Understanding US Government Contracts

If you're a government contractor, then bidding for US government contracts is going to be a big part of your job. While if you're a government agency who's responsible for awarding contracts, then contract review will take a primary focus.

There's a wide variety of different government contracts that can be awarded. No matter what contract type you're bidding on, or reviewing, one aspect is of paramount importance, ensuring privacy and security.

Learn about the different types of government contracts available, and how cloud communication software can help to ensure secure contract management and communication.

Types of Government Contracts

If you're bidding on US government contracts, then you'll want to be aware of the type of contract you're bidding on to increase your chances of success.

Here are the four most common types of US government contracts you'll encounter:

1. Fixed-Price Contracts

With a fixed price contract bids will be submitted with a firm price. In some cases there will be an adjustable price included, along with a price ceiling that you won't go above. This type of bid will place more of the risk on the contractor, as opposed to the government agency. Typically, these types of bids will be used for lower risk contracts. 

2. Cost-Reimbursement Contracts

With a cost-reimbursement contract, the contractor will be paid back for expenses up to a certain amount. If it's difficult to forcast expenses accurately, then this type of contract will be used. Typically, a maximum project cost will be factored into the bid. As long as the contractor does not exceed this limit, then expense reimbursement will be granted. This type of contract is generally lower risk than a fixed-price contract, but the profit margins can end up being much lower.

3. Time-and-Materials Contracts

Time-and-materials contracts aren't used very often, as they place a higher risk on the government. They're a hybrid between cost-reimbursement and fixed-price contracts. With this type of contract, the government is essentially paying for goods and services by the hour, along with materials costs. When it's difficult to estimate actual project costs, then this type of contract can be used. 

4. Indefinite Delivery Contracts

An indefinite delivery or indefinite quantity contract can be used on a fixed-price or cost-reimbursement basis. The overall goal of this type of contract is to give the government the highest level of service possible. Typically, there's a long-standing umbrella contract that lasts between 5 to 10 years. Within this contract, there are tasks that a select group of contracts can bid on. This helps to give the government a competitive price for each task without having to initiate a new contract bidding every single time. 

Cloud Communication Software and Contract Management

When placing bids for government contracts, or reviewing contractor bids maintaining a high level of security is paramount. Government contracts will contain a lot of sensitive financial, personnel, and company information.

As a result, a lot of government contractors and government agencies are turning to secure cloud communication solutions to submit bids and manage communications.

Cloud communication software can not only help to streamline communication throughout your organization, but it can greatly improve the level of security surrounding US government contracts.

How to Ensure Your Communication Software is Secure

If you're considering upgrading to a cloud communications solution there are a few things you'll need to keep in mind. Beyond elements like reliability and scalability, you'll need to ensure that your data is secure and your contracts are protected.

Here are three elements to look for:

1. Strong Encryption

At the very least the solution you choose should offer end-to-end encryption, no matter which communication method you're using. Every form of communication should be protected, whether that's phone, email, messaging, video conferencing, or contract review. 

2. High Level of Information/Contract Security

When submitting US government contracts you'll need to adhere to a high level of security. Your unified communications software should have built-in protocols for handling contracts, and securing any information, or documents that are being stored or transferred. 

3. Built-in Compliance

As a government agency or contractor, there are certain regulations that you'll need to adhere to in order to remain compliant. Depending on the nature of your work you may fall under both HIPAA and FISMA. Per these regulations, you're responsible for not only your own levels of compliance but that of any third-party software vendors you're using as well. 

When it comes to security, 8x8 provides reliable and compliant cloud solutions at a demanding 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.

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