As we begin the second month of Fiscal Year 2020, the Federal Government continues to seek disruptive technologies to utilize as they move forward with their IT modernization initiatives. G2Xchange’s Tim Harvey recently had the chance to chat about disruptive technologies and how agencies are procuring these cutting-edge products and solutions with Veeral Majmudar, President & CEO of Savan Group, a small business that specializes in management consulting, IT services and digital transformation.
As we move further into Fiscal Year 2020, what disruptive technologies do you seeing agencies adopting?
While IT modernization continues to be a high priority for agencies, we are seeing an increase in emerging technologies to drive taxpayer value. These technologies, coupled with an intense focus on improving the customer experience, are leading to enterprise-wide change in how the Government engages the citizen.
Technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence, machine learning and data visualization are paving the way for digital transformation. These technologies offer tremendous value and I don’t see them becoming a fad; they are here to stay. Government attrition will continue force Government to do more with less. RPA and advanced analytics are huge enablers of process efficiencies and cost avoidance while providing more awareness or more information at the fingertips to make actionable decisions.
In FY 2020, we predict that agencies will make huge investments in these emerging technologies to capitalize on their benefits and rapid return on investment. Our focus is working with agencies to help them through their digital transformation efforts.
How are agencies buying these disruptive technologies?
I’ll answer this in two parts. There is the process of how agencies are buying the technology and then there is the process of how they’re implementing it. I think those are two different things.
On the buying side of it, we are in show me, don’t tell me mode. Instead of just talking about it, companies like Savan Group can present the value proposition in a real-world way through a focused demonstration and rapid prototyping. I think agencies appreciate when you demonstrate that understanding and mission commitment.
Several agencies are moving towards an incrementally funded prototype model with multiple vendors rather than going all in with a single solution and vendor. This reduces risk to the agency while encouraging innovation. Additionally, agencies may issue smaller task orders under the simplified acquisition threshold to develop pilots and prove the business case.
Once those things happen, they can scale that technology and deploy it in a larger environment because they’ve now had a proof of concept and buy-in. At that point, we are seeing the use of blanket purchase agreements and other traditional procurement strategies to further implement the solution. We anticipate the Government continuing to adopt these strategies well into FY 2020.
Can you talk about some specific contract vehicles that agencies are using to procure this technology?
Companies and procurement offices will continue to leverage individual contracting vehicles when it makes sense in addition to Federal Supply Schedules such as PSS and IT-70.
Beyond that, we are seeing an increase in the use of multiple award BPAs and best-in-class (BIC) contracts. For small business, a great example is GSA OASIS Small Business. GSA 8(a) STARS II is another great contract that is increasing in use for some agencies. GSA will be releasing the 8(a) STARS III procurement soon and that’s going to be a big deal for a lot of companies to pursue so they can have a longer runway on their 8(a) and complete on STARS-specific opportunities.
There are also large Government GWACs and IDIQs that agencies can leverage, some of which are agency specific or Government wide. For example, CIO-SP3, which has both unrestricted and small business categories; GSA Alliant 2; OASIS; and HCaTS, which is Human Capital and Training Solutions; or others like Department of Education’s EDSS or DHS EAGLE II or the DOJ ITSS-4.
To be successful, you have to be able to identify those vehicles that make the most sense for your company and those that are aligned with your service offerings that can give you the best chance of winning — and then, be able to win individual task orders. We are excited about how Savan Group can help our clients leverage disruptive technologies to achieve digital transformation.