Robins AFB holds annual requirements symposium in Perry on Nov 7-8, 2012

October 15, 2012 by

Warner Robins Air Force Base is holding its 10th annual symposium for contractors and other professionals involved in acquiring products and services to fulfill Air Force needs.

The 10th annual Requirements Symposium will be held November 7 and 8, 2012 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry, GA.

The Requirements Symposium is a unique 2-day event where senior leaders and managers at Robins Air Force Base share their current and future requirements and organizational vision of the future. This insight into requirements at Robins AFB and the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex allows aerospace industries and businesses to appropriately plan for capabilities to meet the needs at Robins AFB and the Warfighters they service, today and tomorrow.

Click here to see the preliminary agenda: http://www.wrcoc-aic.org/RS/Agenda.aspx

Click here for registration information: http://www.wrcoc-aic.org/RS/Register.asp

Visit the Requirements Symposium web site for updates: http://www.wrcoc-aic.org/Page8.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

Ten-day class on federal contracting, beginning Oct. 22nd, appeals to both business and government sectors

October 15, 2012 by

“Mission Focused Contracting” — a two-week course that is perhaps the most comprehensive of any of the courses offered by The Contracting Education Academy at Georgia Tech — begins on Oct. 22, 2012.    It’s designed to have value for both business people as well as government contracting officials.

  • From a business perspective, this course is a boot camp that’s designed to provide insights and details about the government’s entire acquisition process.  Business people will leave this course better prepared to submit bids for government work, creating a positive impact on business growth and bottom line.
  • From a government standpoint, this Defense Acquisition University-equivalent course — that satisfies FAC-C and DAWIA certification requirements — educates contracting officers on the entire acquisition process, from initial meetings with internal customers to completing the contract closeout process — and everything in-between.

All participants have the opportunity to learn and apply problem-solving and negotiation skills in a highly-interactive class setting.

Known as CON 120 – Mission Focused Contracting, this course  includes a complete review of CON 110, 111 and 112, on-line courses that are normally prerequisites for CON 120.   Because a review of CON 110, 111 and 112 is built-in to Georgia Tech’s CON 120 offering, students are not required to complete any prerequisites.

As a part of this course, contracting officers will learn how to:

  • Complete a market research report
  • Develop a solicitation package
  • Evaluate proposals and award contracts
  • Monitor contractor performance, apply remedies, and make proper contract payments
  • Modify contracts, exercise options, and complete the contract closeout process

As a part of this course, companies will:

  • Discover business growth opportunities for your company in the government sector
  • Learn how to develop a bid proposal that will put you ahead of the competition
  • Gain insight on ways to get your small business subcontracting plan approved
  • Network with and learn alongside government contracting officials to gain a better understanding of the process, roles, and responsibilities of government contracting
  • Understand how your company fits in as an important member of the acquisition team

This 10-day course is priced at $2,000 and is next offered Oct.22 through Nov. 2, 2012 in world-class facilities on the Georgia Tech campus in midtown Atlanta. For more information or to register, please visit http://www.pe.gatech.edu/courses/con-120-mission-focused-contracting.

For more information on the Contracting Education Academy at Georgia Tech, click here.

OMB releases second ‘mythbusting’ memo to improve communication with contractors

May 10, 2012 by

Asserting that “early, frequent and constructive engagement with industry leads to better acquisition outcomes,” the Office of Management and Budget on Monday released Mythbusting 2, a follow-up to guidance sent out in 2011 to encourage agencies and contractors to shed some of their reluctance to communicate.

“Whereas we focused last year on the misconceptions on the part of federal agencies, we want to continue the discussion by addressing in this memorandum the misconceptions that may be held by some in the vendor community,” wrote Lesley Field, acting administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement, in a May 7 memo to chief acquisition officers, senior procurement officers and chief information officers.

Keep reading this article at http://www.govexec.com//contracting/2012/05/omb-releases-second-mythbusting-memo-improve-communication-contractors/55616/?oref=govexec_today_nl.

Government marketing workshop offered May 16th

May 3, 2012 by

Here’s your chance to gain insights — from experts — about how to market to the government.

In partnership with American Express OPEN, the Contracting Education Academy at Georgia Tech is proud to offer a three-hour workshop entitled “Victory in Procurement: Marketing to the Federal Government.”

Designed for small business owners, this event will teach you how to effectively pitch your business to the government and provide:

  • Insights into how to select which government agencies to target and how to get meetings with them,
  • Tips and tactics for improving your elevator pitch and capabilities statement,
  • Sample elevator pitches and capabilities statements,
  • Advice from a panel of government buyers and successful small business owners,
  • Interactive, roll-up-your-sleeves round-table exercises where you’ll hone your new-found skills.

