CIO-CS was never intended to be a stand-alone vehicle. The most recently awarded NITAAC GWAC was envisioned as part of a strategic combination that would provide agencies with IT services and related technology.
The two companion contracts under the CIO umbrella – CIO-Solutions and Partners 3 (CIO-SP3) and a companion CIO-SP3 Small Business contract – 10-year, $20 billion IDIQ contracts expected to run through 2022. Like CIO-CS, they are Best-in- Class procurement vehicles.
Those contracts were designed to deliver IT solutions and services in the health and biomedical needs sector – as well as more general IT services that would enable medical systems to integrate with broader IT infrastructures, a growing requirement in government.
By comparison, CIO-CS was envisioned as more of a tactical contract, with CIO-SP3 providing the ideas for the services and accompanying customization for agencies. CIO-CS would deliver equipment required for implementation – even though CIO-CS has always offered its own services.
Since then, however, CIO-CS has evolved into a vehicle that provides, in addition to technology products, many of the services that agencies need to effectively use those products. Buyers no longer need to go to the SP3 contracts to get those services. Vendors can supply everything buyers need using a single contract.
The idea of an “umbrella” of contracts is still relevant, however, since there will be occasions when CIO-CS can’t deliver the right services itself, vendors can then go to the SP3 contracts to fill in the holes.
“There are a few contract holders with a toe in all of the CIO contracts, but there’s no more than a handful that do that,” says a CDW·G CIO-CS program manager. “If a customer comes to us looking for a service specific procurement, we can look first at CIO-CS to see if it fits, and if not we can turn to the SP3 contracts.”
The beauty of the NITAAC group of CIO contracts is that it’s easy for contract holders on one contract to link up with those on another. In this case, CDW·G could act as a subcontractor to an SP3 vendor, which would be the prime on any services solution that CDW·G would put together for a customer.
“In that sense, this is a good village of contracts we can work with to provide solutions,” a CDW·G CIO-CS program manager says. “It’s a true win-win scenario.”
Both CIO-SP3, with GovTribe putting its current task order awards at around $7.4 billion, and its small business equivalent seem to be picking up speed. On CIO-SP3 small business, even though the recompete isn’t due to happen until 2022, NITAAC has held an interim “on-ramp” competition for the remaining four years of the current contract. The on-ramp process could add a number of new businesses to the current 156 contract holders.