Federal agencies are at the beginning of a transformative IT journey, and it’s one where small business partnerships are a key to success. This journey is the large-scale IT modernization of agencies as they retire legacy infrastructure and deliver more mission-critical services through online applications and virtualization.
As well as ushering in a new generation of technology, this journey leverages a fundamentally different approach. Gone are the days of building proprietary solutions and “going it alone”. Instead, agencies are focusing on building partnerships with leading private sector organizations, both large and small. These partnerships are proving beneficial not only in terms of accessing hardware and software, but also in accessing the professional services that keep complex tech environments operating smoothly.
While federal agencies want to work with organizations that can match their scale and accommodate their complexity, it’s often a distinct advantage to be able to tap into specialized resources that bring with them unique expertise. “Verizon has invested in small business partnerships to deliver services to government agencies,” shared David Reaves, Senior Manager Business Development Federal at Verizon. “Our small business partners are critical to our ability to deliver services and are also critical to mission success for the agencies we work with.”
What makes partnerships with small businesses so important is the unique knowledge that they bring to the table. “While Verizon brings the state-of-the-art technology and the understanding of complex IT environments, our small business partners bring tactical expertise and, because many have worked in the public sector before starting their own businesses, they bring a unique working knowledge of agency operations,” added Scott Diep, Federal Business Development Manager at Verizon.
Brandilynn Collins Garrison, Federal Business Development Manager at Verizon, and herself a former government contractor and small business owner, shared that while agencies have a requirement to include small businesses, minority businesses, and women-owned businesses in contracts, Verizon isn’t just checking boxes. “For example, the federal government requires a 5 percent women-owned business in any contract, but Verizon isn’t looking to plug gaps or meet quota but is looking to align mutual values and mission,” shared Garrison.
With the scale and complexity of agency missions only set to increase in the coming years, the importance of partnerships with small businesses will continue to grow. “In order to be responsive to new challenges and new opportunities, the federal government needs partners who can bring the right solution to the table. In turn, we need small business partners to deliver the services quickly and effectively. By creating this unique ecosystem, we’re not only empowering agencies to deliver on the mission, but we’re also create new jobs and opportunities for Americans every day,” Reaves concluded.