AveningTech wins USCG Prime Contract!


We are excited to announce AveningTech has been awarded as the prime contractor for the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Telecommunications and Information System Command (TISCOM) and Field Services Division (FSD) Cyber Subject Matter Expert (SME) Support Services contract.

The effort is focused on providing the USCG TISCOM FSD the necessary support services to assist the USCG Cyber Command (CGCYBER) with Computer Network Defense (CND) of its networks and computer systems. AveningTech will provide technical, operational, administrative, and security management services in the area of cybersecurity.

AveningTech will address the protection of all USCG information systems, the information they contain, and the infrastructure on which they reside for the Non-Classified Internet Protocol Router Network (NIPRNET), Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNET) portions of the Department of Defense Information Network (DODIN). AveningTech will also assist the USCG and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in supporting the USCG portion of the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System (JWICS) network.

Source: AveningTech

Who is your competition on SeaPort-e? How do you know?

This is the second in a series of articles on how to stand out from the crowd and make the most of the SeaPort-e contract, whether your company is a new awardee or a long-time prime that hasn’t used the vehicle to its maximum capacity.

608 SeaPort-e prime contractors were added yesterday, in what the Navy has said will be the last admission of new primes for this version of the contract. Some articles cited over 5,000 primes now on the contract, counting all firms added since 2005, rather than only those that remain.

We did better math and the total is much lower, with over 2,000 contractors off-ramping at some point during the Period of Performance. Companies off-ramp for many reasons, including failing to respond to bi-lateral mods sent by the contracting office, or not completing the self-assessment required of all firms in award term years. 

The real numbers are below. We encourage you to become familiar with the REAL competition in your Zones. We will teach you how to delve further into this analysis at our upcoming seminar: Task Order Success: Winning on the Navy's SeaPort-e and Federal ID/IQs.

Keep in mind, these figures don't add up to the total number of primes, as many firms are in more than one Zone and fall into multiple size statuses. 

Also important to note, this round had the lowest win-rate of any previous rolling admission. Only 89% of submissions won seats on the vehicle. Iona Moon clients were--as usual--overwhelmingly successful. 

This version of SeaPort-e will expire in 2019, but task orders may be awarded until then for up to five years, meaning work will continue into 2024. We hope to see you in July to help you make the most of your contract, whenever it was awarded.

Marketing your SeaPort-e Contract: Harness The Power of the Required H.11 Web Page

This is the first in a series of articles on how to stand out from the crowd and make the most of the SeaPort-e contract, whether your company is a new awardee or a long-time prime that hasn’t used the vehicle to its maximum capacity.

The material in these articles—and much more—will be explored in-depth in our upcoming seminar: Task Order Success: Winning On the Navy’s SeaPort-e and other Federal ID/IQs, July 19th and 20th, with more dates coming in 2016.

All SeaPort-e primes will off-ramp in 2019. That doesn’t mean work under the contract will stop. Task orders may be awarded for up to five years any time before the end of the period of performance for the ID/IQ. That means work under SeaPort-e will continue into 2024. It also means you have less than three years to identify, capture and win that work, to build your reputation with those customers, and to position your company for whatever acquisition plan the Department of Navy enacts to fill the coming gap.

Today I address the often-overlooked requirement of the H.11 clause. It may seem a boring topic, but it can be used to great effect with some creativity and marketing savvy. Of course, you must comply with the specific requirements of the clause, and provide a link to the contracting office within 10 days of an award to remain in compliance with your contract.

However, H.11 is much more than a compliance issue. It is a marketing opportunity you should fully exploit—most of your competition won’t.

When conducting market research, your customers’ first impression is often your H.11 webpage. It should deliver your value proposition with impact before an acquisition strategy is formalized. It should align with the look and feel of your web presence and invite visitors to explore beyond this first look to form a lasting positive impression.

Here are some of our top tips for using H.11 to its maximum advantage.

  1.  Assure it is in compliance with the clause and keep all information up-to-date
  2. Enlist your marketing and design team to reinforce your branding and foster visitor “engagement*”
  3. Use links, call-outs, and customer testimonials to emphasize your successes
  4. Add capabilities and team members as you grow: you are not limited to the functional areas you bid, highlight ALL your qualifications
  5. Use analytic software to track visits to the page and measure behavior and engagement—a high “bounce rate**” means you aren’t creating the interest vital to “engagement”
  6. Check the portal regularly and test the link to your page, especially when you make changes to your site

H.11 can provide other advantages over your competition. Those are covered in the “dirty tricks” segment of our June seminar.

