Keeping up with the cloud

Shutterstock image: the data cloud connecting a number of global services.

WHAT: A General Services Administration request for information looks to industry and federal users for ideas about how to push ahead with its cloud acquisition contracting, including alternative models and processes.

WHY: The Cloud Computing Services Program Management Office offers cloud IT services to federal, state, local and tribal governments through an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) blanket purchase agreement and an email-as-a-service BPA. GSA is looking for ways to evolve those purchasing vehicles in the face of fast-moving technology and capabilities.

The agency has been relatively aggressive in looking to the cloud's evolution. For instance, the CCS PMO partnered with the departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services to implement a cloud service broker proof-of-concept phase from September 2013 to March 2014 to assess available broker platforms and tools.

More recently, in collaboration with the Center for IT Schedule Programs, the office issued an RFI in July 2014 regarding a new special item number for cloud technology under IT Schedule 70 and held an industry day on the topic in November.

Officials said those informational meetings generated feedback from industry and federal agencies on how GSA could improve existing IaaS BPAs.

The feedback noted that cloud professional services contracts could include more assessment, planning, migration and integration capabilities; more extensive training; a more comprehensive suite of cloud products and services; and more flexibility to keep current with the growth of cloud products and services.

GSA also said the feedback suggested cloud acquisition vehicles should allow for opportunities to take advantage of the increasing number of authorizations under the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program.

Read the RFI here.

Posted by Mark Rockwell on Feb 18, 2015 at 2:11 PM


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