Mobility

GSA draws a homespun analogy for mobile

Mary Davie, GSA

Mary Davie wants federal wireless buyers to find it as easy as a day at the ballpark. (File photo)

The Federal Acquisition Service wants federal users to have sunshine and baseball in mind when they think about buying wireless services, devices and management plans from two recently-announced wireless service programs.

In her Great Government through Technology blog, Mary Davie, assistant commissioner for the Office of Assisted Acquisition Services, explained some of the specifics of how the Managed Mobility program and the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative's wireless blanket purchase agreements work together for federal users.

"Think baseball and sunshine. All your resources are gathered (bats, balls, uniforms, players, coaches, stadium, field, fans, food) and you’re ready to go," she said. "But take away the sun and add dark clouds and rain, things don’t go quite as planned. It can be miserable and hard to manage. FSSI Wireless is where you go for your main mobile resources (plans and devices), and Managed Mobility sheds a light on how to best use them."

The agency launched the Managed Mobility program in May, only days after announcing wireless services package agreements with the four major wireless carriers that set uniform pricing for buckets of voice and data minutes. Both programs were aimed at untangling the hundreds of wireless services agreements accumulated by government agencies.

Davie explained the Mobile Management Program and FSSI wireless plans are not the same thing, but rather complementary mobile technology solutions that "pack a one-two punch." Federal customers can buy mobile plans with devices from FSSI wireless and use the Managed Mobility program to manage those devices. The Managed Mobility program isn’t a contract vehicle or a BPA, she explained, instead Managed Mobility identifies and evaluates potential solutions currently on existing contract vehicles that can be procured. The program creates and maintains a list of potential sources of supply, which meet the greatest number of government requirements.

However, Davie said that federal users could buy a Mobile Device Management, Mobile Application Management, and Mobile Life-Cycle solution on the list. "You can use the Managed Mobility program’s central repository, information, and staff to identify the solutions that best meets today’s requirements."

Using both, Davie said, saves federal users time. "Much of the work to define requirements, identify potential sources of supply, and secure some baseline pricing to budget your acquisition has already been completed," she said. "The time frame for procuring an MDM, depending on the requirements, is much shorter than the typical procurement cycle."

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a staff writer at FCW.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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