Agencies turn to Alliant for emerging technologies
Alliant's flexibility accommodates new tech
When GSA officials created the Alliant governmentwide acquisition contract (GWAC), they knew the contract needed to be flexible enough to incorporate new and even unanticipated technologies within its scope over Alliant’s 10-year life span. They solved the problem by building Alliant so that it aligns directly with the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) and Department of Defense Enterprise Architecture (DODEA), a foresight that already has paid off for agency customers.
“Right now, Alliant can help agencies in such areas as cloud computing, cybersecurity, information assurance, virtualization, sustainability, health IT, IPv6, and Web 2.0 — all of the emerging technologies that we’re focused on now but which were not so prominent a few years ago,” said Mary Davie, assistant commissioner for GSA’s Office of Integrated Technology Services.
GSA recently used the Alliant contract to compete and award a $6.7 million task order to Unisys Corp. for cloud-based e-mail and collaboration tools, making GSA the first federal agency to move e-mail to an agencywide cloud-based system. The shift is expected to reduce inefficiencies and lower costs by 50 percent over the next five years.
“This first cloud deployment fits into our broader program of utilizing cloud services for lightweight, agile technologies that can be deployed quickly and scale rapidly,” GSA CIO Casey Coleman said.
Other Unisys partners on the five-year cloud-based e-mail project are Google, Tempus Nova and Acumen Solutions.
Alliant was the right contract vehicle for GSA’s cloud deployment, Coleman said. “We got a flexible and modern procurement vehicle that could meet all of our objectives. Alliant provided access to cloud e-mail services and a wide array of firms to ensure robust competition,” she said.
Enabling smart buildings
GSA’s Public Buildings Service (PBS) is using the Alliant contract for its innovative Smart Building program. PBS has selected 50 buildings to begin its program, which will retrofit the buildings with technologies that will measure and analyze energy usage to help manage the buildings more efficiently. In addition to improving energy efficiency, Smart Building technologies will enhance the operational effectiveness of the buildings and occupant satisfaction.
PBS officials are still preparing the first task order for the project, but they intend to use Alliant because of its flexibility in acquiring new technology services, said an official with the Smart Building program. “What’s good about Alliant is that it allows you to make adjustments along the way. If you see a new requirement or need a new skill set that you didn’t originally anticipate, it’s easy to add them to the contract,” the official said.
GSA officials and Alliant contractors contend that Alliant is an ideal vehicle for acquiring new technologies because of both its scope and the capabilities of its 58 companies, many of whom are leaders in developing and implementing cutting-edge technologies and solutions.
“Agencies will never have to worry whether the latest and greatest technology will be available under Alliant. Emerging technologies that are aligned with the Federal Enterprise Architecture and Defense Enterprise Architecture will always be within scope of this contract,” said Alliant Program Manager Casey Kelley.