The event will be held on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at the Tech Square Research Building (TSRB), located at 85 Fifth St., NW, Atlanta, GA 30308. The workshop will take place from 9:00 am until 12 noon.

Pre-registration is required. Click here to pre-register. Due to space limitations, walk-ins on the day of the event will not be allowed.

 

 

 

 

 

A flyer describing this event can be downloaded by clicking here.

Who won March’s biggest contracts?

April 16, 2012 by

March’s contract countdown includes a pair of major wins by one company, a $1.5 billion contract that cleared the protest hurdle and only two multiple award contracts.

For the month, Washington Technology covered 28 contract awards, compared to 21 in February and 40 in January.

The total value of the contracts awarded in March was just over $7 billion. Of course, that is the ceiling value of the contracts. Only time will tell how closely they get to those kinds of numbers.

So starting at No. 10, the March contract countdown begins with….

10. CACI wins $78M pact to update Air Force IT
CACI International Inc. won a $78 million contract to help update aging systems within the Air Force’s NextGen IT program with new technologies. The award covers integration, sustainment and deployment services for the Air Force Civil Engineer’s Office, which ensures that all Air Force buildings, structures and utilities are maintained and combat ready.

9. Harris wins delayed VA contract for $80.3M
Harris Corp. will be taking over the Veterans Affairs Department contract to create software for the agency’s integrated-electronic health records system, known as iEHR. The contract is worth $80.3 million

The original software contract awarded to ASM Research in January was canceled on Feb. 28 after a conflict of interest, and was reopened to the original bidders.

8. 8 bid on $93M Navy education-training contract
The Navy has selected eight contractors to provide education training products and services for the Naval Education Training Command under a cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price multiple-award contract with a maximum value of $97.3 million.
The winning contractors will compete to provide support and services to the Naval Education Training and Professional Development and Technology Center, which works to educate Navy sailors in a variety of ways.

The eight contractors are:

URS Federal Inc.
Raytheon Technical Services Co.
Technical Software Services
Camber Corp.
General Dynamics Information Technology
Northrop Grumman Corp.
Logistics Services International Inc.
Sonalysts Inc.

7. Northrop nabs $189M DISA cyber task
Northrop Grumman Corp. has won a $189 million contract to support the Defense Information Systems Agency’s cybersecurity efforts. The company will be implementing the host-based security system across the Defense Department and intelligence agencies. The HBSS is part of DOD’s Information Assurance and Computer Network Defense contract. Northrop will provide software license management support, training, help desk and architectural infrastructure support personnel.

6. CSC wins $297M Maryland Medicaid upgrade
Computer Sciences Corp. will completely revamp Maryland’s Medicaid information system under an eight-year contract that has an estimated total value to $297 million. The contract from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene calls for CSC to replace the state’s Medicaid Management Information System and to provide fiscal agent services for selected DHMH programs.

5. 14 vie for $500M Navy purchases
Fourteen government contractors, including nine small businesses, will share a potential $500 million Navy supply contract for IT equipment and services.

Each company has been awarded an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price supply contract for the procurement of commercial-off-the-shelf, network and communications equipment, and related incidental support services.

The contract winners are:

ACG Systems Inc., Annapolis, Md.
Atlantic Diving Supply Inc., Virginia Beach, Va.
Blue Tech Inc., San Diego.
CDW Government LLC, Vernon Hills, Ill.
Global Technology Resources Inc., Denver.
Iron Bow Technologies LLC, Chantilly, Va.
Marshall Communications Corp., Ashburn, Va.
Mercom Inc., Pawleys Island, S.C.
Mutual Telecom Services Inc., Needham, Mass.
Science Applications International Corp., McLean, Va.
Scientific Research Corp., Atlanta.
Strategic Communications LLC, Louisville, Ky.
Tribalco LLC, Bethesda, Md.
World Wide Technology Inc., St. Louis.

4. Northrop wins $504M Air Force job
Northrop Grumman Corp. will modernize the Air Force’s Air and Space Operations Center as the result of an eight-year contract that has a potential value of $504 million if all options are exercised. The Air and Space Operations Center Weapon System in Newport News, Va., is the command and control center for planning, executing and assessing joint air operations during contingency operations or conflict.

3. Xerox captures $848M cloud project
Xerox has won a nine-year, $848 million contract from the state of Texas to create secure cloud-based services by modernizing and consolidating its data centers. The upgrade will be one of the largest projects of its kind in the country.

