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GSA moves to make eBuy mobile-friendly

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The General Services Administration hopes to aid small business with an expansion of its online eBuy site to mobile devices.

The move, according to a July 31 blog post on GSA's blog site, allows vendors to learn how to do business with the federal government from cell phones or tablet computers in a more accessible format.

"As part of the agency's mission to expand opportunities for small business, we've released a mobile version of eBuy website to update our small business partners on new opportunities to work with the government," GSA blogger Angela Brees wrote. "By releasing its mobile eBuy website, GSA allows small businesses and customers to monitor new bidding opportunities on the go, and receive text message alerts on new products and services."

The eBuy site hosts an electronic Request for Quote (RFQ) / Request for Proposal (RFP) system that allows government buyers to request information, find sources, and prepare RFQs/RFPs online, for millions of services and products offered through GSA's Multiple Award Schedule and technology contracts. Government buyers can use it get quotes or proposals for services, large-quantity purchases, big-ticket items, and purchases with complex requirements.

For businesses, eBuy provides instant access to selling opportunities within the government. In 2012, approximately $8.34 billion of products and services were processed through the eBuy website.

Businesses can sign up for text message alerts using the new mobile website that will tell them when the agencies posts bidding opportunities.

"This is an important feature for small businesses that may not have the resources or staff to actively monitor the eBuy website," Brees wrote. "By providing automated mobile alerts and real-time updates on bidding opportunities, small businesses are able to do more with less and compete more effectively."

According to the agency, the idea for a mobile version of the eBuy site originated in the summer of 2012 at GSA's Heartland Region Office of Small Business Utilization in Kansas City, Mo. The office submitted the idea of the mobile eBuy site based on research with local small business owners it had conducted earlier that year. GSA said it approved the concept for development and moved to make the idea a reality soon afterward.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

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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