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Colin Wood is the managing editor of StateScoop. Before that, he was a staff writer for Government Technology magazine. Before that, he taught Engl...
A joint cloud services request for proposal (RFP) involving 35 states and led by the State of Utah closed Tuesday.
Facilitated by cooperative purchasing firm NASPO ValuePoint, the RFP led to 38 notice-of-intent awards to vendors that will provide participating states with a menu of cloud services to choose from.
“These contracts developed by the State of Utah and NASPO ValuePoint will help governments become more agile in their deployment of technology solutions to reduce costs and improve services for our taxpayers," said Virginia Chief Information Officer Nelson Moe. "And because the cloud providers will be refreshed every two years, the cloud solutions will remain up-to-date.”
The cloud-based services included in the contract include software as a service, platform as a service, and infrastructure as a service. Deployment model options include public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud and government cloud, all of which are based on the definitions established by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. A multi-state procurement agreement of this scale and with this many options is unparalleled in government IT, said NASPO spokesperson, and former Oregon CIO, Dugan Petty.
"It went out with a profound level of collaboration between NASPO ValuePoint … chief procurement officers and state CIOs throughout the nation to craft an innovative RFP that I think is going to result in a substantial amount of awards and it's going to give state governments access to a full range of cloud services and the benefits of cloud-based services when in fact they make sense for the state," Petty said.
A team of eight states helped develop the RFP that 35 states agreed to participate in late 2015.
"We wanted to get recommendations and advice for how this ought to be structured and how it works," Petty said. "… It really came out of ideas generated by state CIOs - Steve Emmanuel in New Jersey had a lot to do with the initial development of it; Jim Sills, the Delaware CIO; Tony Encinias was in the group; Todd Kimbriel from Texas was involved in making recommendations around terms and conditions.
"Michael DeAngelo is familiar with it, he was there making recommendations. It started out to be a public cloud and software as a service, and DeAngelo was the one who said, 'Why stop there? Why not do all four NIST deployments and all three service models?' So, that's what we did."
The states not included in the purchasing agreement can participate by "executing a participating addendum against the master agreement," according to NASPO ValuePoint.
As of July 1, participating states include:
Editor's Note: This article was updated on Nov. 18, 2016 to clarify technical language surrounding the RFP.