GSA Schedules and How They Impact Communications Services
Winning a government contract for your company is certainly a milestone to celebrate. Not only does it mean your innovation and success has made your brand a reliable option, but it also means your expertise in the field will certainly expand into a whole new world of opportunities.
The most commonly used government contract is called a GSA Schedule, and obtaining one can be tricky if you're not sure what it entails. Whether you're looking to maintain a newly achieved contract, or are in the running to receive one, learning more about the GSA Schedule will prepare you for any challenges ahead while giving you a leg up on the competition.
Here are a few things to know:
What is a GSA Schedule?
A GSA Schedule is a type of contract awarded by the General Services Administration. This government agency was formed in 1949 and has since evolved into an entity that oversees various aspects of government buildings and real estate. Of its many duties, the GSA is also responsible for providing products and services for government employees, which is where a GSA Schedule comes into play.
Essentially, GSA Schedule contracts were created to enhance the government's ability to conduct business with commercial products and services. This strategy allows for a greater flexibility of federal spending, while also extending opportunities to the general public. Now, it's important to understand that contractors don't necessarily need a GSA Schedule to do business with the federal government, but having one is typically the standard practice for most agencies. Additionally, certain companies that find themselves conducting a lot of business in this market may want to transition to a GSA Schedule in order to receive the most benefits.
Perhaps the most compelling aspect of obtaining a GSA Schedule for commercial businesses is the amount of money you will earn on an annual basis. The GSA Schedule is a $45 billion government contract that offers indefinite delivery and indefinite quantity (ID/IQ), as well as follows a Multiple Award Schedule (MAS).
Altogether, this means commercial businesses can operate within many government agencies across the country, there's no set amount or limit on the purchasing of products and services, and more than one company can receive a GSA Schedule. Of course, there are some eligibility requirements that must be met in order to gain a GSA Schedule, such as the age of the business, financial status reports, TAA compliance and offering certain types of products and services. But if your company fits the bill, it may be worth pursuing.
That being said, IT companies that offer a wide range of products and services may find themselves pursuing a different type of contract that offers more or less the same advantages: A GSA Schedule 70
What is a GSA Schedule 70?
Reserved for IT acquisitions within government agencies, the GSA Schedule 70 is an ID/IQ MAS contract that commercial businesses can receive to provide a wide variety of IT products, services and solutions to their clients. It's estimated that 80 percent of GSA Schedule 70 contracts are held by small businesses and is also the most commonly used acquisition offering in the federal government.
GSA Schedule 70 covers all aspects of IT solutions, meaning hardware, software, maintenance, security and training services are offered to customers with productivity in mind. Users can take advantage of unified, cutting-edge and purpose-driven communications services and cloud-based customer experience solutions, rather than having a slew of functions and features that go unused.
How GSA Schedule Relates to UCaaS and CCaaS
Since the GSA Schedule 70 is a sub-category of the GSA Schedule, both contracts play an important role in the utilization of unified communications as a service and contact centers as a service. Primarily, UCaaS involves all communications features that are crucial to government agencies across the country.
From online meetings to video conferencing, employees must have reliable resources that streamline assignments and increase workflows. Typically included with UCaaS platforms are CCaaS capabilities that offer auto-attendants, IVR and call-routing abilities and which are crucial to accommodating large volumes of inquiries and developing customer relationships.
Collectively, any company that receives a GSA Schedule or a GSA Schedule 70 must be able to provide a full range of needs on a sizable scale. Companies that can situate themselves as viable and dependable options will no doubt enjoy long-term partnerships with competitive advantages in the federal market.
8x8 Offers Guidance for Cloud-Based Solutions
Navigating a GSA Schedule may seem difficult at first, but your success is largely dependent on the current status of your business. If your company is just starting out and your team lacks experience in government sales, pursuing a GSA Schedule may not be the best decision. On the other hand, if you feel your business is ready to achieve maximum annual sales within a reduced field of competition, then 8x8 can help you make a smooth transition.
When it comes to security, 8x8 provides reliable and compliant cloud solutions at a level rarely seen by other cloud providers. Don't take your chances with a subpar cloud-based telecom system. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out our online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 Product Specialist.