To Bid or Not to Bid, Polaris Edition
While this may feel like yet another blog on Polaris, we can guarantee it’s one that will showcase information you haven’t seen before. Recently the govmates team (premier matchmaking for government contracting) hosted an institute to discuss the Next Generation GWAC. Panelists included moderation by Stephanie Alexander, and discussion from Global Services’ Proposal Manager Martin Hicks and BOOST LLC’s pricing genie, Jeff Halsted. The group did a brief overview of Polaris 101 to set the stage and then jumped into the topics of teaming, scorecard questions, and who specifically should be bidding on this at all. This IT Services GSA GWAC replaces the canceled Alliant 2 solicitation for those who feel it may seem familiar. It has a big emphasis on innovative solutions and emerging technologies. As a note in short, times tickin’.
The requirements from the draft RFP as we know them, specify a significant amount of past performance. While your company may have a good portion, you may want to supplement with specific teaming partners. The kicker here is that you’ll need to show history working together. All eyes will be on CIO-SP4 to see how the government decides to approach and score teaming partners past performance. Their actions regarding CIO-SP4 may help to shed light on how Polaris will play out in these scorecard sections.
This scorecard is packed with helpful, yet potentially overwhelming information. Notably, it includes sections dedicated to relevant experience broken into several facets as well as points given for certifications, clearances, and systems. While you may be down to the wire if you haven’t begun ISO certifications or something similar, you do have a couple of months to get your ducks in a row on some other point-building opportunities. We’ll take a moment to include a shameless plug here. BOOST can assist with cost accounting for GovCons and purchasing system preparation as well as introduce you to trusted industry friends regarding CMMI and ISO certifications should you be interested in pursuing those.
Who Should Bid?
Arguably the most interesting part of the discussion involved saving attendees the time and money on proposal prep by narrowing down the types of businesses that should and should not be going after this opportunity. If you don’t have the past performance, teaming history, or specific IT service skills – it’s best that you sit this one out. There are some opportunities for ancillary support work, but the focus is typically on the areas of computing, AI, DLT, cybersecurity, development, and so on. If the shoe doesn’t fit, it’s best to find other opportunities to win that won’t break the bank or your brainpower trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
This is where we get to say “roll the tapes” for the full experience. The discussion replay can be found here, and we look forward to your questions. If you’re more interested in an audio experience, tune in to Monday’s GovCon Untethered podcast where we’ll highlight this Polaris discussion and provide some action items as well. Either way, make smart decisions, look for opportunities that fit, and start now because this GWAC marathon is nowhere near over.