Iona Moon provides a simple, compliant template to cover the basics. Use it and these tips as a launch pad to elevate your image among the ever-growing competitive pool of SeaPort-e, while you still have time.


*Online “engagement” is holding the attention of a visitor or inducing them to explore further.

**”Bounce rate” is the percentage of single-page visits or the number of visits in which a visitor leaves a website from the landing page without browsing any further.

Glen Ives Named President, Sabre Systems, Inc.

Glen Ives, long-time St. Mary’s resident and involved leader in military and industry relationship building, community development and higher education in the region, was recently tapped as President, Sabre Systems, Inc.  

Sabre Systems, Inc., a leading provider of specialized technology services and mission expertise announced the organizational changes Friday. Philip P. Jaurigue, currently the president and chief executive officer (CEO), is relinquishing his role as president and assuming the board chairmanship; Jaurigue will maintain his CEO title. Jaurigue, who founded the company in 1989, will take leadership of the company’s recently launched commercial business as well as oversight of strategic business partnerships. His deep relationships and understanding of the business, customers and partners will enable him to play a key role in the expansion of the business into a higher return for the company.

Ives, the current chief operating officer (COO), will assume the position of president in addition to his COO responsibilities. Ives has steered strategic transformations for the company and has responsibility for the management and execution of day-to-day operations.

The company also announced the promotion of senior executive director Dennis DePriest to vice president, Mid-Atlantic region. DePriest joined the company in 2013 and has been managing the company’s support to the Software Engineering and Acquisition Management Division, Naval Air Systems Command/Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division. He will expand his current role and assume responsibility for overall management and growth for the region that serves all Navy programs.

“Dennis has demonstrated the leadership skills, focus and judgment required to take our Navy business to the levels called for in the company’s 2020 Strategic Plan,” noted Ives. “I am excited by Sabre’s future within the region under Dennis’s leadership.”

Remarking on the announcements, Jaurigue said, "These actions are a logical next step in the plans we are implementing to become a more focused, higher growth company. The business reorganization clearly aligns our leadership to the organizational structure to drive growth in the right areas for the company.”

He continued, “Glen is a very talented and successful leader, and he has made a real difference to Sabre during his years with the company.”

Ives, a retired Navy Captain, is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Army College and served as a naval officer and pilot all over the world. His last military assignment was as commanding officer of the Patuxent River Naval Air Station. He sits on the Board of Trustees of St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and the Board of Governors for the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center. He also served on the Metropolitan Commission Task Force, Workforce Investment Board, chaired the Catholic Schools Task Force and co-chaired the River Concert Series Task Force. He is a past honorary chairman of the United Way, Christmas in April, Special Olympics and leader of the Catholic Schools task force. He is a proud Rotarian, a 2009 graduate of Leadership Maryland and serves on the boards of Southern Maryland Navy Alliance, College of Southern Maryland Foundation, St. Mary’s County Chamber of Commerce, The Patuxent Partnership, and Annemarie Gardens. Ives and his wife, Barbara, Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships for the College of Southern Maryland, live in California, Maryland.

Please join Iona Moon in congratulating Glen and Sabre on their continued success. 

Navy: Last chance for new primes on SeaPort-e

2016 will be final rolling admissions for this version of the contract

Dahlgren, VA, November 9, 2015– In a special announcement released Sunday on the SeaPort-e website, the Navy was brief and to the point. There are no plans to add new contractors to the current program after Rolling Admissions 2016. That solicitation is expected today, with proposals due to the Government on January 21, 2016. Awards are expected in June, 2016.

The notice reads:

Rolling Admission Special Notice:

This is a special notice to inform vendors that after this Rolling Admission period, there are no plans to add new vendors to the current SeaPort-e program.

At a recent NAVAIR Small Business Roundtable event in Lexington Park, Maryland, the SeaPort-e Contracting Officer presented possible scenarios for the future of SeaPort-e. The spectrum of options ranged from a follow-on program to a return to a decentralized contracting model for services. She invited feedback from industry and the Navy contracting community on these and other alternatives.

