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Previous Quarterly ITVMO Newsletter

Previous Quarterly ITVMO Newsletter icon

ITVMO Newsletter Q4 FY2023

Call for Customer Feedback on the ITVMO Annual Performance

Annually, the governmentwide ITVMO compiles and submits an annual summary of its performance. The report addresses information covering accomplishments of the fiscal year and its operational plan for the following fiscal year. Review the FY 2023 ITVMO Annual Assessment and then tell us how we are doing by completing the annual survey.

The ITVMO is part of the broader governmentwide IT Category Management Framework, as such is responsible for the implementation of its strategic plan. Annually initiatives are defined and planned with critical targets to be met.

“With the information and resources provided by the govwide ITVMO, the Defense Media Activity was able to move forward faster on the acquisition of technical services and accelerate our work….your help and work accelerated our ability to get to a decision point faster.”
-- Satisfied agency buyer

The ITVMO is accelerating and capitalizing the impact of federal IT acquisitions on top OEMs and select vendors by increasing agency IT buyer knowledge and ability; to capitalize govwide resources and overcome budget/contract constraints.

The governmentwide advisor is solving top software OEM/vendor challenges by focusing on vendor relationship management to standardize requirements, improve interoperability, and mitigate market-wide risks.

And through its broader community of practice is designing and employing services and solutions for agency IT Buyers by building a knowledge base repository of vendor intelligence to inform govwide acquisition strategies for better value solutions.

Innovating Government Acquisitions through Emerging Technology

In the new calendar year, the Govwide IT Vendor Management Office in partnership with GSA’s Office of Innovation and ATARC will be hosting an event focused on the impact of emerging technologies on IT procurement and acquisition professionals. This half-day event, held at GSA’s headquarters in DC aims to bring together members of government and industry to discuss the increasing prevalence of emerging technology, promote awareness of its potential, challenges, and impacts and gain practical knowledge of best practices and innovative use cases.

Expect to hear government leaders discuss the current and future landscape of emerging technologies and their potential to catalyze transformational changes in government processes. Additionally, agency personnel with hands-on experience harnessing some of these technologies will delve into real-world examples of how AI and emerging technologies have been integrated into government acquisitions, candidly sharing their experiences, challenges, and triumphs in adopting AI and emerging tech solutions within their respective agencies. The discussion will provide valuable insights into navigating potential hurdles and pitfalls while highlighting best practices and effective strategies.

Pre-Register here

Launch of a new face for ITVMO.gsa.gov

The ITVMO is thrilled to announce our new and improved website (itvmo.gsa.gov). Currently in beta, the new website includes improved user-friendly navigation with a refreshed interface. We encourage you to explore the new website and provide any feedback you may have via the feedback link in the top banner.

One of the primary functions of the ITVMO is as a ‘one-stop-shop’ to be a resource library that compiles the best thinking and information on IT acquisitions from across government -- our website is that resource.

The ITVMO is responsible for developing, curating, and marketing IT acquisition intelligence. The ITVMO will serve as content curators to find, organize, and share relevant and valuable content from various sources. The ITVMO uses content curation to establish and sustain its authority as a trusted advisor and advocate for agency IT buyers.

ITVMO's approach to web and content management is essential for the success of the program. The organization will maintain and continuously improve the ITVMO knowledge repository and market through multiple content data systems and communication channels.

Key features that enhance the user experience and uphold ITVMO’s responsibility as content curators include:

  1. Intuitive Navigation: Finding what you need has never been easier. Our revamped menu and improved search functionality ensure you can locate information swiftly.
  2. Responsive Design: Whether you're browsing on a desktop, tablet, or mobile device, our website adapts seamlessly to provide the best user experience.
  3. Rich Content: Explore our extensive library of articles, guides, resources, and more. We've curated content to address your interests and answer your questions.
  4. Interactive Features: Engage with us through integrated forms OR contribute!. We're here to connect with you and are hopeful you will share your best thinking with us!
  5. Upcoming Events: Stay in the loop about webinars, workshops, and special events. Register directly from our website.
  6. Blog and News Section: Stay informed about industry trends, ITVMO updates, and insightful articles written by our experts.
  7. Enhanced Service Catalog: Discover our latest offerings, and how we can help you make support faster, smarter IT buying decisions.

To stay updated on the latest news, events, and special offers follow us on our LinkedIn channel.

