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Key Departments Present Updates, Key Dates of Interest to Vendors

The state’s Enterprise Technology Contract expires in March 2024, and the Department of General Services is seeking vendors’ input in hopes of getting an early start on the next iteration.

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Leaders from the California Department of General Services (DGS) and the California Department of Technology (CDT) offered a preview for vendors last week of what lies ahead in the state’s procurement of technology, and they included some special guidance for vendors.

In a virtual Vendor Forum held Thursday, DGS’ chief procurement officer and deputy director of DGS’ Procurement Division, Angela Shell, emphasized that it’s important for tech vendors to participate in an upcoming request for information (RFI) related to the state’s Enterprise Technology Contracts.

“I know that there’s a lot of interest in this particular portfolio that we have,” Shell said during the webinar. “We have a lot of vendors on this contract, and it’s heavily used by our state departments. This contract does expire … in March 2024, so we want to get started early. We will be releasing an RFI in early 2023; this is for us to just get information on how the industry has changed in the last couple of years, since we’ve had the existing contract in place — what new equipment is out there, how did the contract work, or how has it been working. … We anticipate releasing the RFI in early 2023, and then the request for proposal in late spring of 2023.” Both the RFI and RFP will be posted on Cal eProcure, she said.

In a message to vendors, Shell said: “It’s very important that you participate in the RFI process if you’re interested in being on this contract. … We’re looking to the RFI for industry to tell us how it’s going, what could be done better, what’s not working at all and perhaps doesn’t need to be on the contract.”

DGS plans to publish an update to its 2022-2023 strategic plan by early in the second quarter of 2023.

CDT’s deputy director for statewide technology procurement, Tiffany Angulo, noted that the department will be updating its Pre-Qualified Vendor Pool (PQVP) for agile projects in the first quarter of 2023.

Angulo also noted that based on feedback from vendors, the state has eliminated the PQVC requirement for prototype products or proofs of concept, due to the cost to vendors. And by the end of the first quarter of 2023, she added, the state will issue updates to the challenge-based toolkits and playbook, which she said will “include a bonus chapter” aimed at vendors.

The slides presented during the forum are available online, as is a questionnaire for participants, which has a Thursday deadline for responses.
Dennis Noone is Executive Editor of Industry Insider. He is a career journalist, having worked as a reporter and editor at small-town newspapers and major metropolitan dailies in California, Nevada, Texas and Virginia, including as an editor with USA Today in Washington, D.C. He lives in Northern California.