The contracting office did confirm existing primes will still be able to add team members at any time during their award term. 

Lee Griffo, President of Iona Moon said: “SeaPort-e was well-architected, but not optimally executed across Navy. We are optimistic the next iteration will address inconsistencies across commands and provide better guidance and training to vendors and the Government, while maintaining the commitment to small business utilization that has been its hallmark. There are still many opportunities between now and 2019 for prime contractors to win up-to five-year task orders, reaching well into 2024 on the current contract. I expect this to be a banner year for new primes.”

Dr. Jim Hiles, the original architect of the contract and Senior Associate with Iona Moon had this to say about the news. “SeaPort-e has been a huge success, in part because it has been as much about sensible, intuitive process and information transparency as it has been about a contract vehicle. Second generation transitions are difficult and the current multiple-award landscape is full of “flagship” contract suites that are a process mess in comparison. No doubt the time is now to take action, commit to a bid decision and get in the game on Seaport-e.”

Dr. Hiles is the author of “Winning with Past Performance: Strategies for Industry and Government,” and “Federal Contracting: 13 Steps to Increase Your CPARS Ratings.” He is working with Iona Moon to make available their combined expertise in the form of accessible educational resources and practical, effective processes to improve win performance for firms targeting the Federal sector.

"Godfather of SeaPort-e" Wrote the Book on PP

Our own Dr. Jim Hiles literally wrote the book on Past Performance. Just one of his published works, "Winning with Past Performance, Strategies for Industry and Government" has been well-received and well-reviewed by those in the business of Federal contracting. 

Excerpts from one review by FCW author, Mark Rockwell: 

Now retired from the Navy, Hiles led the rollout of SeaPort-e, the Navy’s acquisition vehicle for support services in 22 areas, including engineering, financial and program management. 
The book delves into the details of how the federal contracting workforce tallies, measures and processes federal contractors’ past performance. It gives companies insight into how to craft their answers for federal agencies and gives the federal acquisition workforce a better understanding of how contractors and the commercial world perceive past performance.

For a preview of Jim's depth of expertise in all things Past Performance, subscribe to his 13-week email "Past Performance Power Course." It is free, and packed with advice you can put to immediate use. 

It is worth your time to learn from an accomplished leader with a record of success on both sides of the issue. 

Who needs experts? Anyone navigating an unfamiliar system crucial to their success.

One Government contracting shop recently declaimed the guidance provided by consultants in proposal preparation. As a consultant, I find it personally offensive, but really it’s just bad advice.

It is also not new. 

Over twenty years ago, I managed a career counseling and résumé writing firm near a major Air Force installation, a classic “terminal career point” for senior officers. My clients ranged from junior enlisted leaving to pursue education or stay with new families, to two-and-three star generals retiring after 30-year records of accomplishment that dwarf most lifetimes of success.

They had in common a fear of the unknown. Yes, even seasoned combat Vets figuratively shook in their boots at the prospect of “selling” themselves to a civilian employer. It had never been imperative to planning, leading or executing some of the toughest jobs in the world.

That is where I excelled. I have a knack for, and education in, telling a story persuasively to an audience unfamiliar with the topic. I became the go-to provider for transitioning military in the area, and eventually even the command took notice.

I was invited to teach résumé writing in the newly-minted “Transition Assistance Program” on base. The command was adamant I not advertise my services, having experienced hard-sell techniques from others in life-planning industries. I didn’t sell. I introduced myself and walked the class step-by-step from evaluating strengths and weaknesses, conducting market research, translating mil-speak into English, interviewing tips, to line-by-line examples of popular résumé and cover letter formats. This was in the early 90’s, before word-recognition software became widely-used. I taught attendees how to get past the human resources desk to a decision maker. I provided specific samples and answered questions for hours, and I never mentioned the name of my company. Just my business cards on a table at the back of the room. As I gathered my materials to leave, I was inundated with inquiries about my services. I told them to call my office. They did.

Much later I learned there was a warning given to attendees before my presentation. A disclaimer of endorsement and a caveat to listen to my advice but “write your own résumé, because no one knows you better than you.”

This would be great advice if a résumé were about you. Spoiler: it’s not.

