WT Business Beat

By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Alliant arrives in time for Christmas

Well, naysayers — myself included — Alliant took a big leap forward today with the award of 72 contracts to small businesses. This bodes well for the award of Alliant Full and Open, which has reached its final evaluation stage.

The Alliant program has been so troubled, I've wondered at times if the General Services Administration should have just scrapped it and started over. Of course, that would have meant that scores of companies would have lost their bid and proposal investment, and bidding on these things are not cheap.

GSA has a press conference scheduled in a couple hours, so we should know more then about how they got to this point and what's next.

A few quick observations:

1. The award comes one year and one day after the original Alliant Small Business award.

2. There are 10 more awardees overall this time than the first go around, but there are 14 new companies on the list. Four companies — Alpha Ten Technologies, Management Support Technology CTA, Preferred Systems Solutions Inc. and Quality Management & Technology Resources — received awards last year, but didn't this year.

3. Looks like about 12 companies are joint ventures formed just to pursue the contract. I was tipped off by the number of companies with the word Alliant in their names. There could be others. I just counted the ones with the word Alliant or JV in their name.

4. At least one company — Kadix Systems — is owned by a large business, Dynamics Research. DRC bought them in August. Kadix was already in the bidding process and is probably exempt from being considered a large business right now. Still, it's not a great marketing move as far as perceptions go for GSA to award a small business contract to a company owned by a large business.

What we don't know yet: Who didn't win and will there be more protests?

Alliant hasn't reached the finish line yet. Stay tuned.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Dec 18, 2008 at 9:54 AM

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