FinOps Acquisition Best Practices

Managing and controlling expenses related to cloud services is crucial, especially since they are becoming a significant part of organization's budgets in today's digital landscape. FinOps, short for Financial Operations, is a set of practices and principles aimed at optimizing the costs associated with cloud computing. By implementing FinOps, organizations aim to strike a balance between enabling innovation through cloud services and controlling costs to ensure efficient resource utilization.

The IT Cloud Acquisitions Working Group has developed expertise, along with numerous resources and tools to help organizations navigate this space.

  • FinOps Best Practices - Understand the operational model and effective management of unused or underutilized resources.
  • FinOps Optimization through discounts - Learn about savings available from vendor savings plans, reserved instances and consolidated billing.
  • FinOps ForeCast Planner - Leverage a useful forecasting tool, that with 6 months of data can forecast spend out 24 months and show savings plan discount coverage.
  • FinOps Assessment - Evaluate your cloud cost management maturity against the standard FinOps domains. This utility provides both a current state and future state assessment.
  • FinOps Cloud Cost Reporting Template - To better understand trends, leverage this tool that can read multiple months of Azure billing data and generate spend trend reports.

To learn more, register for the upcoming FinOps Roadshow and hear Laura Szakmary, TBM Program Manager at Government-wide Policy and Bill Kasenchar FinOps and TBM SME, discuss the work the IT Acquisition Working Group continues to do in collaboration with IT Buyers COP.

Innovating Government Acquisitions through Emerging Technology

In the new calendar year, the Govwide IT Vendor Management Office in partnership with GSA’s Office of Innovation and ATARC will be hosting an event focused on the impact of emerging technologies on IT procurement and acquisition professionals. This half-day event, held at GSA’s headquarters in DC aims to bring together members of government and industry to discuss the increasing prevalence of emerging technology, promote awareness of its potential, challenges, and impacts and gain practical knowledge of best practices and innovative use cases.

Expect to hear government leaders discuss the current and future landscape of emerging technologies and their potential to catalyze transformational changes in government processes. Additionally, agency personnel with hands-on experience harnessing some of these technologies will delve into real-world examples of how AI and emerging technologies have been integrated into government acquisitions, candidly sharing their experiences, challenges, and triumphs in adopting AI and emerging tech solutions within their respective agencies. The discussion will provide valuable insights into navigating potential hurdles and pitfalls while highlighting best practices and effective strategies.

Pre-Register here

Launch of a new face for ITVMO.gsa.gov

The ITVMO is thrilled to announce our new and improved website (itvmo.gsa.gov). Currently in beta, the new website includes improved user-friendly navigation with a refreshed interface. We encourage you to explore the new website and provide any feedback you may have via the feedback link in the top banner.

One of the primary functions of the ITVMO is as a ‘one-stop-shop’ to be a resource library that compiles the best thinking and information on IT acquisitions from across government -- our website is that resource.

The ITVMO is responsible for developing, curating, and marketing IT acquisition intelligence. The ITVMO will serve as content curators to find, organize, and share relevant and valuable content from various sources. The ITVMO uses content curation to establish and sustain its authority as a trusted advisor and advocate for agency IT buyers.

ITVMO's approach to web and content management is essential for the success of the program. The organization will maintain and continuously improve the ITVMO knowledge repository and market through multiple content data systems and communication channels.

Key features that enhance the user experience and uphold ITVMO’s responsibility as content curators include:

  1. Intuitive Navigation: Finding what you need has never been easier. Our revamped menu and improved search functionality ensure you can locate information swiftly.
  2. Responsive Design: Whether you're browsing on a desktop, tablet, or mobile device, our website adapts seamlessly to provide the best user experience.
  3. Rich Content: Explore our extensive library of articles, guides, resources, and more. We've curated content to address your interests and answer your questions.
  4. Interactive Features: Engage with us through integrated forms OR contribute!. We're here to connect with you and are hopeful you will share your best thinking with us!
  5. Upcoming Events: Stay in the loop about webinars, workshops, and special events. Register directly from our website.
  6. Blog and News Section: Stay informed about industry trends, ITVMO updates, and insightful articles written by our experts.
  7. Enhanced Service Catalog: Discover our latest offerings, and how we can help you make support faster, smarter IT buying decisions.

To stay updated on the latest news, events, and special offers follow us on our LinkedIn channel.

FinOps Acquisition Best Practices

Managing and controlling expenses related to cloud services is crucial, especially since they are becoming a significant part of organization's budgets in today's digital landscape. FinOps, short for Financial Operations, is a set of practices and principles aimed at optimizing the costs associated with cloud computing. By implementing FinOps, organizations aim to strike a balance between enabling innovation through cloud services and controlling costs to ensure efficient resource utilization.

