The General Services Administration and the Defense Information Systems Agency have made the first contract awards under their combined commercial satellite communications program, and more are expected soon. Part of an effort that began approximately two years ago, the deals mark a major shift in the way federal government organizations procure these space-based services. And though industry has its doubts about this new arrangement, the agencies in charge of the program believe the plan will benefit users and providers alike.
Export controls of military-related materials long have been a bone of contention between government and industry, but 2010 ushered in an array of changes, with adjustments to current laws and talk of broader reform. Leaders of private-sector organizations have pushed hard for legal decision makers to simplify the sale of products to foreign entities so domestic companies can keep pace with overseas competitors. And though these industry personnel might sometimes label the governing agencies as obstacles, administrators of the law also want restructuring efforts to move forward.
In the real world, predicting the military’s requirements is not the work of soothsayers. Instead, it requires traditional and nontraditional defense contractors alike to keep their eyes wide open and their ears to the ground. If they plan to sell a solution to one or all of the armed services in the coming years, they had better be paying close attention today to technical gaps as well as wish lists. And although companies going after military and government business are similar in many ways, their approaches to garner that next big contract are often very different.
It is almost impossible to overstate the importance computer networks and Internet-oriented applications play in today’s federal arena. After all, Pentagon officials constantly stress the military superiority inherent in net-centric warfare in which voice, data, satellite images and video provide essential battlefield information in real time. In this electronic enclave, U.S. fighting forces always stay at least one step ahead of the enemy.
Lisa N. Wolford grew up loving water sports. A former competitive swimmer, she worked as a lifeguard as a teenager and young adult. Later she took up motor boating, kayaking and sailing as well as jet and water skiing. But probably because she came of age in land-locked Nebraska, Wolford never did learn how to surf.
That proved no hindrance later in life. As a federal information technology executive, the former U.S. Marine Corps radio operator figured out how to catch a big wave and ride it to success.
The 2010 Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration (CWID) cycle has begun. Organizations interested in participating in the event can go to the Federal Business Opportunity site for details about how to participate.
The U.S. economic stimulus package is making waves throughout government and industry. Some experts believe that it represents a sea change in government acquisition in terms of oversight, contractor accountability and transparency, which has been attempted before but never has been fully realized. Companies that wish to benefit from the stimulus package need to move—and move quickly—by positioning themselves as solutions providers and as businesses that are willing to follow the new rules.
It is a good thing Dr. Stanton D. Sloane loves the thrill of the hunt. As president and chief executive officer of SRA International Incorporated, Sloane will be scouring details of the $787 billion federal fiscal stimulus package and the new administration’s upcoming defense budgets for additional sources of revenue.
One could forgive Paul Domorski for running a little scared. How else can people describe an executive whose guiding business book is none other than Only the Paranoid Survive by former Intel Chairman Andy S. Grove?
Do not blame Don Herring if his business plan for the next decade seems simple at first glance. After all, the senior vice president in charge of AT&T Government Solutions believes he is poised to cement his division’s reputation as a key provider of federal information technology services with dozens of new civilian and defense contracts that could be worth billions of dollars.