GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

The General Services Administration Releases Draft of New Government IT Services

GSA | January 05, 2021

The General Services Administration delivered the draft framework for its new governmentwide small business IT services contract, named Polaris, including a rundown of administration contributions covered under the contract and arising advances sellers ought to be set up to pitch as a feature of assignment request competitions.

The Polaris governmentwide acquisition contract, or GWAC, is set to supplant the disastrous Alliant 2 Small Business contract, which GSA suddenly dropped in July. After influxes of fights, revoked grants and re-grants prompted the Alliant 2 SB cancelation, GSA vowed to make up for the shortcoming with another small business-zeroed in contract and started work on Polaris, delivering the draft demand for proposition on New Year's Eve.

“The principal nature of any resulting task order procurement must be for IT services,” the document states, “however, ancillary support may be included when it is integral to and necessary for the IT services-based effort.”

In tending to one of the issues identified with Alliant 2 SB, the Polaris contract will zero in on three financial gatherings, isolating into their own pools: small businesses, ladies possessed small businesses and those situated within a generally under-used region, otherwise called HUBZones. The draft record notes GSA claims all authority to make and grant spots on new pools as a component of future open seasons.

Alongside the emphasis on financial set-asides, the Polaris GWAC separates itself from other GSA contracts through its contributions: IT services like cloud, information the board and programming advancement, as opposed to commodities like IT equipment or off-the-rack programming items.

The draft RFP incorporates seven classifications of services to be offered on the contract, including cloud services, cybersecurity, information the executives, data and correspondence advances, IT activities and support, programming improvement and framework plan.

The contract likewise takes into consideration some auxiliary acquisition of administrative help, information section and IT items, among others, however these should be in direct help of a bigger assistance offering.

About GSA

The General Services Administration (GSA) is an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1949 to help manage and support the basic functioning of federal agencies. GSA supplies products and communications for U.S. government offices, provides transportation and office space to federal employees, and develops government-wide cost-minimizing policies, among other management tasks.

Spotlight

FedRAMP was created so that the US government can use the cloud while still protecting systems and data. FedRAMP helps provide clarity for both government agencies and cloud providers so that each knows what is required for cloud use. If you’re a cloud service provider or a government agency wanting to use the cloud, you must demonstrate that you can meet FedRAMP compliance requirements.

Spotlight

FedRAMP was created so that the US government can use the cloud while still protecting systems and data. FedRAMP helps provide clarity for both government agencies and cloud providers so that each knows what is required for cloud use. If you’re a cloud service provider or a government agency wanting to use the cloud, you must demonstrate that you can meet FedRAMP compliance requirements.

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CYBERSECURITY

U.S. Department of Defense Awards Accrete Multi-Million Dollar AI Production OT Software Licensing Contract

