Industry Eagle Award
Craig Abod: Taking the pain out of procurement
- By Troy K. Schneider
- Aug 27, 2021
Photo credit: Zaid Hamid
IT acquisition is dauntingly difficult for government customers and would-be vendors alike — so much so that innovative technology firms sometimes steer clear of the public sector entirely. For 17 years, Craig Abod and Carahsoft have been working to make those purchases easier and more effective.
The result is an ecosystem of roughly 500 industry partners delivering analytics, artificial intelligence, cloud, cybersecurity, DevSecOps, customer experience and other solutions through dozens of different federal contract vehicles. (Carahsoft also serves the education and state and local government markets.) The success of that ecosystem is apparent in Carahsoft's performance — the 1,900-person firm now ranks 61st on Forbes' list of America's largest privately held companies, and is the largest IT software and services company on that list. But the more important indicators are on the customer side, where agencies have been able to accelerate their technology acquisition and deployment.
The latest example of Abod's career-long commitment to helping government learn about and procure effective IT solutions is Carahsoft's Cloud Purchasing Program. Launched in 2020, the CPP dramatically simplifies the cloud procurement process and covers services from more than 90 vendors. Government customers can acquire cloud products and services from multiple vendors through a single SKU. More than a dozen other resellers participate in the CPP, and federal agencies can purchase via NASA SEWP, the Army's ITES-SW2 contract, and the General Services Administration's Multiple Award Schedule Contract.
The customer benefits have been quick and clear. There were 94 CPP awards made in the first 12 months, and the Department of Defense's Cloud Computing Program Office picked CPP to modernize its infrastructure, noting that it was the only solution found that "met the CCPO requirements for providing flexible and rapid access to a wide variety of clouds to support real-time operations." A senior DOD executive confirmed to FCW that CPP has a been a substantial help to Defense agencies in particular.
CPP's combination of customer service, aggressive pricing and extensive education and training is typical of Abod's approach to business, and his commitment to connecting as many customers and companies possible in order to help government perform better.
Troy K. Schneider is the Editor-in-Chief of both FCW and GCN, two of the oldest and most influential publications in public-sector IT. Both publications (originally known as Federal Computer Week and Government Computer News, respectively) are owned by GovExec. Mr. Schneider also serves GovExec's General Manager for Government Technology Brands.
Mr. Schneider previously served as New America Foundation’s Director of Media & Technology, and before that was Managing Director for Electronic Publishing at the Atlantic Media Company, where he oversaw the online operations of The Atlantic Monthly, National Journal, The Hotline and The Almanac of American Politics, among other publications. The founding editor of NationalJournal.com, Mr. Schneider also helped launch the political site PoliticsNow.com in the mid-1990s, and worked on the earliest online efforts of the Los Angeles Times and Newsday. He began his career in print journalism, and has written for a wide range of publications, including The New York Times, WashingtonPost.com, Slate, Politico, Governing, and many of the other titles listed above.
Mr. Schneider is a graduate of Indiana University, where his emphases were journalism, business and religious studies.