CONTRACT AND BUYERS GUIDES: Speaking of Alliant SB

Alliant SB is GSA’s first GWAC dedicated specifically to the small business community as a whole.

Mary Powers-King recently joined GSA as the Director of GWAC and IT Schedule Programs. She has more than 25 years experience and comes to GSA from DOT, where most recently she was the Director of IT and Deputy CIO at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

 

Jim Ghiloni is Director of GWAC Programs. He also acts as the Alliant Program Manager, responsible for overseeing the Alliant and Alliant SB procurements. A Certified Project Management Professional, he has also worked with FEDSIM and SmartBUY. nunc quis felis consectetuer elementum.

 

They recently spoke with 1105 Custom Media about Alliant SB.

Q: 1105 Custom Media — Tell us about the recently awarded Alliant SB?
A. Mary Powers-King:
Although Alliant and Alliant SB are similar, Alliant SB has been evaluated independently and has been appropriate influenced by small business rules and regulations. It is a multiple award IDIQ contract with a $15 billion ceiling. It runs for 5 years with one five year option – and most importantly, it is a small business set-aside.

 

It provides access to a large number of vendors who offer the broad spectrum of IT technology services and products. Alliant SB is an excellent mechanism to help federal agencies with their small business goals. From what we understand from the statistics we’ve seen, this is an area where agencies need help.

 

Q: 1105: How does it fit in with GSA’s other GWACs?
A: Jim Ghiloni
: Our other small business GWACs are socio-economic and dedicated to specific segments of industry. This is a generic small business contract and is a different category that we have had before; before our contracts were aimed at subsets of the community.



A: Mary Powers-King: This is GSA’s first small business set-aside GWAC. It is for entire small business community, so this is “new” for us. Alliant SB is a unique offering, filling in a gap that existed in our portfolio. It is not replacing anything, but is a new entry into our portfolio. And like Alliant, customers can do “direct acquisitions” or “assisted acquisitions” depending on their unique situations.

 

Q: 1105 — What are the fees for use?
A. Mary Powers-King:
It is consistent with all other GWAC vehicles we have and has a 3/4 of a percent fee. We think that’s pretty low. Agencies don’t pay GSA directly, but pay the vendor who pays GSA.

 

Q: 1105 – How do Alliant and Alliant SB compare?
A: Jim Ghiloni:
Everything you can say about Alliant is true for Alliant SB – except that it is a small business set-aside. It has all the value and the benefits and innovative features of Alliant including: describing scope in terms of FEA and the flexibility that that entails; the broad array of contract types; the reporting capabilities building around the program; and the information systems to support the contract. All of that allows us to bring that innovation to the small business arena.

 

A: Mary Powers-King: Alliant is our enterprise flagship contract for the next 10 years. Now Alliant SB can provide all those same benefits to agencies looking to meet their small business goals.

 

It gives our customers access to solutions that small business provides. It gives our customers a way to meet their IT requirements with innovative best in class solutions. We think that our small business industry partners really represent the “best of the best” in the small business community.

Q: 1105 — If customer wants to use Alliant SB, what is the procedure; how do they know whether to explore small business options?


A: Jim Ghiloni
: Early in the buying process they would identify their requirements and make their determination whether something that would be suitable for small business or not. Once they make that determination, they would begin to look for a contract vehicle that is small business.

 

That’s when they should be contacting us by phone, web or email. We then set up a brief training session, because we have to issue a DPA (Delegation of Procurement Authority) to the customer. We can do that over the phone, on the web, in person — whatever the customer wants. It takes from an hour to afternoon. We walk through with them how the contract works. We issue the DPA and from that point on they can issue orders against the contract as if it were their own contract.

 

A: Mary Powers-King: Most agencies have small business offices (e.g. OSDBU or SADBU) that may or may not be part of their procurement shop; so typically they know what the goals are because it is federally mandated. These small business offices keep track of that and required to report to OMB; so they will know where they are on track or falling short of goals.

 

Part of our outreach activities is that we will be talking with agencies to let them know we have this great opportunity with Alliant SB and it will be a “win-win” for meeting both their IT requirements and their small business objectives.

 

Q: 1105 – If you were face-to-face with a customer, what do you want to them to know about Alliant and Alliant SB?
A. Mary Powers-King:
They both offer comprehensive, enterprise wide IT solutions; they are very, very broad in scope, so any IT requirement you have can be accommodated through these vehicles. They are top quality and provide a large number of industry partners – the people you would want anyway.

 

Clearly for Alliant SB, it is a way for you to meet your small business goals. We are really excited about Alliant SB and we’re looking forward to getting it rolling.