Accrete | November 18, 2022

Accrete has secured a five-year multi-million dollar Production Operational Technology (OT) software licensing contract from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for Argus™, Accrete's highly configurable, dual-use open-source threat detection AI software solution, worth tens of millions of dollars. The exact contract value and deal terms cannot be disclosed per government guidelines. Argus continuously analyzes the open-source web to predict anomalous and nefarious behavior hidden in plain sight. Argus performs work that would otherwise require thousands of intelligence analysts at an estimated cost of hundreds of millions of dollars a year in areas critical to national security such as supply chain risk management, vulnerability research, intellectual property theft, social media intelligence, insider threat detection, and anti-money laundering. Argus reads, understands, and learns from an exploding universe of dynamic, unstructured data, including news, blogs, think tank publications, strategy papers, social media chatter, financial filings, microprocessor manuals, and binaries in multiple languages. The AI software automatically extracts, normalizes, and maps relationships between entities, models influence, and surfaces behavioral anomalies indicative of potentially illicit activity that are too complex for humans to identify. "We are at the dawn of an entirely new type of conflict, driven by rapid advances in artificial intelligence. Whereas nuclear proliferation threatened entire populations, AI proliferation individualizes warfare by manipulating targeted groups through digital means. Using AI, bad actors can propagate disinformation to exploit ignorance and weaken civil society causing billions of dollars of damage to the U.S. economy, As a prime defense contractor licensing configurable dual-use AI software directly to the DoD, Accrete is in a unique position to scale its business with the Defense, Intelligence, and Special Operations communities, as well as other government and enterprise customers, and bolster national security as well as intelligence competitiveness in previously unimaginable ways." -Prashant Bhuyan, Founder, CEO, and Chairman of Accrete, Inc. In 2020, the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), which former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter established in collaboration with former Google CEO Eric Schmidt to strengthen U.S. national security by accelerating DoD adoption of commercial technology, awarded Accrete with an Other Transaction Authority (OTA) Prototype contract after Accrete outperformed 65 other companies in a competitive review. The DoD accepted the Argus prototype within 15 months, and Accrete worked closely with the DIU and the DoD to transition the OTA Prototype contract into a first-of-its-kind multi-year Production OT AI software licensing deal. William Wall, who leads Accrete’s federal sales subsidiary, Accrete AI Government, and formerly served as a U.S. Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel and with the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), said, "We are extremely excited to announce this award, especially as this is the first production OTA that our DoD customer has ever awarded. There are very few start-up technology companies that successfully navigate the extremely challenging OTA process through prototype acceptance and transition into a multi-year production OT software licensing agreement. Our success is a testament to the efficacy, scalability, and configurability of our AI technology and, more importantly, to our employees' relentless focus on providing solutions that are tightly aligned with end-user requirements. As we continue to scale, Accrete looks forward to providing its growing customer base with powerful dual-use AI solutions that not only drive efficiency through the automation of analytical work but also produce mission-critical insights beyond human capacity.” Zachary Smith, Accrete AI Government’s Program Manager and retired special agent who spent most of his 23-year Air Force career focused on countering human, technical, and cyber-based threats, observed, "Based on Argus' blazing speed and scale, in seconds, analysts will be able to research and visualize complex relationships that would have taken at least a month of steady research and annotation. Within the framework of the DoD's acquisition risk review process, Argus will enable supply chain risk analysis to be more efficient and effective while delivering enhanced value at a lower cost per insight." Accrete's continuously learning AI technology enables the templatization of analytical workflows. Templates such as Argus for Threat Detection learn from sparse data and are configurable for use cases including supply chain influence, social media intelligence, reverse engineering, and logistics disruption for both government and commercial customers. In addition to helping the DoD predict bad actors that may be intentionally obscuring identities to influence the supply chain, Argus has also been enabling the U.S. Air Force to reverse engineer binaries from microprocessor manuals to detect vulnerabilities in firmware. Accrete’s dual-use AI solutions have also been proven in industry, including media and entertainment companies automating talent scouting to predict emerging talent from social chatter; insurance brokers automating lead generation to find the shortest path to the hottest lead; private equity and venture firms automating pitch deck review through smart table extraction; and automobile dealerships automating the writing of marketing content. About Accrete: Accrete's mission is to create AI so powerful that it amplifies human reasoning and enables government entities and commercial enterprises to grow in previously unimaginable ways. Accrete, founded in 2017, delivers configurable dual-use AI solutions that automate complex analytical work for both government and enterprise customers with a focus on defense, intelligence, and cybersecurity. Accrete has 128 employees globally and is headquartered in Lower Manhattan with offices in Alexandria, Va. and Wellesley, Mass.

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Ardoq Awarded Place on UK Government’s G-Cloud 13 Framework