A résumé is about what is most valuable to an employer. It is not a list of the features you possess: your education, experience and skills. It is not a legal document nor a job application. A résumé is marketing material to highlight the benefits to be realized for the cost of bringing you on the team.

If you don’t know exactly what is most compelling to your target you should not write your own résumé. Find someone with a skill set around marketing and persuasive writing. An expert in analyzing your experience and evaluating your goals. Someone who can interpret and extrapolate your story into a narrative and format that can’t be ignored.

Compare it to teaching paint by the numbers. It may produce a recognizable image, but Picasso it ain’t. After I told them everything I could, they still picked up my card, called me, and happily paid me to turn them into stellar job candidates in print.

My customer base has changed over the years. I stopped telling the stories of individuals and began telling those of organizations—non-profits, small businesses, public companies and high-technology firms—to audiences comprising donors, consumers, investors, lenders, industry partners and eventually, the Government.

The process is the same: know the story, know the audience, know the difference and know how to bridge that gap.

Today, and for the past eleven years, the stories I tell are those of contractors to the audience of the Federal Government. That is not an easy audience to define as the roles of evaluators and technical experts don’t always overlap. Sometimes you must craft a complex technical narrative to be read by a budget analyst.

Do you want to be the best in your area of professional expertise or the best in selling that expertise in a restrictive and confusing format?

The Government requires you to present your firm’s capability to provide exceptional professional services from designing and building weapons systems to running huge financial systems. On multi-billion-dollar Multiple Award Contracts, evaluators who make award decisions may or may not have expertise in the organizational requirement for your services. Most of the time, their expertise is in acquisition: procurement processes and regulations.

They do the best they can with the tools they are given. Your narrative is forced into a recognizable, uniform structure with page limits and addressable topics based on institutional doctrine. The imperative no firm receive preferential treatment is not only ingrained, it is law. This drumbeat of distrust of commercial enterprise informs decision making at every interaction with industry.

Until about six months after leaving Government service.

Over the last twenty-five years, I have cultivated many contacts among uniformed and civilian professionals who excel in their positions. They are steeped in the culture of the system and they understand the metrics for success. My reputation as a successful consultant to defense contractors is widely known, if narrowly understood, in those circles.

Yet one thing remains from those early years. Every few weeks I get a call from a retiring senior leader interested in translating their expertise into a marketable commodity to sell to contractors or to the Government they just left.

That is when they realize the value of expert advice.

Existing SeaPort-e Primes, Add Zones Now

Introducing ReadyWin™ for Zones: everything you need to fill the geographic gaps in your SeaPort-e pipeline. This may be your last chance to add Zones to your existing SeaPort-e contract. The Navy has announced this will be the last rolling admission for this version of the contract. 

If you don't have the Zone coverage you need, you could be leaving money on the table with expiring task orders over the next three years. TO's under SeaPort-e can be awarded for up-to five years. Work will continue well into 2024. Will you be competitive where your customers are?

Iona Moon has clients nationwide, and offers free matchmaking to all our ReadyWin customers. The time is now to maximize the reach of your SeaPort-e contract. ReadyWin  for Zones has everything you need:

  • Complete, step-by-step instructions (what the Government didn't tell you)
  • Zone Gap Worksheet (where your customers are and where you need to be)
  • Complete Subcontractor Data Calls, with instructions
  • Sample Teaming Agreements and NDAs
  • Access to our team member matchmaking database
  • Fully-formatted templates, including cover letter and mailing label
  • Unlimited email support

ReadyWin for Zones meets the high standards we set for all our products and client services. Let us help you increase your Navy and Marine Corps footprint on SeaPort-e. 

SeaPort-e Rolling Admission coming in November!

The Navy has announced the next SeaPort-e rolling admissions solicitation will be released November 2nd, with proposals due January 13, 2016. Awards will be made next June. Iona Moon has everything you need to win with ReadyWin for SeaPort-e. This year we have some additional availability to help firms with full service support as well. Contact us for details

Proposals are due in:

The synopsis is below.


The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division, on behalf of the Naval Sea Systems Command and the Navy Virtual SYSCOM (partners NAVSUP, NAVAIR, SPAWAR and NAVFAC) along with other Navy activities and Marine Corps, is conducting a rolling admission per the terms and conditions of the SeaPort Enhanced (Seaport-e) Multiple Award Contracts.

