CONTRACT AND BUYERS GUIDES: THE Unique Alliant(s)

Alliant and Alliant SB help customers plan their needs from cradle-to-grave and align their investment processes to their EA.

Alliant and Alliant SB support the entire lifecycle of an IT investment in a way no other vehicles do.  “Alliant helps customers conceive of their requirements in FEA terms right out of the gate – from cradle-to-grave – in an OMB friendly format,” explained Jim Ghiloni, Director of GWAC Programs. “Further it educates GSA’s Industry Partners, because they need to understand how this model works and how this ties back to agency requirements; so they can prepare solutions and be ready to meet the government’s requirements,” he continued.

 

The Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) describes IT products and services in terms of infrastructure, applications and management, rather than individual nuts-and-bolts technology and specific product types and brands (hardware, software,
networks, etc.).  

 

Twenty years from now there will still be hardware, but it could be totally different from what is now available and the FEA allows for that.“The model is continually evolving and will remain up-to-date throughout the contract lifetime,” Ghiloni explained.

 

By not listing specific products, customers will find that Alliant is capable of providing any type of IT solution without necessarily doing a search for the catchword or catchphrase of the day.

 

Up One Level
Let’s say you go to the grocery store looking for specifics such as corn flakes, milk and bananas. When you look for them you don’t see signs for those specific products, but broader categories such as cereal, dairy and fruit. That’s “up a level” according to Ghiloni.

 

Alliant is like a big bag of Legos (the “Lego analogy”) that customers put together to fit that particular mission. This approach is good for many of the CIO components of agencies who are thinking about component-based architectures for their IT investments.

 

“You design your solution in a component oriented manner, like Legos,” said Ghiloni. “You piece those components together to create shapes; those shapes are your solution. If you need a different shape, you don’t redesign or obtain new components; you reconfigure how those components are attached.”

 

Ghiloni noted that they are not trying to list every possible combination of a thousand different components. “What we are saying is ‘these are the components of an IT solution, this is what makes up an IT solution and that’s the scope of the contract’.”  The way you piece those things together for a particular requirement is specified at the TO level.

 

That’s good for you. So, when you are doing your SOWs for individual TOs, you can use a common language to define your IT investments as they evolve over time. It eliminates the need to list everything possible and encourages the re-use of solutions.

 

Direct or Assisted Acquisition (Your Choice)
Alliant contains lots of tools available to assist customers in how to use the contract. And customers have options on how to use the contract.

 

Agencies can use GSA Assisted Services to help with the buy (Assisted Acquisition) or they can buy direct (Direct Acquisition). “We understand agencies have a wide array of business practices. We want to give them choices, so they can align their methodology or acquisition strategy with their particular circumstance,” said Ghiloni.

 

Alliant also includes provisions that encourage and support the various initiatives that define and are really shaping IT in the federal government, such as open source and the emphasis towards green technology and Earned Value Management. There are provisions in Alliant that support those initiatives directly so they are very easy to capture.

 

Both Alliant GWACs are also excellent for procuring managed services. “Managed services are just a methodology for acquiring a service,” explained Powers-King. “If it’s an IT requirement then it’s in the scope of Alliant and Alliant SB, so you can do any type of managed service on both.”

 

Two For Ten
Keep Alliant and Alliant SB in mind when making your acquisition strategy decision, because Alliant and Alliant SB support you now – and for the next 10 years.



Click here for the contract details.