The General Services Administration and Department of Defense have awarded the Defense Enterprise Office Solutions (DEOS) contract again. According to FCW, the re-award is worth about $4.4 billion, just over half of the original contract value.
“It’s probably some combination of some refined assumptions on adoption and usage and probably a little bit better pricing that GSA and DoD were able to get when they re-awarded and asked both the players there to resubmit,” said Alan Thomas, Former Commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service at GSA.
“Everybody likes to focus on the top line number, but that’s usually not reality,” he explained. He said adoption and usage in the military departments may or may not go exactly as you think it might go when you award the contract.
Thomas said the re-award is important because it shows that DoD can actually begin work on one of these “mega cloud contracts.” Cloud capability is in high demand, so “hopefully this starts to show that the procurement process can keep pace.”
With respect to cloud contracts in general, Thomas said acquisition strategy is key. Being smart about the acquisition strategy from the beginning can save time on the backend.
Since this is a 10-year contract, changes in technology over that time period should be considered. Thomas said Office 365 will be deployed, which is likely to keep pace with changes in technology and bring “the latest email and productivity and collaboration tools to their users.” He explained that agencies should commit to rolling something out while also keeping an eye on what’s happening in the market, “so if you need to, you can sort of add … new tools in.”
Thomas said he expects to see more contracts similar to this one. “I think people are looking to drive standardization and … to drive down cost, and in order to do that, you need to get the scale,” he said.