GSA Awards Federal Cloud Computing Contract to 11 Prime Companies
Eleven prime contractors and their partners this week landed the General Services Administration’s Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) contract, which gives the winners a platform to sell virtual machines, cloud storage and other services to government agencies. The contract award was original slated for the fall of 2009, but the procurement was revised to provide for greater security requirements. Here’s the update and a look at the contractors that may help the government with cloud initiatives.
The wait appears to be over now, but contractors have another hurdle to navigate before they can start selling cloud services. The vendors must first complete a certification and accreditation process at the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) Moderate-Impact security level. Once cleared, the contractors will offer their cloud services through the government’s Apps.gov storefront.
With winners include a mix of cloud and managed services providers, telecom firms, and systems integrators. Here’s a list of the teams:
- Apptis Inc. partnered with Amazon Web Services
- Autonomic Resources partnered with Carpathia, Enomaly, and Dell
- CGI Federal Inc.
- Computer Literacy World partnered with Electrosoft, XO Communications and Secure Networks
- Computer Technologies Consultants Inc. partnered with Softlayer Inc.
- Eyak Tech LLC
- General Dynamics Information Technology partnered with Carpathia
- Insight Public Sector partnered with Microsoft
- Savvis Federal Systems
- Verizon Federal Inc.
The awards will give vendors a chance to realize their government cloud aspirations. Apptis Inc. recently announced a cloud services offering in partnership with Amazon. One of Apptis’ cloud services aims to ease the certification and accreditation task.
Carpathia, named on two of the IaaS contractor teams, entered the government market for cloud computing last year. At that time, company officials acknowledged plans to pursue the IaaS deal, noting that its facilities adhere to FISMA and the Defense Information Technology Security Certification and Accreditation Process/Defense Information Assurance Certification and Accreditation Process (DITSCAP/DIACAP) guidelines.
Savvis, meanwhile, has been active in the federal market, holding a GSA Schedule 70 contract and playing a role in the launch of Apps.gov.
The juxtaposition of participating companies provides for some sharp contrasts: on the one hand, you have the likes of AT&T, Dell, General Dynamics, Microsoft, and Verizon. And on the other, you have smaller firms like Eyak, which describes itself as an Alaska Native-owned small business.
The important thing to note about multiple-award contracts like IaaS is that they provide an opportunity to sell. The value of the program to a given contractor will depend on effective marketing and service delivery. That, and sufficient interest among agencies in cloud computing.