VA awards Contract for Getting Results in Transition (GRIT) Mobile Application

Updated September 13, 2021

Notice ID: 36C10B21Q0314
Contract Award Number: 36C10B21C0034
Contractor Awarded Name: INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION

This proposed action is for a firm-fixed price contract to license IBM’s Health & Wellness 360 platform (formally the Trust Platform) that runs the existing Getting Results in Transition (GRIT) mobile application including support services along with limited software application development to enhance the GRIT mobile application in order to deliver a Software as a Service (SaaS) Solution.

VA is on a mission to enhance the transition experience from military to civilian life for service members, Veterans, members of the National Guard, Reserves, and their loved ones. In 2016, the Veteran’s Health Administration (VHA) Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention (OMHSP) launched a collaborative partnership with IBM through a Memorandum of Understanding to develop the GRIT proof of concept. The pilot’s goal was to demonstrate how the real-time and consistent collection of personalized data could help Veterans understand and strengthen their emotional well-being and resiliency during the transition from active duty to civilian life. In 2018, IBM and VA designed, developed, tested, and documented the GRIT mobile application to become a pilot ready prototype. The GRIT mobile application resides on IBM’s proprietary Health & Wellness 360 platform

The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), Office of Transition and Economic Development, has a requirement for an expanded operational field test of the GRIT mobile application. The GRIT mobile application will assist current and former members of the National Guard, Reserves and all other Veterans’ employment search capabilities during their transition from military to civilian life, while ensuring an increased social connection throughout the job search process. The GRIT mobile application includes features such as building social connections/networks, a built-in chat-bot to engage application user by providing real-time resources (i.e. financial advice, employment support and information on benefits), and an Identity Management capability (allows military service to be verified). The IBM Health & Wellness 360 platform is comprised of approximately seven common social determinants of health, including: employment, education, finance, housing, physical health, community, and behavioral health. This platform is a cloud based, Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) approved solution capable of delivering all services through native iOS and Android mobile apps. Employment support features in the platform are enabled by IBM Watson Employment Manager (WEM). VBA requires licensing to IBM’s Health & Wellness 360 platform to expand the field test to GRIT mobile application users. VBA also requires limited development of the GRIT mobile application to include modifying the existing functionality. VBA also requires customer service support for the mobile application to include help desk support and break/fix services

The proposed source for this action is IBM, 1 New Orchard Road, Armonk, New York 10504-1722. Based on the market research, as described in Section 8 of this justification, it was determined that, due to the proprietary closed-source IBM Health & Wellness 360 platform on which the GRIT mobile application resides, and the proprietary nature of the IBM Watson Employment Manager, the only source for hosting the GRIT mobile application is IBM.

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Posted June 16, 2021

Notice ID: 36C10B21Q0314

“The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Office of Procurement, Acquisition, and Logistics (OPAL), Technology Acquisition Center (TAC), located at 23 Christopher Way, Eatontown, New Jersey intends to enter into a sole source contract for Getting Results in Transition (GRIT) Mobile Application for the Office of Business Transformation. The TAC intends to award a sole source firm-fixed price contract with International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) located in 11107 Sunset Hills Rd Ste 500 Reston, VA, 20190-5375. The Statutory Authority being utilized is Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Subpart 6.302-1, Only One Responsible Source and No Other Supplies or Services Will Satisfy Agency Requirements…”

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