GSA Releases RFI for Ascend Cloud Services Contract Vehicle
The General Services Administration (GSA) released a request for information (RFI) regarding its plans for a multi-purpose, multi-award contract (MAC) called Ascend. Ascend is a blanket purchase agreement (BPA) for cloud services and solutions that will be available to all federal agencies.
Firms that wish to offer their services to agencies via Ascend will need to fulfill the authorized vendor responsibilities. These are described in the performance work statement included in the RFI. Included are specific levels of operational support for infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) to perform scheduled cybersecurity assessments.
GSA is looking to make Ascend the vehicle for every federal agency to help them transition from outdated and unsecure IT software and acquire modern cloud products and services from the market. The objective is to reduce the friction typically associated with understanding numerous security, data ownership, and operational requirements common in the sector.
Vendors that will be awarded to the contract vehicle will meet specific baseline accountabilities to provide more effective system integration and managed support services for the cloud. They will also conform to federal guidelines around cybersecurity and cybersecurity supply chain risk management (C-SCRM). This includes the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s best practices and the White House cyber executive order.
Ascend will be separated into four pools: IaaS, SaaS, platform as a service and Cloud Professional Services. Agencies will have the ability to acquire commercial cloud services via payment schedules to assist with cost management and oversight.
The RFI will be open until Aug. 8, 2022. If you are interested in participating now is a good time to provide the GSA your suggestions and feedback. To learn more about Ascend and other federal IT opportunities, get started with a 5-day trial.