In these days of climate change, wacky weather patterns, and fast-diminishing natural resources, the work of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is more vital than ever. Today, the agency unveiled NOAALink, a new IT business model, and 10 small businesses are the immediate beneficiaries.Under NOAALink, the agency plans to boost its efficiency, reduce costs, and optimize its use of taxpayer dollars by streamlining its contracting practices. NOAA's goal is to standardize information technologies and solutions across the agency and offer more cost-effective services to its constituencies.
"It's been somewhat of a free-for-all in terms of contracting here, and there was little opportunity to take advantage of economies of scale," says Joseph Klimavicz, CIO at NOAA. "We've taken a look at the full scope of IT services we need, and we've worked with think tanks and other groups. What we'll be doing is aligning our services to a smaller number of contractors."
Klimavicz says that NOAALink is a win-win for everyone because it drives efficiency across the board and allows for healthy competition among contractors. "Right now, we work with something like 39 IT help desks in the Washington, D.C., area alone," he says. "We'll migrate all those help-desk functions to just one or two contractors." NOAALink will span 15 service areas within NOAA, including data centers, disaster recovery, and security.
Several of the 10 small businesses awarded contracts from NOAA participate in 8(a), a Small Business Administration initiative aimed at helping small businesses gain access to the federal contracting space.
Here's the list of contract winners:
1) Ace Info Solutions -- Reston, Va. 2) ActioNet -- Vienna, Va. 3) Aster Engineering -- Silver Spring, Md. 4) CyberData Technologies -- Herndon, Va. 5) E&E Enterprises Global -- Hampton, Va. 6) 2020 Company -- Falls Church, Va. 7) Caelum Research Corp. -- Rockville, Md. 8) Earth Resources Technology -- Laurel, Md. 9) System Integration and Development -- Rockville, Md. 10) Think Tank Inc. -- Silver Spring, Md.