2. Protest denial clears $1.5B contract for VSE
VSE Corp. can now begin work on a $1.5 billion contract to help the Navy transfer U.S. vessels to foreign buyers. The contract was protested by Booz Allen Hamilton but the Government Accountability Office denied the protest. VSE services will include design, configuration management, spare parts support, training and depot-level repair.

And the biggiest contract award for the month of March goes to…

1. Xerox takes over $1.6B Medi-Cal contract
Xerox wins a $1.6 billion contract to manage the processing of Medicaid claims in the state of California, which serves more than 7.5 million people. Xerox got into the Medicaid processing business with its acquisition of Affiliated Computer Services. It now processes claims in 12 states and the District of Columbia.

About the Author: Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. This article appeared on Apr. 9, 2012 at http://washingtontechnology.com/articles/2012/04/09/march-contract-countdown.aspx?s=EB?s=wtdaily

EPA holds small business conference Apr. 25th in Atlanta

April 2, 2012 by

The Region 4 Office of Small Business Programs for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is holding its annual Small Business Conference on Wednesday, April 25, 2012, from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center Conference Center, Room B, 61 Forsyth Street. Atlanta, GA  30303.

This conference will provide an overview of federal contracting opportunities that are available for small businesses.  You will have the ability to dialogue with contracting officers, prime contractors and small business resource providers.

Admission to the conference is free; however, pre-registration is required. Conference space is limited, so you are encouraged to register early.

Due to limited space, only two representatives from each company will be allowed to register.  Registration will be discontinued after the maximum participation has been reached and no on-site registration will be permitted.

RSVP by e-mail no later than Monday, April 16, 2011.  Please complete the registration form (Small Business Conference Invite_2012epa) and return via e-mail to vog.apenull@selrahc.seyah.

Make sure your e-mail address is noted when you RSVP so a confirmation letter can be returned to your attention.  Remember to bring your company’s capability statement.

For more information please contact: Charles Hayes, Small Business Program Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at (404) 562-8377 or vog.apenull@selrahc.seyah.

 

 

Next vendor orientation to Cobb County Schools is May 3rd

April 1, 2012 by

The Procurement Services unit of the Cobb County School District will hold its next “How to Do Business” session on Thursday, May 3, 2012.

Vendors will have an opportunity to ask questions, meet CCSD Procurement personnel, and learn about the District’s purchasing processes. All interested vendors are welcome to attend.

To learn more about the school district’s buying needs in advance of attending the orientation session, vendors may conduct research on-line at http://www.cobbk12.org/centraloffice/purchasing to decide if they want to get more information.  (Under “Quick Links” on the web site, take a look at both awarded contracts and current solicitations to get a good idea of the school district’s annual buying needs.)

The school district’s vendor orientation sessions are Very informal and participant driven. Officials conduct a review of the purchasing process, outline the school district’s buying needs, and describe supplier shortfalls experienced by the district.

These informal sessions are conducted on the first Thursday of every month from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. in the CCSD Procurement Services Bid Room located at 6975 Cobb International Blvd., Kennesaw, GA 30152.

Should the schedule or location change for any reason, the information will be posted on the school district’s website at http://www.cobbk12.org/centraloffice/purchasing.    Please note that the District will be closed April 2-6, 2012 so there will be no vendor session in April.

Defense technology to grow despite Pentagon budget cuts

January 17, 2012 by

As the Defense Department slashes its budget by at least $487 billion in 10 years, technology investment is one of the few areas that will continue to grow, according to a new military strategy that President Obama and Pentagon officials released Thursday.

The increased spending will focus on cyberspace, intelligence systems, space and science research, according to the review.

President Obama told a Pentagon press briefing that Defense has to develop “smart, strategic priorities.” Specifically, he called for enhanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems.

In his written introduction to the review, Obama said the new strategy will “ensure that our military is agile, flexible and ready for the full range of contingencies.” He added this includes investments to ensure that the United States can prevail in all domains of military operations, including cyberspace.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said broad cuts in the new Defense budget, due for release in late January, do not apply to investments in technology, including unmanned systems, space capabilities and “particularly cyberspace capabilities.”

Defense budgeted $3.2 billion for cybersecurity in 2012. The Pentagon, Panetta said, must continue to invest “in new capabilities to maintain a decisive edge.”

He declined to provide specific funding figures for any military programs, deferring that action until release of the 2013 Defense budget. But, Panetta said, the strategy will drive the structure of the budget.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter said the new strategy envisions budget increases in “all aspects of cyber,” along with science and technology research. Defense cannot abandon that research, Carter said, as it would be akin to “eating our seed corn.”

