GSA mulls new cloud acquisition vehicle

Shutterstock image: Cloud concept.

The General Services Administration is considering establishing a broad cloud-specific contracting vehicle that would help agencies handle their growing cloud service needs.

GSA's existing cloud blanket purchase agreements are expiring, and federal customers are evolving past the cloud services designations under GSA's Schedule 70 and other contracting vehicles that include cloud services. Therefore, the agency is thinking about creating a next-generation cloud-specific contract, said Stan Kaczmarczyk, director of GSA's Cloud Computing Services Program Management Office.

"We're working on a business case now" for what could be either a governmentwide acquisition contract or an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract for cloud, he said at Washington Technology's Cloud and Mobility Industry Day event in Falls Church, Va.

Federal business volume for cloud services will reach $2.254 billion in fiscal 2017, Kaczmarczyk said, adding that GSA's cloud infrastructure-as-a-service BPA has already expired and its email-as-a-service BPA will expire in two years, paving the way for a new contracting vehicle.

If development, market research and GSA's management review of a potential cloud GWAC or IDIQ contract go smoothly, Kaczmarczyk said a request for information could be issued by September 2016.

"We can't rush," he said. "We need to get it right."

The goal is to give GSA's customers a more streamlined way to acquire cloud services. The agency has already moved in that direction by dedicating a Special Item Number for cloud services on the IT Schedule 70 contract, Kaczmarczyk added.

"The cloud SIN will help, but we're trying to narrow things down" to clarify services and capabilities for federal customers with a next-generation contracting vehicle, he said.

One federal CIO at the event said the proposed contracting vehicle could be good fit for his agency. The CIO, who spoke on background, currently uses an in-house contract for cloud services but said he would consider GSA's cloud-specific vehicle if it becomes available.

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, 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 [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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