GSA’s Cloud Brokerage Industry Day: For the third straight week, GSA’s ongoing discussion about implementing a cloud brokerage concept leads our innovation roundup. As reported in previous editions, GSA has issued an RFI seeking information from contractors who might have an interest in serving in a broker role. This week, GSA held its first industry day to discuss the RFI and gather feedback. The event garnered a standing room only crowd in Crystal City on Thursday morning. Among the most important information to come out of the industry day was the fact that GSA plans to extend the August 17th deadline for responses to a date later this month or possibly as late as September.
The industry day discussion was led by a panel of senior government officials involved in federal cloud computing, including Keith Trippie from DHS, Stan Kaczmarczak from GSA, Katie Lewin from GSA, and Marcelo Olascoaga, also from GSA who is the Technical POC for the RFI. Among the highlights was a discussion of the changing federal IT business model away from buying IT assets to acquiring services. According to GSA, the goal of the brokerage model to harness evolving and innovative technology and deliver it to agencies quickly, with the broker serving to ensure competition in the acquisition process. As highlighted in the discussion and Q&A, the contract would likely have multiple awardees, providing services such as PaaS, IaaS, SaaS, as well as whatever else is needed to get the government to the cloud.
Other points highlighted included whether or not the cloud broker role would be filled by GSA or outsourced to the private sector or both, how brokers would be categorized or if they would be broken into categories at all, and how the effectiveness of cloud brokers would be measured. All issues were left somewhat unresolved. GSA wants to hear from industry on this RFI so all those with an interest in helping shape this effort, should review and respond to the RFI.
Innovation Networking Project Announced: In other news, Federal Chief Technology Officer, Todd Park, announced the Innovation Networking Project at the end of last week. The program is still in its formative stages but seeks to connect IT innovators around government by supplementing traditional, face-to-face networking with new methods of bringing federal employees of like minds and ideas together to brainstorm. The goal is not only to connect existing government innovators, but help recruit more creative minds to government. We expect more to come on this in the next few weeks.
Contracting: In contracting news, the Department of Labor released a pre-solicitation notice this week letting potential vendors know they will be releasing a formal RFP for Email as a Service on August 15th. According to the notice posted on FedBizOpps, the DOL CIO is pursuing the acquisition of e-mail, collaboration, office automation, eDiscovery, and records management services as Software as a Service (SaaS) from a commercial provider of Cloud Computing services. View the FBO notice.
Michael Hettinger is VP for the Public Sector Innovation Group (PSIG) at SIIA. Follow his PSIG tweets at @SIIAPSIG.