GSA in hunt for SmartBuy vendors

A notice published on Federal Business Opportunities' (FedBizOpps') Web site sends a signal to information technology vendors that the General Services Administration is ready to talk about tiered pricing under SmartBuy.

The notice alerts vendors who use the Federal Supply Service's Schedule 70 that GSA is ready to begin restructuring schedule contracts to allow for volume discounts, said John Sindelar, deputy associate administrator in GSA's Office of Governmentwide Policy.

"We are interested in schedule 70 [vendors] if they're interested in deals," he said. GSA officials have been working on the enterprise licensing program, in which agencies pool their buying power to negotiate lower per-unit costs for software, since last year.

The notice, published April 8, marks the launch of Phase II of the program, Sindelar said. GSA has established a five-phase acquisition strategy for SmartBuy. Meanwhile, agencies are working on listing their projected IT needs over the next several years, information that GSA officials will use to help shape the SmartBuy strategy.

GSA has already signed two SmartBuy deals. On April 1, GSA transferred the operational side of the program to the Federal Technology Service, while OGP remains in charge of policy.

In Phase III, GSA officials will consolidate agency requirements. Under Phase IV, they will aggregate the known requirements and predicted future needs into a single buy per software title. And finally, in Phase V, they will begin opening competitions for governmentwide solutions to satisfy a defined architectural standard.

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