Ardoq | December 13, 2022

Ardoq, a SaaS company reinventing Enterprise Architecture (EA) for today’s digital enterprise, today announced that it has been awarded a place on the Crown Commercial Service’s Government Cloud (G-Cloud) 13 framework, which enables UK public sector entities to quickly and easily purchase cloud-based solutions. Ardoq’s next generation EA technology can further help public bodies make more informed decisions, streamline operations and make their data actionable. With more government bodies accelerating digital transformation, adopting cloud technology and driving their uses in the wake of the pandemic, it is crucial that they are leveraging technology that meets certain standards. G-Cloud, which sets specific requirements for all vendors to be accepted into the digital catalogue, ensures that public entities do not have to waste resources looking for the right cloud partner, since the framework guarantees that vendors are meeting the necessary requirements to which public entities are beholden. As part of G-Cloud, Ardoq is committed to ensuring public entities can leverage its data-driven EA tool without having to exhaust the additional resources needed to vet cloud solutions outside of G-Cloud. “Public sector bodies are transforming their digital public services in unprecedented ways whilst remaining accountable for where and how their resources are used most effectively, They need access to tools that enable them to make smarter, more efficient decisions, and we’re eager to help these organisations better manage their people, processes, applications and data.” -Robin Fitzhugh, UK director, Ardoq. About Ardoq: Ardoq is a SaaS company reinventing Enterprise Architecture for today’s digital enterprise. The company’s dynamic, data-driven EA platform is designed to plan and execute major change initiatives. The tool provides a digital twin of an organisation’s people, processes, systems, data, and infrastructure. With Ardoq, CIOs can confidently deliver digital transformations, and IT leaders can make better technology decisions based on real-time information. With Ardoq, EAs can serve as change agents, supporting business and IT collaboration for better outcomes.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY,CYBERSECURITY

QinetiQ US Completes Acquisition of Avantus Federal

Avantus Federal | November 24, 2022

Lorton, VA and McLean, VA – QinetiQ US, a wholly owned subsidiary of QinetiQ Group plc, an integrated global defense and security company, announced today that it completed its acquisition of Avantus Federal (Avantus) from NewSpring Holdings for an enterprise value of $590 million. The combination of QinetiQ US and Avantus creates a unique platform to offer comprehensive mission-led innovation for the most sensitive and complex challenges intelligence, defense, homeland, civilian, and other government customers face today. This transaction was previously announced August 5, and the transition is expected to be seamless for customers, partners, and employees. This integration will combine QinetiQ’s leadership in robotics and autonomous systems, sensing, protection systems, and next-generation technology services with Avantus’ advantages in strategic planning, operations, and stakeholder collaboration in a host of government operations, including cyber, data, government facility, and outer space solutions. The combination will deliver mission-led innovation in hardware, software, and mission services to the growing needs of defense, intelligence, homeland security, and law enforcement organizations, along with civilian agencies in the United States and close-U.S. allied nations including the United Kingdom and Australia. “I am delighted that we have completed the acquisition of Avantus today – it is a strategic milestone in our five-year ambition to build an integrated global defence and security company, delivering innovation for our customers’ mission, This acquisition extends our customer base, strengthens our capabilities and builds scale in the largest defence and security market in the world. With a strong track record of 10%+ growth at attractive margins, Avantus is a brilliant strategic and cultural fit and positions us to meet the increasing mission-critical needs of our US defence and intelligence customers with agility and pace.” -Steve Wadey, Group Chief Executive Officer for QinetiQ Group plc. Andy Maner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Avantus, said the combination with QinetiQ US is key to providing more opportunities and growth for our people and customers. We started this journey with our great partner, NewSpring Holdings, and now we’re taking a critical step forward that allows our collective team to leverage additional scale and investments across our world class talent, technology, and processes at a pivotal time in our market and geopolitical landscape. “We are thrilled to welcome our Avantus colleagues to QinetiQ US, Avantus’ elite talent, differentiated technology solutions, and dedication to mission complement our innovative culture. I am honored to lead a combined team that shares a focus on performance and a proven ability to be agile in impactful delivery at the speed of our customers’ missions.” QinetiQ is a leading science and engineering company dedicated to protecting lives and securing the vital interests of defense and security customers with distinctive offerings in experimentation and technology; cyber and information advantage; engineering services and support; robotics and autonomous systems; training and mission rehearsal; and, test and evaluation. This is complimented by the Avantus capabilities to leverage a strong consulting force to deliver technology, cyber, data, digital engineering and integration, intelligence analysis, and operations strategy and tactics to its clients, ensuring maximum efficiency and impact. -Shawn Purvis, President and Chief Executive Officer of QinetiQ US. 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