Highlighting the importance of networks and space systems in the future, the strategy document said: “Modern armed forces cannot conduct high-temp, effective operations without reliable information and communication networks and assured access to cyberspace and space. Today space systems and their supporting infrastructure face a range of threats that may degrade, disrupt or destroy assets. Accordingly, DoD will continue to work with domestic and international allies and partners and invest in advanced capabilities to defend its networks, operational capability and resiliency in cyberspace and space.”

Trey Hodgkins, vice president of national security and procurement policy at TechAmerica, an industry trade group, said the new military strategy reflects an increasing awareness within Defense that technology, including information technology, sits at the core of multiple missions, and the Pentagon has to continue to beef up investments in this area.

Obama pointed out that the new military strategy shifts the Pentagon focus from Europe and the Mideast to the Asia-Pacifc region, including a beefed-up U.S. force presence in Australia that he announced in November 2011.

“As we end today’s wars, we will focus on a broader range of challenges and opportunities, including the security and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific [region],” Obama wrote in his introduction to the review. This shift includes dealing with the growth of the military power of China, which should be balanced by greater U.S. military presence in the region, the document said.

Hodgkins said this increased focus on the Asia-Pacific region will boost the importance of the U.S. Pacific Command headquartered in Honolulu and will require greater Defense network capacity in the region.

– by Bob Brewin – NextGov –  01/05/12 at http://www.nextgov.com/nextgov/ng_20120105_8406.php?oref=rss?zone=NGtoday

5 secrets of better branding for government contractors

December 8, 2011 by

There’s a good reason Vangent was named government contractor of  the year at the 9th Annual Greater Washington Government Contractor  Award gala.

Vangent delivered great results and had a strong brand. Over its  fifty plus year history, the Vangent brand grew from a small business  unit of NCS, to a $90 million operating division of Pearson PLC, to a  $700+ million stand-alone company owned by Veritas Capital that was  ultimately acquired by General Dynamics for $960 million on Sept. 30,  2011.

My paramount focus for Vangent’s brand over the past four and a half  years was to grow awareness and recognition as a powerful, effective and reliable partner for federal government agencies seeking a services  provider to support and answer questions about broad-reaching government programs. These programs included Medicare, military health care,  disease control and prevention, student loans and Cash for Clunkers, to  name a few.

In today’s government services market, where lowest price and  technically acceptable often trumps best value and best solution, and  where companies big and small, old and new, are jockeying for a slice of dwindling federal dollars amid an austere budget environment, an  effective branding strategy is critical to a company’s success.

Vangent’s growth and market strength were the result of great  customer service but also a strong focus on brand value, both internally and externally. Without a strong brand, many government services  providers look exactly alike. With a solid and recognizable brand, a  government services provider can come to stand for something valuable  and important for its employees, customers, investors and the citizenry  it serves.

Here are five rules of branding I practiced at Vangent which are  essential for any company looking to enter the government services  market, expand their market share or to re-position for new growth  opportunities:

1) Focus on outcomes, not offerings. You can put a  marketing brochure or a website of Company A next to Company B and cover up the names and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. Many  companies feel compelled to list every capability or skill they offer in a ‘laundry list’ fashion without any context as to what problem or  challenge they help their customers overcome. A much more compelling way to communicate what a company does differently is to promote the  outcomes or results it accomplishes for its customers – in plain  English. Vangent built a successful branding campaign on the fact that “four out of ten Americans connect with Vangent, but never know it.” We  combined this powerful and memorable factoid with a unique result it  helped its customers accomplish. One example was how Vangent helped a  customer enable better information sharing among multiple agencies which saved time and money – reducing processing time from eight months to  just one day and shaving 30 percent in operating costs. Using that kind  of differentiator will make your company stick out from the rest of the  pack and allow you to stake claim to a result which you can build your  brand around.

2) Equip your employees with the tools they need to be effective brand communicators. In the government contracting world, employees are your most valuable  brand ambassadors. But the reality is that most employees who work for  government services providers can barely recite their company’s mission  or vision statements, let alone their menu of service offerings. The  reason is simple: Mission statements too often are too long and full of  over-used industry jargon. Make it easy for your employees by giving  them the tools they need to not only memorize the meaning or essence of  your company’s brand, but to internalize the brand so that they can  effectively explain what your company’s brand represents. When Pearson  Government Solutions was rebranded as Vangent in 2007, it created a  “brand playbook” given to every employee and helped them understand the  importance of branding, the words to describe Vangent’s brand and  examples or “proof points” that helped them explain what Vangent’s brand represents. The brand playbook was an essential part of Vangent’s  on-boarding program for new employees and was reinforced with a short  and impactful video shown to all employees.

