The Polaris small business vehicle is effectively a mulligan for the GSA’s $15 billion Alliant 2 Small Business contract. Alliant 2 SB was cancelled in early July after a full year of protests at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and through federal court.
The cancellation came at the heels of the 8(a) STARS II ceiling challenges and the ongoing protests of the 2GIT (Second Generation IT Services), marking a period of difficulties for the GAO and small businesses looking to make their products and services available to the federal government.
The GSA is banking on Polaris to provide plenty of opportunities for Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) and woman-owned small business (WOSB) companies. In addition, further objectives for the vehicle include streamlining both pricing and the contract submission process, as well as gaining a source for emerging technologies. An online proposal submission tool and a modified evaluation strategy are being evaluated to potentially speed up Polaris contract awards. The vendor evaluation strategy could potentially be similar to those used in the Veterans Technology Services 2 and Alliant 2 vehicles.
Some of the emerging technologies that will likely be included in the vehicle are artificial intelligence, machine learning, as-a-service offerings, cloud and edge computing, 5G, blockchain, robotics processing, and cybersecurity. Currently the GSA is gathering feedback from industry for the following:
- Artificial Intelligence (including Predictive Analytics, Machine Learning)
- Automated Technologies (including Robotics Process Automation)
- Block Chain (including Distributed Ledger)
- Cloud Services (including Migration Services and Cloud Risk Management)
- Cyber Security (including Security Assessment Services, Zero Trust Architecture Services, etc.)
- Edge Computing (including 5G Implementation, Internet of Things, etc.)
- Immersive Technologies (including Augmented, Virtual Reality, etc.)
The draft RFP of Polaris will likely be released in the next couple of months and the final RFP in the Summer of 2021. EZGovOpps will continue to update the information we have on the program as soon as it becomes available. You can review this information by signing into your EZGovOpps account and clicking this link, or get started with a 5-day trial today.