The purpose of this rolling admission is to expand the contractor base by awarding additional Indefinite-Delivery/Indefinite-Quantity (ID/IQ) prime contracts. Existing Seaport-e prime contractors will also have the opportunity to expand their presence in other geographical zones to allow them to compete for Task Order awards in those zones and to voluntarily re-certify their size status. The NAICS code for this procurement is 541330 and the revenue size standard for Small Business is $38.5 Million.

The purpose of this rolling admission is to expand the contractor base by awarding additional Indefinite-Delivery/Indefinite-Quantity (ID/IQ) prime contracts. Existing Seaport-e prime contractors will also have the opportunity to expand their presence in other geographical zones to allow them to compete for Task Order awards in those zones and to voluntarily re-certify their size status. The NAICS code for this procurement is 541330 and the revenue size standard for Small Business is $38.5 Million.

The purpose of this rolling admission is to expand the contractor base by awarding additional Indefinite-Delivery/Indefinite-Quantity (ID/IQ) prime contracts. Existing Seaport-e prime contractors will also have the opportunity to expand their presence in other geographical zones to allow them to compete for Task Order awards in those zones and to voluntarily re-certify their size status. The NAICS code for this procurement is 541330 and the revenue size standard for Small Business is $38.5 Million.

SeaPort-e is the Navy's electronic platform for acquiring support services in 22 functional areas including Engineering, Financial Management, and Program Management. Authorized ordering activities compete their service requirements amongst SeaPort-e IDIQ multiple award contract holders. All task orders are competitively solicited, awarded and managed using the SeaPort-e electronic platform.

Oral proposals will not be conducted. Awards will be made on initial offers without discussions. Please email questions concerning Rolling Admissions to seaport_epco@seaport.navy.mil.

The Government desires an increase in Small Business, HubZone, Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB); Economically Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB); Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB); and 8(a) concerns. Businesses in these categories are encouraged to submit offers as primes.

Information concerning this rolling admission is available on the Seaport homepage at www.seaport.navy.mil. Copies of the previous Rolling Admission solicitation N00178-14-R-4000, the original Rolling Admission Industry Brief (dated November 2004), and questions and answers to the previous solicitations can currently be found on the homepage.

The solicitation number for this Rolling Admissions is N00178-16-R-4000. It is anticipated that a solicitation will be issued on 02 November 2015 with a response date of 13 January 2016. The target date for the Rolling Admission awards is June 2016. The Government reserves the right to change these dates. It is the potential offeror's responsibility to monitor the Seaport site for the release of solicitations, amendments, and supporting information

Ms. Emily Harman named Director, Navy Small Business Programs

In a letter to Senior Navy Leaders, Mr. Thomas Hicks, Deputy Undersecretary of the Navy, Management, announced the appointment of Ms. Emily Harman to the position of Director, Navy Office of Small Business Programs. With this promotion, Ms. Harman joins the Senior Executive Service (SES).

The SES, somewhat analogous to general officer or flag officer ranks in the U.S. Armed Forces, serve in the key positions just below the top Presidential appointees. SES members are the major link between these appointees and the rest of the Federal workforce. They operate and oversee nearly every government activity in approximately 75 Federal agencies.

Mr. Hicks wrote: "It is my pleasure to announce Ms. Emily Harman has been selected as the Department of the Navy's Director, Office of Small Business Programs effective 24 August 2015. Emily will join our team after serving 10 years as NAVAIR Associate Director of the Office of Small Business Programs. Prior to this role, Ms. Harman served as a Division Director in the Major Weapons System for Air-Antisubmarine Warfare, Assault, Special Mission Programs Contracts Department and as the Multi-Mission Helicopter Program Office (PMA 299) Contracting Officer prior to that.

After graduating from the United States Naval Academy, Emily served as a Supply Corps Officer in the United States Navy from 1985 to 1992 and retired from the Naval Reserves. Emily served onboard the USS Emory S. Land (AS-39). Other duty stations included the Supreme Allied Command Atlantic, Commander in Chief U.S. Atlantic Fleet, United States Naval Academy, and Fleet and Industrial Supply Center Norfolk Detachment Washington. As a passionate advocate for small business programs, I know Emily will continue to deliver results and look for innovative ways to promote acquisition opportunities for small businesses in support of our Sailors and Marines."

