Sometimes I wonder how an economic powerhouse like the United States of America can shut down for two weeks because of politics at the expense of the services given to the citizens? Sure, the media picks up on it and it rides the news cycle for a little while, but, everyone knows that it won’t last and at some point everyone will go back to work once the political leverage has been exercised. In January, both the House and Senate passed a bill that will fund the government at least until the end of the fiscal year 2014. The budgets for all branches of our government are slowly receiving their money and over the next six months, will be spending $1.1 trillion dollars. The question that is top of mind for many federal IT managers is how to stretch these dollars and somewhat avoid the budget funding issues that closures and budget cycles create. .
The solution is something that is very common in the private enterprise world. They call it “leasing" and the federal government calls it “payment plans”. Payment Plans are nothing new to federal contracting officers, but, they are often misunderstood and have a negative reaction when discussed. The main benefits are firm, fixed pricing for multi-year contracts, predictable budget and planning, decreases total cost of ownership, reduces administrative costs and streamlines procurement cycles.
With a payment plan, an IT manager can take available budget and complete an entire solution. We find that many projects are started and are only funded up to a point and then lose momentum once the funding is either pulled or dries up. A payment plan can accelerate an implementation schedule or just keep a project going when the money is lost. With multi year payment plans, asset refresh cycles can be kept which lessens the worry that legacy solutions will not meet current needs and cause major long term problems.
Federal IT Decision makers can find solution integrators that have experience in how to deliver and fulfill using this model but the most important thing is that every aspect of the transaction is FAR compliant. At Presidio, we undertake FAR termination rights, including non-appropriation, non-renewal and termination for convenience. We also have the contract vehicles like SEWP, GSA, ECSIII and NETCENTS II that make a payment plan easy to negotiate.
Consider your options when challenged on how to implement strategic IT initiatives in constrained budget cycles.