The IT Cloud Acquisitions Working Group has developed expertise, along with numerous resources and tools to help organizations navigate this space.

  • FinOps Best Practices - Understand the operational model and effective management of unused or underutilized resources.
  • FinOps Optimization through discounts - Learn about savings available from vendor savings plans, reserved instances and consolidated billing.
  • FinOps ForeCast Planner - Leverage a useful forecasting tool, that with 6 months of data can forecast spend out 24 months and show savings plan discount coverage.
  • FinOps Assessment - Evaluate your cloud cost management maturity against the standard FinOps domains. This utility provides both a current state and future state assessment.
  • FinOps Cloud Cost Reporting Template - To better understand trends, leverage this tool that can read multiple months of Azure billing data and generate spend trend reports.

To learn more, register for the upcoming FinOps Roadshow and hear Laura Szakmary, TBM Program Manager at Government-wide Policy and Bill Kasenchar FinOps and TBM SME, discuss the work the IT Acquisition Working Group continues to do in collaboration with IT Buyers COP.

Meet the ITVMO Team: Introducing: Warren J. Blankenship

warren Blankenship image

Mr. Warren J. Blankenship serves as the Deputy IT Government-wide Category Manager overseeing day-to-day operations for the Federal IT Governmentwide Category. As such, he manages a portfolio of 13 Best-In-Class (BIC) contract solutions with annual revenue of over $72B, category strategy and annual initiatives outlined in an annual plan to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), agency category support, vehicle data and compliance, and tracking and growing our small business participation across the category. Through these solutions, he has spearheaded several cross-vehicle initiatives to improve compliance with Cyber and Sustainability buying requirements, award and use of small businesses, and further introduction of emerging solutions to modernize government-wide IT.

Before this, he held several leadership roles at GSA, including Deputy Director of Contract Operations (FAS/MAS IT), Deputy Director of the Program Office (FAS/MAS IT), Director of the Office of Scientific and Equipment Division (FAS), and Senior Procurement Analyst, where he played a crucial role in formulating and executing Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) rules for GSA's Office of Government-wide Policy (OGP) and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP). This gave him the unique experience and expertise in procurement and policy to take on the Deputy IT Government-wide Category Manager role. Today, he leads various projects, including monitoring key performance indicators like spend under management, cost avoidance, and small business utilization.

Mr. Blankenship earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) and a Master of Arts in Public Communication from the American University. In 2023, he was honored with the FED 100 Award and completed OPM's Executive Leadership Program, Leadership for a Democratic Society. Outside of work, he’s a devoted fan of the Washington Commanders and Nationals, enjoys comedy sitcoms and movies, and considers himself a music connoisseur and enthusiast. For more on the ITVMO visit ITVMO.gsa.gov or email us itbcop@gsa.gov.

ITVMO Newsletter Q3 FY2023

ITVMO Annual Summit -- Leveraging Category Management for IT Procurement

The ITVMO is hosting an Annual Summit on August 2nd, 2023. We will convene both industry and government with the goal of increasing knowledge of and fostering collaboration on key original equipment manufacturers (OEM) contract strategies, Best-in-Class IT contracts, small business, and emerging technology to meet Agency missions. This in-person event is intended to allow collaboration, best practice sharing, and support with and between agency practitioners who influence and execute IT buying within their organization and to educate small businesses whose IT solutions can support agency missions. The Summit will be held at the Deloitte Rosslyn location (1919 N Lynn St Suite 1500, Arlington, VA 22209).

Participants will have opportunities to engage with government and industry leaders during engaging talks, panel discussions and Q&A sessions. Summit attendees will learn about evolving IT acquisition priorities and opportunities, as well as resources designed to support agency buyers and small businesses looking to participate in the government IT market. 4 Continuous Learning Points (CLP) will be awarded to eligible attendees.

Agency Showcase: Uses Cases for AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming industries and revolutionizing the way agencies will operate in the future. As agencies strive to enhance their efficiency, effectiveness, and decision-making processes, AI is emerging as a powerful tool in their arsenal. This article details some compelling use cases for AI and explore how it can benefit your agency.

Are you an AI vendor supporting an agency procurement process? An AI buyer leveraging this emerging tech to enhance your acquisition efforts? Do you have additional AI use cases for the federal government? Join our working group and engage and connect with the IT Buyers community to help us learn more about this emerging technology. Email us at ITBCOP@gsa.gov, subject: AI Use Cases.