Please join Iona Moon in congratulating Emily. We have witnessed first-hand her extraordinary vision, leadership and dedication, both in her professional role—advocating small business utilization within NAVAIR—and in her tireless participation in community activism to improve the lives of young people, encourage economic diversity in the region, and fight the scourge of drug addiction with education and compassion.

We know Emily will continue to do great things in her new role and we wish her every success!

Celebrating 10 Years and SeaPort-e 2014!

Iona Moon is thrilled to be turning 10! We have some exciting news to share, including the announcement yesterday of the SeaPort-e Rolling Admission!  

Certainly late this year, but always welcome, the SeaPort-e RFP is slated to be released September 17th, with proposals due October 23th. We are expecting a lot of changes to this year's solicitation. We will have the page-by-page list of updates exclusively for our clients. 

This year we are also launching our ReadyWin™ product line with the inaugural ReadyWin™ for SeaPort-e. This is the next evolution of the SeaPort-e Toolkit©--our best seller with over 350 SeaPort-e prime contract wins! 

More products, tools and resources will be coming in the months ahead under the ReadyWin™ brand, from your most-trusted resource in the industry.

Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to the next 10 years!

Lee Moon-Griffo, President 

Welcome to our new web home

We have finished migrating the bulk of our content to our new servers, and will continue to move our archive posts over the next few days. Please let us know what works, what doesn't and comment on anything you would like to see changed. Your feedback is important to us. 

I am excited about our new platform and some new products we will be debuting soon, including exclusive training materials, eBooks, and proposal management tools.

Please join the mailing list to be sure to get all updates when they are posted, or follow us on Twitter @ionamoon. 

MCSC SeaPort-e Industry Day Raises Questions

ACSS Briefing to Industry Falls Short of Attendee Expectations

Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) has shelved its in-house CEOss acquisition vehicle for services in favor of the Navy-wide SeaPort-e contract. Attendees of the industry day held June 18th in Quantico may have come away with more questions than answers about the impact of the change, and USMC’s plans for the transition.

Nearly 20% of the attendees (by show of hands) were not SeaPort-e prime contract holders. The announcement came on April 27th, just days before the proposal deadline for SeaPort-e Rolling Admission for 2012, locking out those vendors without contracts until at least Spring 2013.

Acquisition Center for Support Services (ACSS) director, Mr. Paul Ortiz, briefed the 100+ attendees on some of the changes they could expect. Key changes touched on include:

  • Task orders will be Firm-Fixed-Price
  • MCSC will adopt the SeaPort-e functional-area structure in place of the CEOss domain model
  • Solicitations will adhere to Navy guidance for formatting, and MCSC will utilize SeaPort-e templates
  • Base contract awards will be made by NAVSEA using their process
  • Task order award decisions will be made locally, by the ACSS staff
  • “Due diligence” will be incorporated into the task order Q&A process within the 30-day open period for solicitations
  • More emphasis will be placed on meeting small business participation goals
  • Engineering waiver determinations must be conducted for task orders with any engineering element

Still, a great deal was left unanswered, and it is evident this is unfamiliar territory for the command. ACSS is unable to forecast specific new or follow-on work that will be competed under SeaPort-e, though they cite historically annual CEOss figures of 1,600 task order actions, with a value of $450M.

Most concerning is the information left out of last week’s 1.5-hour brief, though Mr. Ortiz did say the communication plan for the transition is an internal document.  We can only hope more information is available to industry in the very near future.

There was no guidance provided for current prime and subcontractors that are not SeaPort-e participants; no mention of SeaPort-e‘s 51% work requirement for small business set-asides; and no discussion of the new prime contract awards expected next month.

Alarmingly, there was no nod to the impact on long-time CEOss primes who would be unable to re-compete for work they are currently performing, or the programs that will no longer have access to the expertise of these contractors. Perhaps MCSC does not view this as their problem.

SeaPort-e is an agile vehicle that can provide MCSC with efficient and powerful tools to meet their requirements. It is also a complex, peculiar and competitive contract. To make the most of it, both government and industry need to understand what it can and cannot do.