3) Create an emotional feeling about your brand. It’s OK, really! Companies marketing products we buy and use every day  are masters at creating an emotional connection with consumers. They  want you to feel good about buying and using their product. That’s why  today’s consumer marketing focuses on how you feel versus how much the  product costs or whether you need it. Why can’t we apply that same rule  to the government services market? Vangent showcased its experts and  thought leaders on video in a series of conversations about some of the  most pressing challenges facing its customers. What’s the point in  keeping their faces and thoughts hiding behind nondescript bios or  ho-hum descriptions of your company’s services? Bring your company to  life and create an emotional connection with your target audiences by  storytelling. Showcase your company’s talent in rich content, quality  photos and compelling videos. You’ll offer your customers, teaming  partners and new recruits a glimpse into your company before they‘ve had the chance to meet you in person.

4) Your brand is your culture and culture trumps strategy any day. The first question asked by any new employee is about the company’s  culture, not about the company’s strategy. They’ll want to know what  it’s like to work at your company, what the environment is like and the  opportunities to advance their careers. Many companies in the government services industry struggle in communicating their company culture and  instead give employees lists of customers, names of contract vehicles  and a list of company locations. Does that really answer an employee’s  need to understand the company culture? Hardly. Vangent focused on its  six core values and one in particular: We do meaningful work. Employees  understood the impact they had on the lives of millions of people every  day. This powerful value permeated throughout the company in employee  communications, external communications in the forms of media relations, investor relations and marketing and recruiting campaigns.

5) Invest in your company’s brand no matter how much and don’t be ashamed about it. The old saying “don’t be penny wise and pound foolish” certainly rings  true today in the government services industry where pressure on top and bottom line growth has squeezed out marketing, communications,  advertising and branding budgets. During an era of dwindling resources  in the federal government where blatant promotion is frowned upon, how  do you distinguish your company and justify precious resources? In a  down economy like the one we’re experiencing today, it’s more important  than ever to up your game and take advantage of new and inexpensive ways to showcase your company. At Vangent, I implemented an integrated  marketing program which focused on valuable content and compelling  videos. I also used social media tools including Twitter, YouTube and  LinkedIn to drive Vangent’s brand directly to the audiences it aimed to  reach. Vangent’s powerful messaging platform was on display at industry  events, conferences and trade shows.

Yes, employees, customers and investors do notice which companies  have got it going on and which companies are stuck in the past.

About the Author: Eileen Cassidy Rivera is former vice president of communications and investor relations at Vangent, a General Dynamics company. In December, she joined KeeganSilver as senior health marketing strategist supporting Booz Allen Hamilton. This article was published by Washington Technology on Dec. 1, 2011 at http://washingtontechnology.com/articles/2011/12/01/marketing-tips-government-market.aspx?s=wtdaily_021211.

Learn ‘soup to nuts’ of government contracting November 7-18

September 15, 2011 by

Serious about learning everything about government contracting?  Interested in learning about contracting from a federal contracting officer’s point-of-view?  Looking for an opportunity to learn government contracting in a comprehensive and interactive way?

If you answered “yes” to these three questions, then “Mission-Focused Contracting” –  a two-week course offered by The Contracting Education Academy at Georgia Tech — is the place to be.

This very comprehensive course is being offered on the Georgia Tech campus over a two-week period, November 7 through 18, 2011.   (Please note that there will be no class on Friday, November 11 in observance of Veterans’ Day.)

Mission-Focused Contracting is the capstone course for Level I contracting professionals and all non-contracting personnel who play a role in the acquisition process.  This class is applicable to both government and industry purchasing and engages participants in the entire government acquisition process, from meeting with the government customer to completing the contract close-out process. Throughout this course, participants have the opportunity to learn and apply problem-solving and negotiation skills.

The Contracting Education Academy at Georgia Tech (The Academy) is an approved equivalency training provider to the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) and provides continuing education training to acquisition and government contracting professionals as well as to business professionals working for government contractors or pursuing opportunities in federal contracting.

How You Will Benefit:

By attending this course, participants will learn how to:

  • Complete market research to identify procurement sources
  • Develop a bid or proposal package
  • Evaluate proposals and award contracts
  • Monitor contractor performance, apply remedies, and make proper contract payments
  • Modify contracts, exercise options, and complete the contract closeout process

Business people taking this course have the unprecedented opportunity to sit side-by-side with government contracting personnel to learn the ins and outs of federal contracting.  In addition, many of the principles of federal contracting apply to state and local government procurement.

To learn more about this course — and to register– please visit: http://www.pe.gatech.edu/courses/con-120-mission-focused-contracting.