  • Intelligent Automation: AI-powered automation can streamline repetitive tasks and free up valuable human resources. From automating data entry and document processing to managing routine inquiries and customer support, intelligent automation can significantly improve operational efficiency and reduce costs. Agencies can leverage AI to augment their workforce and enable employees to focus on more complex and strategic activities.

  • Data Analytics and Insights: With the abundance of data available to agencies, extracting meaningful insights can be a daunting task. AI techniques such as predictive analytics and machine learning enable agencies to analyze vast amounts of structured and unstructured data, uncover hidden patterns, and gain actionable intelligence. This empowers decision-makers to make data-driven choices, enhance policy formulation, and optimize service delivery.Direct engagements with OEMs.

  • Natural Language Processing: AI's natural language processing capabilities can transform how agencies interact with their stakeholders. Chatbots and virtual assistants equipped with AI algorithms can handle routine inquiries, provide personalized recommendations, and deliver 24/7 support. By leveraging AI, agencies can enhance stakeholder experiences, reduce response times, and improve service delivery.

  • Cybersecurity and Threat Detection: AI plays a crucial role in combating cyber threats and securing sensitive information. Machine learning algorithms can analyze vast amounts of network data to identify anomalies, detect potential breaches, and proactively respond to security incidents. AI-powered cybersecurity solutions are essential for safeguarding critical systems, protecting data integrity, and staying one step ahead of sophisticated cyber threats.

The governmentwide ITVMO believes in fostering a collaborative ecosystem for knowledge sharing and innovation. If your agency is utilizing AI technologies or considering AI procurements, we invite you to share your experiences, insights, and use cases with us. By doing so, you can contribute to a collective understanding of AI's impact, challenges, and successes within the government space. Let's work together to accelerate AI adoption and drive positive outcomes for agencies and stakeholders alike.

Whether you work for an agency or in industry you can express your interest and join the conversation. To do so please fill out the AI Working Group Interest form. Together, we can shape the future of AI adoption in the government sector and harness its transformative power for the benefit of vendors and agencies alike.

AI has the potential to revolutionize government agencies, enabling them to work smarter, faster, and more efficiently. By embracing AI technologies, agencies can automate repetitive tasks, make data-driven decisions, enhance vendor services, and bolster cybersecurity measures. We encourage agencies to explore the various AI use cases discussed in this article and share their experiences with us.

New ITVMO Team Members: Introducing: Mrs. Kyra Stewart

Mrs. Kyra Stewart image

Mrs. Kyra Stewart is the Program Manager for the Governmentwide IT Vendor Management (ITVMO), she was part of the initial effort to conceptualize and design the ITVMO in collaboration with GSA, NASA, NIH, DoD, and OMB. Kyra has over 20 years of federal government experience. She joined the government as an Economist more than 20 years ago, went on to run a hazardous materials grant program, held the role of Agency Ombudsperson, was Director of Innovation for the Department Of Transportation, and served as a White House Leadership Development Program Fellow in 2018. Mrs. Stewart holds a Masters in Public Administration from American University, and BA in economics from the University of Virginia.

Mrs. Stewart’s favorite part of being the Program manager for the ITVMO is working with phenomenal IT and acquisition experts and leveraging her program and process improvement experience to strengthen the IT buying across government. In her free time, she is an avid audio book listener, big Stephen King fan, and a self prescribed horror movie junkie. She is a proud fourth generation Washingtonian who still resides in the District with her family.

Mrs. Stewart has been an integral part of the ITVMO’s success, helping to oversee its many initiatives. Mrs. Kyra Stewart is spearheading the efforts for the first Annual ITVMO Summit. She is excited to be in partnership with ACT-IAC to host the Summit, allowing industry and agencies to come together, share experiences and best practices, and gain access to resources that support their participation in the government's IT marketplace. She is looking forward to showcasing resources to support small business, IT Best-in-Class Contract Solutions, and key Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). She also assisted in the creation of, and currently leads, the ITVMO’s IT Buyers Community of Practice (CoP). The IT Buyers CoP is a government only entity that meets quarterly to convene agency stakeholders and discuss hot topics such as zero trust, emerging technology, and cyber security. To join the IT Buyers CoP please send an email to itbcop@gsa.gov.

Help us to unite buyers, vehicles, and suppliers to make smarter, faster IT acquisitions.