4 IT contracts that defined 2017

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The federal government’s move to upgrade its outdated IT infrastructure ramped up in 2017 with a series of blockbuster contracts.

From the massive telecommunications upgrades anticipated with the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract to the new version of the General Services Administration’s Alliant IT vehicle, the trend in acquisition has shifted toward standardized technology and stronger cybersecurity.

Here’s a look at the IT contracts that made the biggest splashes in 2017:

EIS

  • Cost: $50 billion over 15 years (five-year base period with two five-year options)
  • Awardees: 10
  • Services: Telecommunication and network solutions for federal agencies

With the wind-down of the decade-old Networx contract, GSA’s next telecommunications contract was widely anticipated. The agency combined three vehicles, including Networx, into a single contract to provide telecommunication services across the federal spectrum while reducing the cyberattack surface of the government’s networks.

“I anticipate EIS having a major impact on modernization,” said Deniece Peterson, director of federal market analysis at Deltek. “Even without the preference for it noted in the modernization guidance, the upcoming migration from Networx to EIS is a natural trigger point for agencies to identify potential areas to modernize and/or migrate to shared services during the transition. EIS provides the cloud and cybersecurity solutions that are key to modernization efforts.”

Alliant 2

  • Cost: $50 billion over 10 years (five-year base period with a five-year option)
  • Awardees: 61
  • Services: IT supply and services

The year also saw an update to GSA’s massive, 10-year IT contract Alliant. With modernization efforts growing, the vehicle figures to be a prime driver of how agencies will pursue new IT procurements.

Following the November award of the contract to 61 vendors, Bill Zielinski, deputy assistant commissioner for IT category management operations, detailed how the contract was designed to incorporate new technologies over its lifespan.

“While there is a list of services and capabilities that we believe are very future-leaning, we really did spend a lot of time in looking at leading-edge technology,” he said. “That said, we do have the ability to onboard new companies and new technologies based on the demand in the marketplace as well.”

VA’s EHR Modernization contract

  • Cost: Estimated $10 billion
  • Awardees: 1
  • Services: Health IT, EHR services

Given the seesaw efforts of the past decade to develop interoperability between the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs’ electronic health records systems, it’s fair to say VA Secretary David Shulkin’s June 5 decision to pursue an EHR system similar to the DOD’s garnered some attention.

While the contract is still being negotiated, estimates have put its price tag at $10 billion. But given that, according to a Government Accountability Office report, the agency spent $1.1 billion on two previous EHR systems with the goal of seamless veteran care, the impact of this contract could be lasting.

Social Security Administration’s IT services contract

  • Cost: $7.8 billion over 10 years (Two-year base period with four two-year options)
  • Awardees: 3
  • Services: IT services, Benefits processing

With the SSA processing the benefits of an estimated 70 million people over the next decade, agency officials decided to pursue modernization efforts for its IT services.

The contract tapped Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and CGI Federal Inc. to provide a variety of systems and data administration, as well as security operations. But on the sheer scale of services, this contract is a whopper.

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alliant 2, Bill Zielinski, David Shulkin, Department of Veterans Affairs, EIS, General Services Administration, Social Security Administration
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