During the week of March 2, 2015, it is anticipated that the National Information Technology Commodity Program (NITCP) will release its Second Generation Multiple Award Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) draft solicitation. Vendors can expect to compete among five specialized categories representing different areas of information technology. These categories, or “pools” as they are known in the BPA, will be divided as follows.
- Client Computing Devices and Servers
- Network/Data Center Equipment
- Audio/Visual and Video Teleconference Equipment
- Motorola Brand Land Mobile Radios
- Cisco Brand IT Products including Network/Data Center Equipment, Peripherals, Communications Equipment, and Ancillary Supplies/Services
The overall goal with the 2nd Generation is to:
- Simplify data collection
- Comply with applicable regulations, including the Trade Agreements Act (TAA)
- Improve customer service and consequently enhance customer relationships
- Streamline procurement of IT commodities
- Reduce costs, paperwork, and repetitive individual purchases
The 2nd Generation was created with customer feedback as the driving mechanism. In contrast, the 1st Generation BPAs were based on industry market research. Research results facilitated a segmented model featuring multiple sets of BPAs mated to individual commodity groups. The customer consensus reflected in the 2nd Generation, however, strongly favors a single source preference for all commodity needs.
The Government estimates that the volume of purchases under this BPA will be at or in excess of $5 billion. The 2GIT BPAs are available to federal agencies and also to state and local governments through the GSA Cooperative Purchasing Program.
The 1st Generation BPAs will continue to run their course as the 2nd Generation rolls out. Those with existing 1st Generation contracts are able to participate in the competition for 2nd Generation BPAs. Furthermore, vendors are free to bid on multiple pools.
A common question among potential bidders is the business size considerations, as the Government prefers to view itself as a champion of small business. Small businesses will continue to receive preference, but the 2GIT will not be restricted to small business exclusively. Businesses of all sizes will be considered and are encouraged to bid. With 2GIT,”small business” will continue to be defined by the size standard established at the GSA Schedule 70 contract level.
Julio is a Senior Consultant with Coley GCS, LLC, a Government Contracts Consulting, Coaching and Training company. Julio has over 10 years’ experience helping companies succeed with their GSA schedules.