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Navigating GSA Schedules for Small Businesses: A Guide to Cloud and Software Services Blog Feature
Daniel Lopez

By: Daniel Lopez on January 8th, 2024

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Navigating GSA Schedules for Small Businesses: A Guide to Cloud and Software Services

GSA Schedule | Technology | 5 Min Read

In recent years, small businesses have seen increased opportunities in government acquisitions, particularly in the areas of cloud and software services. However, while overall participation has grown, the number of small businesses acting as prime contractors in the Federal IT marketplace has been diminishing. The Office of Management and Business (OMB) has responded by launching a plan to allocate over $100 billion in spending to Small Disadvantaged Businesses (SDBs) in the coming years.

To achieve this, the federal government aims to increase SDB awards to 15% of the total federal government spend towards SDBs by Fiscal Year (FY) 25. One crucial avenue for small businesses to secure government contracts is through the GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) program, which seeks to boost contract awards and task orders to small businesses. If you offer cloud and software services and are a small business, the MAS program is a great place to quickly and efficiently sell your solutions, while also opening doors for additional cloud-based specific contract vehicles set-aside for small businesses. Let's explore the key requirements for managing GSA Schedules in the context of selling cloud-based IT and software services.

First Up: Registering as a Small Business

The first step is to ensure you qualify and are registered as a small business. To compete for government contracts as a small business, adherence to the Small Business Administration's (SBA) requirements is essential. These include meeting industry-specific size standards based off your primary North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code, registering with the System for Award Management (, obtaining proper registrations and ID numbers, and maintaining compliance with Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and small business regulations. Additionally, businesses anticipating Department of Defense (DoD) sales must comply with DoD cybersecurity requirements.

To figure out if you qualify as a small business and for additional Disadvantaged/Economic programs, check out the NAICS size standard tool and the SBA’s site.

Cloud and Software Related Special Item Numbers (SINs)

Now let’s talk about related cloud and software offerings through the MAS program. The GSA MAS program is broken down into 12 Large Categories, which identifies what a business is offering. These categories are then broken down further into subcategories and Special Item Numbers (SINs) which correlates to your company’s specific offerings for products, services, or both. For IT contractors, Large Category F, Information Technology, is consistently the Large Category with the highest spending and number of specialized contract vehicles and there are several popular SINs within it.

Here are a few SINs that relate to Cloud and Software Services:

  • SIN 518210C Cloud Computing and Cloud Related IT Professional Services
  • SIN 511210 Software Licenses
  • SIN 54151 Software Maintenance Services

Proposing Services Under SIN 518210C

To propose offerings aimed at the Cloud SIN, all companies must follow the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) definition of cloud computing as stated in NIST Publication 800-145. The cloud computing definition has five essential NIST characteristics, and an offer must have all of them to be eligible. The Cloud SIN also allows cloud-focused labor categories (LCATs) to enable vendors to propose both cloud instances and cloud-related professional service labor hours. These cloud labor categories are not cloud instances themselves, so they do not have to meet the NIST cloud definition. However, the title and description of each proposed LCAT line must contain the word "cloud.”

The 5 essential NIST characteristics of the cloud computing definition include:

  • On-Demand Self-Service – Customers must be able to self-provision cloud instances.
  • Broad Network Access – The self-provisioning feature must be accessible to all device types.
  • Resource Pooling – The vendor must pool their cloud customers’ instances for economy of scale.
  • Rapid Elasticity – The self-provisioning must result in rapid provisioning of cloud instances.
  • Measured Service – The cloud instances must adhere to a “pay-per-use” charges model.

Proposing Software Licenses Under SIN 511210

There are more than a thousand contractors available who offer non-cloud-based software licenses and perpetual software maintenance. The SIN 511210 is specifically designed for this purpose. It's important to note that this SIN is meant for software maintenance, such as bug fixes and version enhancements, which can only be provided if the software that requires maintenance is also available. The vendor, whether a reseller or OEM, must submit a commercial supply agreement (CSA), which should include terms of service or End User Licensing Agreements (EULA) for evaluation.

Proposing Software Maintenance Services Under SIN 54151

This SIN includes the creation, design, implementation, and/or integration of customized changes to software that solve one or more problems and is not included with the price of the software. Software maintenance services also includes person-to-person communications regardless of the medium used to communicate, which could look like telephone support, online technical support, customized support, and/or technical expertise which are charged commercially.

Is the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Program Right for Your Company?

Even if you haven't delved into the ins and outs of the MAS Solicitation document just yet, you'll likely find that the GSA Schedule process involves a substantial amount of information, potentially making it seem overwhelming at first glance. Whether you're in the midst of reviewing the details or contemplating the feasibility for your company, we understand that questions may arise.

If you have any inquiries about selling IT through a GSA Schedule, the process involved, or whether your business qualifies, check out these blogs:

If you need assistance getting a GSA Schedule or have further questions about the process, our dedicated consultants are here to assist you every step of the way, don't hesitate to reach out. We're committed to providing the guidance you need to navigate GSA's MAS program requirements seamlessly.

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About Daniel Lopez

Daniel Lopez is a consultant for Winvale. Daniel is originally from Amarillo, TX, and graduated from West Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.