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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

SEWP V off to a fast start

NASA’s $20 billion SEWP V contract for IT products and related services is off to a roaring start.

After wreathing a group of bid protests, the contract finally went live May 1, and NASA has already seen a staggering 1,700 task orders come through the vehicle, according to Joanne Woytek, who spoke at the Montgomery County, Md., Chamber of Commerce GovConNet event on Friday.

Woytek spoke as part of a panel of GWAC contract leaders, which included representatives from NIH, GSA and the Homeland Security Department talking about their vehicles. Check out what Jaclyn Smyth of DHS had to say about the prospect of a third Eagle contract from DHS.

The GovConNet event emphasizes opportunities for small businesses in the government market and audience questions quickly turned toward, How do I do business in the market if I’m not on one of these GWAC contracts?

Woytek said that you don’t need a prime contract to succeed and then threw out a remarkable statistic from the SEWP IV contract: More than 5,000 companies did business with the federal government through SEWP IV.

What makes that number even more stunning is that SEWP IV only had 45 contract holders.

Beyond the wow factor of that 5,000 to 45 ratio is the lesson Woytek was trying to teach – don’t ignore the opportunity to reach government customers through partnerships with prime contractors.

SEWP V, with its 202 contract holders (compared to the 45 of SEWP IV), should represent even greater opportunities for new companies to crack the government market. The key for companies trying to work with these primes is to show them what unique technology, capability or other difference maker you can bring them.

We talked a lot about that at the panel I moderated later on how to work with prime contractors. Success with or without a prime contract comes down to the concept of differentiation.

SEWP’s fast start likely isn’t a surprise to many. With that kind of volume, it is unlikely that the contract vehicle will lose any luster it gained from the first four iterations of the contract.

The real challenge is for the 200-some primes and the seemingly limitless number of potential partners to make the best use of this remarkable contract.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on May 19, 2015 at 9:32 AM

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