Contract Guide: NetCents-2: Air Force Builds a Bridge to the Future

Application Services delivers vital support for IT initiatives

Air Force offers expansive range of large and small services vendors

With any IT development, users will need a wide range of input from the vendors they employ. Many times, the key to a successful venture is not the technology they choose but the expertise that’s devoted to the range of the ancillary efforts needed to integrate, test, secure and keep systems up and running.

Under NetCents-1, Air Force users had access to that expertise, but it was split among eight vendors and usually included as a part of everything else they needed to do on the program, from base-level engineering at one end to software development at the other. And even the best companies vary in the extent of the services they can offer.

NetCents-2 seeks to change that by focusing these efforts under the seven-year, $960 million Applications Services contract and dramatically expanding the number of companies involved. Across both the full and open and small business categories, 22 companies will be involved.

Although it’s one of the smaller vehicles in NetCents-2, it has a broad scope of work that the Air Force has split into three general areas:

  • To provide sustainment, migration, integration, training, help-desk support, testing and operation support for Air Force customers.
  • To develop content delivery, presentation services and new mission applications that operate in net-centric enterprise environments that exploit services-oriented architecture (SOA) infrastructures.
  • To support legacy sustainment, migration and the development of new mission capabilities and applications.

The work covers some 25 IT services, including software development, engineering support, system and network integration design, disaster recovery services, and facilities management.

It’s one of the areas of NetCents-2 that, along with NetOps, offers a specific opportunity for small businesses. A special clause in the small-business indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract provides for the procedures that determine which contract vehicle, Full and Open or Small Business, is more appropriate for the work-on offer.

Application services is an area in which small businesses tend to shine because they often specialize in just a few of the service areas. In fact, they provided many of these services under NetCents-1 as subcontractors to the primes. Under NetCents-2, they get a chance to compete for the entirety of the work on offer under their own names.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity for small businesses,” said Robert Smothers, NetCents-2 program manager. “These companies have proven they can go out and they can do the work for the Air Force, and get it done at a very efficient price.”

As with other NetCents-2 vehicles, protests have affected the Applications Services contract, though not to the same degree. The small-business IDIQ was awarded in June 2012, and two years later had already given out task orders worth more than $130 million.

Initial awards for the Full & Open IDIQ were made at the end of July 2013, but that contract was stalled for a while to answer the six protests that were filed, out of a total of 21 offerers.

After a review, the Air Force agreed to take corrective action and the final awards were announced July 15, 2014.

NetCents-2 Application Services vendors

Small Business

  • ActioNet
  • Array Information
  • Datum Software
  • Diligent Consulting
  • Digital Management
  • Diversified Technical
  • DSD Laboratories
  • Exeter Government
  • IndraSoft
  • Excellus Solutions
  • SI Systems Tech
  • Segue Technologies

Full & Open

  • CACI International
  • General Dynamics Information Technology
  • IBM
  • InfoReliance
  • Jacobs Technology
  • L-3 Communications
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Raytheon
  • SRA International