Craig Abod: Taking the pain out of procurement

Craig Abod and Carahsoft have been working to make IT acquisition decisions easier and more effective.

Craig Abod Carasoft photo credit: Zaid Hamid

Photo credit: Zaid Hamid

IT acquisition is dauntingly difficult for government customers and would-be vendors alike — so much so that innovative technology firms sometimes steer clear of the public sector entirely. For 17 years, Craig Abod and Carahsoft have been working to make those purchases easier and more effective.

The result is an ecosystem of roughly 500 industry partners delivering analytics, artificial intelligence, cloud, cybersecurity, DevSecOps, customer experience and other solutions through dozens of different federal contract vehicles. (Carahsoft also serves the education and state and local government markets.) The success of that ecosystem is apparent in Carahsoft's performance — the 1,900-person firm now ranks 61st on Forbes' list of America's largest privately held companies, and is the largest IT software and services company on that list. But the more important indicators are on the customer side, where agencies have been able to accelerate their technology acquisition and deployment.

The latest example of Abod's career-long commitment to helping government learn about and procure effective IT solutions is Carahsoft's Cloud Purchasing Program. Launched in 2020, the CPP dramatically simplifies the cloud procurement process and covers services from more than 90 vendors. Government customers can acquire cloud products and services from multiple vendors through a single SKU. More than a dozen other resellers participate in the CPP, and federal agencies can purchase via NASA SEWP, the Army's ITES-SW2 contract, and the General Services Administration's Multiple Award Schedule Contract.

The customer benefits have been quick and clear. There were 94 CPP awards made in the first 12 months, and the Department of Defense's Cloud Computing Program Office picked CPP to modernize its infrastructure, noting that it was the only solution found that "met the CCPO requirements for providing flexible and rapid access to a wide variety of clouds to support real-time operations." A senior DOD executive confirmed to FCW that CPP has a been a substantial help to Defense agencies in particular.

CPP's combination of customer service, aggressive pricing and extensive education and training is typical of Abod's approach to business, and his commitment to connecting as many customers and companies possible in order to help government perform better.

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