Contractors bolster Alliant services
Industry collaborates to boost Alliant's profile, success
Collaboration is the watchword among the 58 contractors on the GSA’s Alliant governmentwide acquisition contract (GWAC). Alliant companies work closely with both the Alliant program office and each other to improve the contract’s services and promote the contract among federal agencies.
The contractors carry out activities of mutual concern through the Alliant Shared Interest Group (SIG) and its two major subcommittees, the Program and Contracting Subcommittee and the Business Development Subcommittee, which are run by contractors in coordination with GSA. Alliant program officials meet regularly with SIG leaders to share information about the program and exchange ideas for helping it generate more business.
“The SIG is a great forum for raising concerns and issues,” said Belinda Pellegrino, SAIC’s Alliant program manager and member of the SIG steering committee. “It also provides an opportunity for GSA and the industry partners to identify more efficient ways to manage and execute on this contract.”
The SIG partners recently completed a Newcomers Guide to help new program officials from industry. With 58 companies on the contract, turnover is inevitable; people are regularly promoted or move to new positions. The guide is intended to help newcomers understand how the contract works, where to go for information, how to answer common questions about Alliant and GWACs, and other related issues.
The Newcomers Guide and sharing of information is vital, said Sean Gleason, GWAC program manager for Smartronix. “Although we are competitors, all of the industry partners are linked and commonly vested in the success of the program,” he said. “We have a shared interest in presenting a very professional industry team to the customers.”
The Newcomers Guide is typical of the collaboration among Alliant’s industry partners, said both industry and GSA officials. “These efforts are paying dividends for the less experienced industry partners who are being mentored under this program,” said Richard Blake, a GSA business management specialist and Alliant technical adviser who assists with coordinating Alliant activities with the SIG.
During the past year, the SIG has been working with Alliant officials on a project to collect and share data about Alliant requests for information (RFIs) and requests for proposals (RFPs). The challenge was to format the information so it can be shared among all interested parties. The six-month project was just recently completed and offers contractors and GSA officials an enhanced capability to see trends and understand the needs of agencies.
“Sharing this actionable data is important for government because it enhances competition and ensures agencies get the best bids,” said Ann Gladys, CSC deputy program manager for Alliant and chair of the SIG steering committee.
Another ongoing project in which the SIG and Alliant officials are working closely together is the creation of performance of work templates. When completed, these templates will help guide agencies as they create statement of work (SOW) documents laying out their performance requirements for new projects. In essence, the templates will enable the agencies to define more clearly their requirements and services needed.
“These templates are going to save agencies an enormous amount of time and lead to better government and saving for taxpayers,” Blake said.
Along with these new initiatives, the Alliant SIG and its subcommittees meet regularly with Alliant officials at the quarterly program reviews to collaborate and share information. Industry partners expect Alliant sales to continue growing, despite a projected flat rate of overall spending for IT and professional services in government.
“It’s exciting to be on a contract that exceeds the growth rate of other contracts in government,” Gladys said.