Contracting officials released a new clarification document as the department continues preliminary work on a broad cloud management contract.
The Treasury Department is working on an enterprise cloud contract—dubbed TCloud—that will expand the number of cloud services available to agency programs. But a new document shows the $1 billion contract will likely be awarded to a single vendor.
Two years after first proposing a multibillion-dollar departmentwide modernization effort that included a strong push to move to cloud services, Treasury officials are still in the market research phase for the central contract to manage those efforts. But the contract is coming together, and contracting officers released a document clarifying some points ahead of a forthcoming statement of objectives.
“At present, Treasury bureaus are individually moving forward with cloud solutions, and have implemented a number of cloud solutions to address unique mission priorities requiring agile and elastic approaches, often through duplicative contract actions,” the department’s overarching cloud strategy states. “This scattered approach, while offering varying degrees of agility for individual customers, ignores opportunities for cost reduction through service deduplication and consolidated procurement actions.”
TCloud would not eliminate these various cloud solutions, but would envelope them under a single business model, managed by a cloud services broker.
The clarification document notes Treasury plans to make the TCloud contract a single award to a cloud broker that will manage access to multiple cloud services across the department.
“Treasury envisions the utilization of a single vendor to facilitate holistic cloud solutions to meet Treasury’s enterprisewide needs,” the new document states. “Information received through the RFI and continuing market researched indicates this approach to be the most advantageous for the organization, having the capability to meet all of Treasury’s needs and stimulate the desired rapid adoption of cloud across the organization.”
That said, the department still intends to have a multicloud environment, with TCloud acting as a gateway to “all current and future FedRAMP authorized” cloud service providers.
Treasury currently operates a cloud environment called Workplace Community Cloud, or WC2, which includes Amazon Web Services at the moderate and high levels. The department has plans to broaden the WC2 to include multiple cloud offerings, including adding Microsoft Azure.
“No matter what choices you make, you are generally ‘stuck’ with a platform until a competitor makes a fundamental technical or pricing advance that makes it sufficiently attractive for you to dedicate the time and money to migrate your workload to a different platform. For these reasons, a workload moved to Amazon and optimized in Amazon will operate best in Amazon, and the same for a workload moved to Microsoft or Oracle or Google,” the Cloud Acquisition Roadmap states. “From a practical perspective, it means that the Treasury will need to have multiple CSPs under contract.”
While Treasury is still in the market research phase of the procurement, information gathered to date suggests the department is leaning toward establishing a blanket purchase agreement off of the General Services Administration’s pre-vetted set of contractors under its Cloud Services special item number, or SIN.
The SIN “appears to be a solution that can satisfy the breadth of TCloud requirements, through the placement of orders for a variety of cloud solutions for individual offices or the entire agency,” the clarification doc states. “Treasury is seeking a vehicle that offers the entire spectrum of cloud solutions and enables this type of flexibility.”
The document also notes that while other federal agencies won’t be able to buy off the TCloud BPA directly, there is potential for programs to pay for specific services from Treasury that will be enabled by the TCloud contract.
Despite the long tail, Treasury officials are still within their original timeline for TCloud, which predicted the release of a request for information in 2020—the RFI was issued in June—and a statement of objectives in 2021. While the latter has yet to drop, the department remains on schedule to potentially make an award in fiscal 2022.
But all that could change.
“As Treasury remains in the requirements definition and market research phase, an estimated [request for quotes] release or award date is not currently available,” the document states. “Any new information about TCloud will not be posted to the acquisition portals until a contract vehicle is selected."