The U.S. General Services Administration announced Thursday that it will begin soliciting proposals for its $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions telecommunications contract vehicle Oct. 16, ending months of anticipation for vendors.
Part of the agency’s massive vision for the future of federal telecomm and IT infrastructure contracting, EIS is slated to replace GSA’s popular Networx contract, under which agencies spent more than $1.5 billion last year, and Regional Local Service Agreements. EIS, however, is set to be even bigger, and draw more competition and business into the marketplace with a range of offerings, like voice, video, cloud, network and data transport services, and more.
GSA released a presolicitation notice for the vehicle Sept. 10 on FedBizOpps.gov, signaling the RFP wasn’t far off. The RFP had an initial anticipated launch date in July, but more than 1,500 comments on the February draft RFP caused setbacks as the leadership team made more than a hundred changes to draft. The entire EIS team was sequestered away from the GSA headquarters for the month of August to put the final touches on the RFP.
Mary Davie, assistant commissioner of GSA’s Office of Integrated Technology Services, emphasized the importance of collaboration throughout the design of EIS to make sure it was a vehicle reflective of the current and future marketplace and its vendors.
“We continue to work in partnership with government agencies and industry partners, such as with one-on-one meetings, working groups, advisory panels, and by participating at other government and industry events,” Davie wrote in a blog post in April.
Officials at GSA would not comment on any further details of the RFP.
Though the RFP will launch in mid-October, GSA won’t award EIS contracts until late 2016, with transition away from Networx expected to start in 2017. Earlier this year, GSA extended the Networx expiration date to 2020 “to provide time for a phased and orderly transition to” EIS, Davie said.