By Brian Lindholm

BD dog is ready to bid.

Cry ‘Havoc!’ and Let Slip the Dogs of Business Development!

Ah yes, we now have the first batch of CIO-SP3 small business on-ramps with the batch of 40+ SDVOSB awards.  Congratulations to the winners!  These awardees have a fantastic and versatile contract vehicle to leverage.

But a win begs the question: What do you do next?  Beyond the imminent furious scramble of business developers to either fill their pipeline or to revisit old pipeline opportunities, it’s the perfect timing to re-examine the competitive environment in and around CIO-SP3.

How have CIO-SP3 Small Businesses Fared?

Note that the standard small business set-aside lane has been the primary focus, with a distant second place for 8(a) set-asides.

These numbers tell us a good-news, bad-news story. The good news is that CIO-SP3 small businesses have done really well; the opportunity is there. The bad news is that if you think your firm’s SDVOSB status on this contract vehicle gives you a significant advantage by drastically limited competition, THINK AGAIN. However, this is a winner’s problem: If you received an SDVOSB CIO-SP3 award, you are the one with that happy dilemma.

Who Buys Via CIO-SP3?

Hopefully, every firm that submitted a bid on CIO-SP3 did its homework on who buys via CIO-SP3. Past is not necessarily prologue, but agencies have a tendency towards procurement momentum i.e., once they get used to relying on a vehicle, then tend to go back to it again and again. This might change here, but let’s take a look at the numbers. And brace yourself: Yes, this is a whole lot more than Health IT.

What does this mean for your firm’s quest to grow at CMS and DHA? Well, on the way to awarding CIO-SP3, CMS awarded its own contract: SPARC. Yes, we know this is not likely a news flash, but we had to point this fun fact out. Now that CMS SPARC is operating, you can bet that CMS is going to use its individualized contract vehicle over CIO-SP3. This doesn’t mean that CIO-SP3 is done for new CMS business, but given the competing vehicles, that agency’s usage is likely to drastically decrease going forward.

We also know that DHA signed an agreement with GSA to use GSA vehicles. While this doesn’t mean that DHA will never use CIO-SP3, it’s important to acknowledge the agency’s interest in other vehicles. The hold that CIO-SP3 has (or had) on DHA is not likely to be as significant going forward. However, there have been some awards made via CIO-SP3 since the agreement was created so the hold is hardly iron clad.

Shut up and Show me the Pipeline

So what might a starter pipeline look like? Using a sampling of the treasure trove of CIO-SP3 task orders that are expiring in the next 12-18 months, you have, perhaps, a blueprint. We’ll take a few of these opportunities for a spin in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

Incumbent Set-aside type What is it? Funding customer Current task order end date Base and all Options
Blue Canopy Group (acquired by Jacobs) SB
Security Control Assessment (SCA) CMS 7/18/2018 $283,148,804
Digital Infuzion SB
Development and O&M for a Unified/Integrated Clinical Research Management System (CRMS) for National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) NIH 9/25/2018 $39,720,357
Futrend Technology 8(a) competed Operations, maintenance, and enhancement services for the 340b registration and pricing systems also known as the Office of Pharmacy Affairs Information System (OPAIS) HRSA 9/26/2018 $17,522,537
Attain SB
EDGAR help desk/filer support SEC 12/18/2018 $75,250,532
Synectics for Management Decisions SB
Data warehouse and business intelligence services NSF 1/9/2019 $32,403,218
Actionet 8(a) competed Development, Engineering, and Integration Services (DEIS) in support of Diplomatic Security (DS) STATE 1/31/2019 $47,410,338
Agilex Technologies (Accenture) SB
Technologies Management Office (TMO) unified tracking system support US Census Bureau 3/31/2019 $24,944,983
FEI Systems 8(a) competed Testing strategy and governance services and to perform IV&V testing of Information Systems Group (ISG) products CMS 6/19/2019 $60,344,619
Trowbridge & Trowbridge SB
O & M for Job Corps Data Center LABOR 6/30/2019 $65,989,788
Medical Science & Computing SB
Software support for molecular biology and genomics information resources NIH 6/30/2019 $125,906,308
Attain SB
National Cancer Institute (NCI) Informatics NIH 7/27/2019 $50,275,015
Blue Canopy Group (acquired by Parsons) SB
Data centers for Federal Student Aid (FSA) Education 9/29/2019 $66,840,858
Sekon Enterprise 8(a) competed Engineering cyber security and configuration management support services DHA 9/29/2019 $144,344,198

What did we learn in this blog?

  • Past is not prologue so whatever you planned before and during the CIO-SP3 bid may no longer hold true.
  • There is a world outside of Health IT and it flows through the CIO-SP3 contract. If you’re one of the winners, you need to be considering your opportunities in this wider space!
  • CIO-SP3 provides a target rich environment for a wide variety of customers and opportunities.

In coming weeks, FedSavvy Strategies will explore in detail a few of these task orders – including Health IT. Stay tuned as we explore a select group of these opportunities so you can be better informed on key pieces of information to inform your business development decisions.

About the authorBrian Lindholm is the owner and Managing Principal of FedSavvy Strategies. Brian is a long-time business developer in U.S. Government contracting. FedSavvy Strategies is a consulting firm focused on strategic planning, market analysis, capture management and competitive intelligence for U.S. Government contractors selling professional services. Learn more at

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