Contractors prepare to tap into stimulus' billions for tech projects

Contractors and their partners adjust strategies and form new programs to chase billions in new opportunities.

Technology companies are poised to tap into the billions of dollars that will flow from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into new federal, state and local initiatives.

“If you’re in this market and you’re not looking at the [billions of dollars in the economic stimulus package], you’re missing a very logical opportunity, aren’t you?” asked Scott Friedlander, president and chief operating officer of GTSI Corp.

The $789 billion stimulus package, which President Barack Obama signed Feb. 19, is intended to create and save jobs, jump-start the economy, and build a foundation for long-term economic growth. It provides billions of dollars for public infrastructure modernization, including highway and energy projects, new electrical grid programs, environmental restoration, repair and upgrades to federal facilities, and many other initiatives that encompass IT spending in one way or another.

To be sure, the massive stimulus package appears to be a veritable cornucopia of technology-related programs. In a recently released study, research firm IDC estimates that the stimulus will generate more than $100.1 billion in technology spending during the next five years. IDC’s estimate includes traditional IT spending in addition to technologies related to sectors such as energy management systems and renewable energy technologies.

Match skills to dollars

Meanwhile, contractors are systematically gearing up for the coming flood of stimulus money. Cisco Systems Inc., for example, has established a program management office dedicated to the stimulus package, said Bruce Klein, the company’s senior vice president for the U.S. public sector.

The office is developing programs around the stimulus and exploring “where Cisco can play a role and what value we can bring,” he said.

Cisco officials believe that network technologies — one of their principal markets — will play a major part in many of the stimulus initiatives.

“We have solution sets around smart buildings, smart transit and smart airports, where you can use the intelligence of the network and build out new models and new ways of doing business that can gain some stimulus money,” Klein said. “If you’re building a highway, why not build a smart highway?”

Cisco’s program management office is divided into tiger teams, whose task is to design sets of programs to match stimulus priority areas and formulate ways to pitch the programs to potential customers, he said. Program management officials also have contracted grants writers, who are ready to swing into action when stimulus money becomes available.

At GTSI, officials have beefed up the company’s bids and proposals office. “We’ve been hiring for the better part of four months in preparation for the economic stimulus,” Friedlander said. “Because infrastructure is a core capability of ours, it all makes sense.”

GTSI sees potential stimulus money in cybersecurity and physical security systems, not only in the federal arena but also in the state and local markets, he added.

Microsoft Corp. officials have been laying the groundwork for new government business since the election, and as a result, the company is set to robustly seek stimulus funds, said Carolyn Brubaker, the company’s chief transition officer.

“We started analyzing opportunities right after the election, prior to the stimulus, trying to figure out what key priorities and initiatives were going to be put into place by the new administration and how Microsoft could align to those,” she said. “So it feels like we’ve been at this for a while.”

A focus on partners

Microsoft is building a Web site devoted to its stimulus-related programs, said Vince Menzione, general manager of public-sector partner strategy at Microsoft. The site is a centralized repository of stimulus information for its business partners and potential customers, and the information will be continually updated, he said.

Microsoft plans to work extensively with its business partners to develop cross-boundary products that intersect with stimulus priorities, concentrating in particular on the energy economy and energy conservation programs, Brubaker said. For example, Microsoft is targeting electrical grid projects, or smart grids, for which the stimulus package provides $11 billion.

“Smart grids really offer an opportunity to leverage the work of our partners and our partner ecosystem,” she said. “Microsoft isn’t really selling a smart-grid solution, [but we’re] looking at an interwoven capability of solutions with partners that will help support the smart-grid initiative.”

IBM Corp. also is focusing stimulus efforts on smart-infrastructure programs, including products that support smart grids and smart-transportation systems, said Todd Ramsey, manager director of federal business at IBM. The company is involved in about 50 smart-grid projects around the world, according IBM officials.

“Smart infrastructure starts with IT that [centers on] putting things in a greener format,” Ramsey said. “We have tons of IT out there that is very low utilization. Power grids are overtaxed in many cities. So making a greener footprint is an area where I think there is a lot of short-term opportunity.”

Follow the priorities

Both IBM and Microsoft said they see prospects for business in health IT, which is slated to receive $19 billion in stimulus spending. IBM recently launched an electronic health records exchange project with MedVirginia and the Social Security Administration, and Microsoft has developed health IT tools such as HealthVault, an electronic health record system.

By all accounts, contractors will need to react quickly when agencies issue requests for proposals. According to a white paper on the stimulus package by the Professional Services Council, companies will have an unusually short period of time to submit well-constructed proposals. For instance, Pennsylvania officials say contractors bidding for work will have 30 days to respond to RFPs instead of the typical 90 days.

Friedlander said he expects an average turnaround time of about 90 days from RFP to award. “That’s a relatively short window to make sure that solutions are defined,” he said.

“No one company is going to be able to do all things,” he added. “Companies that are flexible and can move with speed with other companies and work in good strategic partnerships will be the ones that really serve the [stimulus] customer best.”

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.