Selling through GSA’s Information Technology Category
We live in an increasingly digitally connected age, and the federal government is no exception. If your business is in the Information Technology (IT) field, you may be leaving money on the table if you are not actively marketing your products and services to the federal government. While often thought of as out of date in terms of its technology, it’s worth noting that the federal government spends billions on new IT hardware, software, solutions, and services every year. Not only that, but it is also increasing its expenditures in an attempt to create a more connected and secure federal cyber infrastructure.
GSA’s Information Technology category of the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) was responsible for over $24 billion in sales in fiscal year (FY) 2022, which is over half of the MAS program’s overall $46.1 billion in sales during that year. Whether you are engaged in cybersecurity, software development, hardware manufacturing, cloud solutions, or any other type of IT field, please read ahead to see how you can take advantage of the Information Technology Category of GSA’s Multiple Award Schedule.
What You Can Sell through the IT Category
GSA is committed to being one of the best places for federal customers to shop for their IT needs. To that end, there are many subcategories under the IT category, and even more Special Item Numbers (SINs) under each subcategory.
There are a wide breadth of offerings you can sell through GSA’s IT Category—Some SINs are especially lucrative. For example, $12.5 billion went towards IT Professional Services (SIN 54151S) alone during FY 2022.
Some of these SINs, specifically SIN 33411, Purchasing of New Electronic Equipment and the IT Software subcategory with both of its SINs are designated as best-in-class, meaning they are deemed the highest performing contracts by the Office of Management and Budget. This makes them particularly attractive as a contract vehicle of choice for federal customers.
The list is as follows:
Subcategory: Electronic Commerce
- Electronic Commerce (SIN 54151ECOM)
Subcategory: IT Hardware
- Leasing of new electronic equipment (SIN 532420L)
- Purchasing of New Electronic Equipment (SIN 33411)
- Maintenance of Equipment, Repair Services and/or Repair/Spare Parts (SIN 811212)
Subcategory: IT Services
- Health IT Services (SIN 54151HEAL)
- Highly Adaptive Cybersecurity Services (HACS) (SIN 54151HACS)
- IT Professional Services (SIN 54151S)
Subcategory: IT Software
Subcategory: IT Solutions
- Automated Contact Center Solutions (SIN 561422)
- Cloud and Cloud-Related IT Professional Services (SIN 518210C)
- Continuous Diagnostics & Mitigation (CDM) Tools
- Earth Observation Solutions (EOS) (SIN 541370GEO)
- Identity, Credential and Access Management (ICAM) (SIN 541519ICAM)
- Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Shared Services Provider (SSP) Program (SIN 541519PKI)
- Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 Product and Service Components (SIN 541519IPIV)
Subcategory: IT Training
- Training Courses (SIN 611420)
- Wireless Mobility Solutions (SIN 517312)
- Commercial Satellite Communications COMSATCOM Transponded Capacity (SIN 517410)
How to Join the IT Category
The first step to selling through GSA’s IT Category is of course to make sure that you have obtained a GSA Schedule that includes an IT Category SIN on it. This can be accomplished either through submitting an offer with an IT SIN included or adding an IT SIN if you already have a GSA Schedule.
This is easier said than done however, as the IT Category is the largest Category under the MAS program and probably unsurprisingly has some of the most specific requirements. For example, the IT Category requires contractors to submit two Past Project Narratives rather than one, as required by the MAS Solicitation, for most IT Category service SINs.
All prospective MAS IT Category contractors should be aware of the fact that there may be additional requirements beyond what is usually required by the Solicitation. A non-exhaustive list of SIN specific requirements is below.
- SIN 811212: Offerors are required to add specific Maintenance and Repair Service Order terms to their GSA price list.
- SIN 54151HACS: Offerors are required to select specific subcategories under the SIN and complete an oral technical evaluation.
- SIN 518210C: Offerors must submit a narrative confirming their cloud computing services meet the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-145 "The NIST Definition of Cloud Computing" including the essential cloud characteristics of: On-Demand Self-Service, Broad Network Access, Resource Pooling, Rapid Elasticity, Measured Service.
- SIN 511210: Offerors must submit the End User License Agreement for their software and specifically label each offered software line item as either Perpetual or Term Software.
I would recommend that any prospective GSA IT Category contractor review the IT Large Category attachment, which can be found in the MAS Solicitation, for category, subcategory, and SIN specific requirements before submitting an offer or modification to ensure they’ve included everything necessary.
You can also always check GSA’s MAS Scope and Templates page, which contains more information and documents for adding specific IT SINs under the “information Technology” section of “Category Specific Attachments and Templates.”
Unique Features of the IT Category
Being under the IT Category has its perks as well, however. Under certain circumstances, you may also be eligible to submit your offer or submit a modification under the FASt Lane program, which significantly shortens the time GSA takes to review your offer or modification if you meet the requirements to participate. You are also able to sell your IT offerings to state, local, and tribal governments as well as public educational institutions if you opt into the Cooperative Purchasing Program for your IT category SINs. This opens up a completely new category of customers to market to using the IT Category offerings on your GSA Schedule.
Once you Have your Schedule and IT SINs
If you have your GSA Schedule and IT SINs on your contract, now is the time to start marketing your IT Category Schedule! You should now have access to GSA’s eBuy website, which allows you to submit responses to RFPs and RFQs for opportunities specific to the SINs that you have on Schedule.
You will also be able to publish your pricelist in GSA eLibrary and any products you have can be added to your GSA Advantage catalog, which is considered the Amazon of GSA Schedules. Worried that your offerings will become outdated as technology marches on? Don’t be! You can always submit a modification to add, remove, or alter the items on your GSA Schedule.
New Developments in the IT Category
The IT field is full of constant change and innovation. As such, the federal government’s IT needs are constantly evolving as well. With more and more information and communication, cybersecurity has become more important than ever. President Biden signed Executive Order 14028, “Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity, on May 12, 2021.” It directs the government to move toward Zero Trust Architecture, in which all networks and traffic is treated as a potential threat.
In addition, secure cloud services, multifactor authentication, and encryption are all to be implemented. As good cybersecurity relies on multiple layers of protection, so too does it rely on the contributions of many contractors to provide the secure products and services to make it so. In Fiscal Year 2023’s budget for example, there is $10.9 billion for cybersecurity activities such as zero trust, supply chain risk management, and incident response, and $11.2 billion for cyberspace activities.
Contractors with experience or solutions in cybersecurity should throw their hat into the ring and prove that they can be a part of that solution, and IT contractors in general must ensure that their offerings are up to date with the government’s cybersecurity requirements.
GSA's Multiple Award Schedule IT Category is a great place to be if you are looking to sell IT items to the largest volume purchaser of goods and services in the world, the U.S. federal government. If you have any questions about how to take advantage of this market, please reach out to Winvale and we would be happy to assist you in assessing your place under GSA’s IT Category.