MCSC seems to be expecting a more robust suite of services than SeaPort-e delivers. For example, SeaPort-e can’t improve a poor requirements process, and there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that the marriage of Marine Corps’ requirements and acquisition process has not always gone smoothly.

Another stumbling point is the plan to have the question and answer process in the SeaPort-e portal serve as due diligence within a 30-day open period of a solicitation. This is a recipe for protests. A material amendment to an RFP must include an extension to give fair opportunities to competitors.

The industry day did little to instill confidence MCSC is making a deliberate, planned move to SeaPort-e with enthusiastic support of the ACSS.  One thing is very clear:  this is the future to which MCSC is marching smartly and ACSS is tapped to lead the charge.

For SeaPort-e primes who have been locked out of the USMC’s services business due to the insular nature of CEOss, this major change opens new competitive opportunities. With Navy-wide emphasis on affordability, even long-time incumbents may be unseated with the right win approach. Current CEOss primes and subs no longer have a captive market and will have to up their game to stay competitive.

From an industry perspective, my advice is to stay better-informed than your customer, and that means getting your advice from the experts.

Did you attend the Industry Day? What are your unanswered questions about the change? Leave us your thoughts in a comment.

SeaPort-e 2013 is underway

The RFP for SeaPort-e Rolling Admissions was issued late yesterday with a surprising requirement for existing primes to re-apply during this round of competition. Companies that won a  SeaPort-e contract in years 2005 though 2008 will have to submit a new proposal by May 30th of this year if they wish to continue as prime contractors after 04 April, 2014. The government does not intend to exercise the next option period for contractors that do not re-apply. The requirements are not as cumbersome as an initial proposal offering, but there is still a lot of paperwork to complete and submit. Industry was expecting the next option-year evaluation in 2014, which usually requires only a one-page self-evaluation form. This abbreviated proposal package will take many firms by surprise and require additional planning and resources to comply with the May 30th deadline.

Iona Moon is continuing our service to firms wishing to submit for the first time and those needing to re-apply to keep their contracts. In addition to updating the best-selling SeaPort-e Proposal Toolkit, we will be offering a "SeaPort-e Express" package for existing primes. That solution will be available early next week.

The pre-RFP version of the SeaPort-e Proposal Toolkit is available now on our website at www.ionamoon.com. The 2013 update is free with that purchase.


Zekiah Promotes Eric Mahaffey to Vice President

Zekiah is pleased to announce the promotion of Eric Mahaffey to the position of Vice President.  Mr. Mahaffey will be managing Zekiah’s new contract at the Department of Homeland Security in Arlington, VA.

Eric joined Zekiah in 2003 and has been integral in expanding Zekiah’s geospatial services.  A graduate of Coastal Carolina University, Mr. Mahaffey has continued his geospatial education with Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI).  Bill Dollins, Zekiah’s Sr. Vice President of Geospatial Services, expressed, “Eric has been a key member of Zekiah’s staff for years, providing outstanding geospatial solutions to many of our core customers. We are very happy to have Eric join our executive team and establish an important new relationship with DHS."

View the original article here.

Congratulations to 385 new SeaPort-e Primes!

The Navy yesterday added 385 new prime contractors to SeaPort-e, increasing the competitive pool of large and small businesses vying for task orders across 22 functional areas to 2,886.  Iona Moon assisted 45 winning firms with direct support and through our SeaPort-e Proposal Toolkit. The full list of winning firms is available at the Navy's website. Recently, Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC), the United States Marine Corps’ largest command, announced it would exclusively use SeaPort-e to procure services in place of the in-house Commercial Enterprise Omnibus Support Services (CEOss) contract it has used for the past 10 years.

MCSC’s move to SeaPort-e is a testament to the Navy’s commitment to this vehicle. The move is a double-edged sword for firms, however. In addition to bringing flexibility and consistency to USMC acquisition, it introduces a huge new aspect of competition where previously there was very little.  With this year’s awards, SeaPort-e has nearly 3,000 prime contractors. CEOss had only 37.

Iona Moon conducts a “Boot Camp” to train new and existing SeaPort-e contract holders on the process of winning task orders under the contract. This year’s event will be held in Quantico on July 31.

Get more information about SeaPort-e Boot Camp: Quantico here.