Author Archives: Heather Whitney
A lot has happened since the launch of the Federal Small Business Specialty (FSBS) in 2016, as we will be celebrating the first anniversary of the program at the upcoming Esri Federal GIS Conference in DC on February 13-14, 2017. Here are a few of the highlights from 2016, and what to expect at Fed GIS from Esri’s small business partner community next week.
With over 70 partners in the FSBS to date (See our public storymap of the FSBS partners here), we have an amazing community of small business partners who provide a wide range of GIS services, including agile development of applications designed to meet Federal Government agency requirements.
A key part of the FSBS program is to enhance our partners’ technical expertise through a series of ongoing workshops as well as webcasts on emerging, newly introduced Esri technology, so they can deliver cutting edge solutions and learn best practices for implementation. In 2016, partners were able to experience hands on workshops in the areas of web apps, Portal for ArcGIS (which is now included in the newly released ArcGIS Enterprise), as well as developing mobile applications with ArcGIS Runtime SDKs.
Implementing and configuring Esri’s Enterprise GIS Portal is a common area of expertise partners wish to develop and have an opportunity to deliver to customers. John Steed, Director of Geospatial Services, Tesla Government Inc., explained, “We recently integrated Esri’s Portal into our information platform and the field users are thrilled. By implementing a web app presentation in our platform, we present all the widgets our users want while still controlling the information presentation with custom permissions.”
Esri’s Drone2Map for ArcGIS application was another big area of interest for partners to understand how they could work with this technology to tap into this fast growing market. “The Esri FSBS team’s commitment to partner growth has supported our entrance in the emerging industry of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) data collection. By providing webcasts, software, and technical expertise Esri and the FSBS team have enhanced our ability to deliver outstanding geospatial products and services to our clients,” said Adam Campbell, GIS Project Manager, Geospatial Consulting Group International, LLC.
Here is an image from a project GeoCGI performed in the Fall of 2016. The photo is an Archaeological Site next to James Madison’s Montpelier in central Virginia. The orthomosaic was processed using Drone2Map
Esri Partners Learn about ArcGIS 10.5 and Network with Federal Partner Community
This year, Esri offered something new for our partners working in the federal market. On October 27, we hosted an event designed to keep them abreast of GIS technology and trends and to connect with the federal partner community. Going forward, this will an annual event, to take place between the annual Esri User Conference in San Diego in July and the Esri Federal GIS (FedGIS) Conference, which is held every February.
The evening event, held at the Esri R&D office in Arlington, Virginia, featured geospatial thought leadership, insight into new technology, and collaboration.
Esri Program Gives Small Businesses a Competitive Edge
For small businesses wanting to expand their footprint in the U.S. federal market, the time to grow is now. In fiscal year 2014, the federal government spent a whopping $91.7 billion on small business contracts, exceeding its goal of awarding 23% of contracting dollars to small businesses. Moreover, some federal agencies have adopted a small-business-first policy, vetting requirements with small businesses before going to the open market. Several Government-Wide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) vehicles are set aside for small businesses, including the upcoming GSA Alliant 2 SB GWAC request for proposal expected later this summer. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) just announced the awardees of a $25 billion ceiling contract called the Strategic Partners Acquisition Readiness Contract (SPARC) Program, which will reserve task orders under $29 million for small businesses.
As the small business movement continues to grow and government looks for new ways to support the community, federal agencies are also working to attract non-traditional contractors, such as startups at the forefront of innovation. In fact, some agencies are going to great lengths to work more closely with startups by opening new offices in Silicon Valley.
Why the foray into more small business and startup territory? Agencies are looking for innovation, agile development, and new ways to quickly procure emerging technology and solutions.