Are You Ready? NETCENTS-2 Set to Expire and Opens Door to Competition as GSA Blanket Purchase Agreement Previous item Comstor Donates $5K to... Next item Federal IT Budget...

Long time Air Force IDIQ Network-Centric Solutions-2 (NETCENTS-2) contracts, which were the primary contract vehicle for procurement of IT products, services, and solutions, is set to expire in November. In order for the Air Force to continue to procure IT products and services, they are teaming up with the General Services Administration (GSA) for a new five-year blanket purchase agreement (BPA) worth up to $5.5B. The 2nd Generation Information Technology (2GIT) contract will have a 12-month period base, followed by four 12-month period options.

So, what does this mean for the government IT contracting and VAR community?

Ed Somers, Sr. Director, Public Sector for SYNNEX , recently sat down with the EDGE360 editorial team to discuss what opportunities this new GSA BPA presents for government IT resellers and VARs. He shared the importance for government contractors and IT resellers to demonstrate strong partnerships and relationships across the supply chain, as well as a high level of expertise in the technology products and services they are offering. Here is the full interview:

What is the significance of the move from NETCENTS-2 to a GSA BPA?

Currently the NETCENTS-2 contract is managed by the Air Force for the service. But, as we all know, the Air Force’s core competency is not managing contracts. Now the Air Force has partnered with GSA, whose core competency is managing contracts and BPAs. GSA opens the door for more authorized users under this BPA – from other defense agencies to civilian to state and local government and regional and tribal government as part of the cooperative purchasing program.

Now the door is open for a new group of resellers to bid and also extend their reach beyond the Air Force. Additionally, resellers who already manage the GSA contract vehicle no longer have to manage a separate contract vehicle, as they currently do with NETCENTS-2. That’s a big administrative burden that is lifted now that it is a BPA against the current GSA schedule.

What opportunities does this present for VARs and government IT resellers who were not a part of the original NETCENTS-2 contract vehicle?

The door is open for new bidders and offers multiple areas to bid on. For example, there are five separate line items that a reseller can bid on. They may choose to only bid on data centers or perhaps they bid on data centers, network, and radio equipment. You have an opportunity to win under one-or-more line types under this vehicle.

How can the new government contractors and IT resellers differentiate themselves from the competition?

The fundamental scope is to provide a one-stop shop for IT solutions to agencies, which means that IT resellers need to come to the table with a broad scope of products to offer to create that total solution approach. In other words, while we want our partners to work with us to sell Cisco solutions, they need to demonstrate depth and breadth. It is in their best interest to develop relationships with technology manufacturers across the board to create a best of breed total solution.

What should these IT resellers know about working with a distribution partner like Westcon-Comstor?

Simply put, we are not here to compete with IT resellers on this. Our goal is to support our partners bid efforts and we do not bid on this GSA BPA directly. We are not your competition, we are your partner and we take that role seriously.

If you don’t already have a teaming agreement with us, please reach out to the GSA team to develop a teaming agreement to support your bid. You can email gsa@synnex.com for both GSA Schedules for Weston-Comstor and SYNNEX.

What timelines and dates should these resellers keep in mind?

The GSA timeline is subject to change. The draft RFP was shared late last year, and we expect the official RFP to drop by February 22.