There’s a natural personality trait in salespeople where they enjoy interacting with and meeting new people and they have a natural tendency to compete.  But to really hone your sales skills takes a lot of trial and error and being able to change course after facing a challenge. It takes time to be good and it’s not something you can automatically jump into.

In my time as a trainer, I’ve given lots of advice to salespeople and the managers who lead teams and here are a few of my top recommendations:

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Rethinking Data Center Consolidation at Federal Agencies

Rick Antonucci_65x85by Rick Antonucci, Analyst

The Federal Government 3D Modern Interior of Server Roomhas been shifting from the ingrained idea of data center consolidation to data center optimization in an effort to continue to realize efficiencies and reduce costs. When OMB changed the definition of what constituted a data center a few years ago, the number of data centers to be closed dramatically increased from around 1,200 of 3,100 total, to over 7,000 total, making data center closure goals impossible to reach. As a result, we’ve seen a shift from a policy initially emphasizing closures to one that’s demanding increased efficiency out of existing facilities. These consolidation and optimization efforts are part of the government’s “cloud first” approach to reduce IT infrastructure through virtualization of hardware and software and hosting data in private or public clouds.

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Opportunities on the Horizon within DISA Part 1

Lloyd McCoy_65x85by Lloyd McCoy Jr., Consultant

This week DISA’s Director of Strategic Planning and Information, Tony Montemarano, met with industry partners to give an update on DISA’s major initiatives in the pipeline. As I pointed out in a Webinar earlier this year, DISA is at the heart of major enterprise wide initiatives for DOD; in addition to legacy roles like command and control, hosting, and telecommunications, newer initiatives like DOD Enterprise Portal Service, Defense Enterprise Mobility (classified and unclassified), Enterprise Directory Services, Unified Communications, and Global Network Services provide a wealth of opportunities for COTS vendors. Today I’ll be diving into Mr. Montemarano’s update on how DISA is faring in this fiscal environment and what the agency is doing in the areas of cloud procurement.

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Sales & Marketing: It’s Time to “Socialize” Together

Photo of Allan RubinI hear a lot of marketers express mixed feelings on their social media and content marketing programs. They’re excited by what they’ve produced but frustrated by the difficulty in measuring any meaningful impact from their efforts.

One area that is critical to success is closer collaboration between marketing and sales. In a previous blog post I wrote about how reliant marketers are on their colleagues in sales to distribute content and marketing materials. I explored this in greater depth in a new guest blog post I wrote for Federal Marketing Insights and I wanted to share it with you.

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Federal Cloud in FY15: Old Roadblocks, 3 New Opportunities

Photo of Chris Wiedemannby Chris Wiedemann, Senior Analyst

The Government Accountability Office Here is A Snapshot of Cloud in FY15(GAO) recently released a report tracking the progress of seven agencies’ in achieving their cloud computing implementation goals; unfortunately parts of it made for quite a nostalgic reading. The report profiled seven agencies – including HHS, Treasury, and USDA – and noted while each of these agencies increased their cloud spending between FY12 and FY14, the grand total of agency-reported cloud investments was only $529 million (averaging 2% of evaluated IT budgets). In other words, despite the 25 Point Plan instituting a Cloud First policy in 2011, federal agencies appear to have made very little progress in meeting their cloud goals; some reasons cited for slow adoption sound awfully familiar as well – with security concerns and cultural resistance to cloud computing coming up yet again.

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Office of the Secretary of Defense on the Hunt for a BPM Suite — RSVP by 4 p.m. Today for OSD’s Industry Day

Rick Antonucci_65x85by Rick Antonucci, Analyst

A new opportunity has sprung up for BPM manufacturers. The Office of the Secretary of Defense released a Sources Sought notice on FBO for a Business Process Management suite last Tuesday. OSD’s Program Development and Implementation office within the Defense Procurement & Acquisition Policy Office is interested in sourcing a COTS or GOTS BPM suite to support DOD procurement efforts. To that end they will be hosting an industry day in McLean, VA on September 19th with RSVPs due on the 16th with second industry day anticipated in mid to late October.

Right now OSD is looking to conduct market research to gather information from industry on available solutions for BPM suites with Full and Open competition anticipated down the line. Responses to the sources sought notice are due on September 26th.

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