DorobekInsider

Focusing on six words: Helping government do its job better

Archive for the ‘Contracting’ Category

DorobekINSIDER: Deltek buys market research firm INPUT for $60 million

with one comment

There have been all sorts or rumors and speculation flying around about the future of market research firm INPUT, including some rather embarrassing “reporting” where organizations merely quoted — and not completely accurately — somebody else seemingly without any knowledge or even actual reporting.

But the sale, which the DorobekINSIDER told you about earlier this year, is now official — Deltek, which had been in the rumor mill for days, is buying market research firm INPUT for $60 million in an all cash transaction.

Deltek provides government contracting solutions and owns govWin. Washington Technology says that “Deltek focused on the back-office accounting.”

UPDATE: Deltek President and CEO Kevin Parker will join us this afternoon on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s DorobekINSIDER to talk about the INPUT deal.

The price tag is higher than anybody expected. Some bidders balked at the original $50 million asking price, so this represents a big bet by Deltek that they can create a real market leader offering a suite of services that Washington Management Group’s FedSources cannot. It is going to be interesting to watch.

We hear that Bloomberg was a bidder at one point. Bloomberg is making a big push into the government market with Bloomberg Government, or BGov. They are hiring hundreds of reporters, including the recent hire of Nextgov’s Allan Holmes to lead their technology coverage.  They could also be a competitor for these dollars.

Most of the other INPUT bidders were private equity firms, we hear.

1105 Media, which owns Federal Computer Week and Government Computer News, was not allowed to bid, we hear. 1105’s Neil Vitale has said previously that he was interested in a market research firm, but — my speculation without having spoken to him or anybody from 1105 — I don’t imagine he would have been willing to pay $60 million.

Here is the release from Deltek:

Deltek to Acquire INPUT to Power the Complete Government Contracting Value Chain

Together, Deltek and INPUT offer the only solution that manages and streamlines the entire government contracting value chain – from opportunity identification and capture management, to successful project initiation and execution; combination also creates the industry’s largest government contracting network

HERNDON, VA – September 30, 2010 – Deltek, Inc. (Nasdaq: PROJ), the leading provider of enterprise applications software and solutions for project-focused businesses, today announced that it will acquire INPUT, Inc. for $60 million in an all cash transaction.  The transaction is expected to close on October 1st, 2010.

The addition of INPUT’s industry-leading opportunity intelligence and business development capabilities to Deltek’s comprehensive portfolio of government contracting solutions and its govWin network expands Deltek’s product offerings to manage all facets of the government contracting value chain from opportunity identification to project delivery.

Based in Reston, VA, INPUT has nearly 200 employees and had revenues of $26.2 million for 2009 –an increase of 13% from 2008.  With more than 2,100 customers, INPUT enables companies to successfully identify and develop new business opportunities with federal, state and local government and other public sector organizations.  Many of the largest government contractors and agencies rely on INPUT for the latest and most comprehensive opportunity database and market research information.  INPUT powers an active network of over 30,000 members that collaborate on federal, state and local government opportunities, develop teaming relationships and win new business.

Deltek and INPUT Offer Unmatched Solutions for Government Contractors
With over 60 years of combined experience, Deltek and INPUT will provide the broadest and most comprehensive range of technology solutions, specialized content and services all focused on meeting the unique needs of government contractors including:

·         Delivering comprehensive enterprise software solutions that power the entire government contracting value chain – Deltek is the gold standard solution to manage and streamline the project execution and critical financial management processes of its customers.  By leveraging valuable, time sensitive content from INPUT, Deltek now will offer game-changing business development solutions such as opportunity information and identification, pipeline development, and capture and proposal management that complement Deltek’s project initiation, project execution and delivery, and financial management  capabilities to power the complete government contracting value chain.

·         Creating the largest online business development network in the world exclusively for government contractors, containing more than $500 billion in active government contracting opportunities – By combining the marquee lists of government contractors that are members of INPUT and Deltek’s govWin networks, Deltek creates the world’s largest online government contractor network exclusively dedicated to winning more government business.  The combined networks represent more than 45,000 participating individuals and over $500 billion in active government contracting opportunities.  The massive network delivers all of the tools that participants need to win business – including cutting-edge task order management capabilities – and will empower network members to identify, pursue, and win federal, state and local government contracts.

·         Providing the industry’s broadest and deepest actionable intelligence on the government marketplace – With more than 60 years of combined experience and thousands of customers across the government contracting landscape, both Deltek and INPUT have unparalleled knowledge and expertise about what is happening across this ever-changing industry.  Combining Deltek’s landmark GovCon Clarity reports that analyze financial management, project management and best practices, with INPUT’s comprehensive government market analysis and insight reports, Deltek will offer deep, actionable intelligence that helps government contractors navigate their dynamic industry and develop strategies for continued growth and future success.

“Deltek has a well-earned reputation for consistently delivering innovative, industry-focused solutions to government contractors and professional services firms worldwide,” said Mike Fauscette, Group Vice President of Software Business Solutions for IDC.  “While Deltek has long offered extremely broad and deep enterprise software solutions that have helped contractors streamline the back-office and drive compliance, its strategic move to acquire INPUT to deliver differentiated business development solutions and time sensitive intelligence and content as well sets Deltek apart in the marketplace today.  INPUT’s capabilities are a great complement to Deltek’s existing enterprise applications, and the combination of INPUT and govWin is yet another compelling reason for government contractors to leverage Deltek’s network to grow their businesses.”

“Our entire INPUT team is extremely proud of the great company that we have collectively built over the years,” said Peter Cunningham, Chairman of INPUT.  “Our services provide a unique combination of content and context (software). This is the direction for the information services industry in the 21st century, and we are ahead of the game.  The combination of INPUT with Deltek makes for a perfect match to accelerate our growth and commitment to our members.  Deltek’s enterprise software capability, industry expertise, and customer list are completely synergistic with INPUT’s capabilities and customer base, creating a combined organization that no competitor can match.  Our association with Deltek will provide a wonderful opportunity for our 2,100 member organizations to get increased value from our services and for our staff to have an almost unlimited career growth opportunity.  I cannot imagine us finding a finer and more appropriate partner to carry out our mission.”

“Acquiring a market leader like INPUT is a landmark move for Deltek,” said Kevin Parker, President and CEO of Deltek. “We are fully committed to investing in INPUT to expand its offerings, deliver new capabilities, and ensure that its customers continue to receive tremendous value from its products and services.  We also look forward to combining INPUT’s world-class business development and market research capabilities with our existing solutions.  Together, we are now powering the entire government contracting value chain, while providing our customers with the timely, data-driven market research they need to navigate their way to success.  This move solidifies Deltek’s standing as the premier government contracting solutions provider and thought leader in the market today.”

About INPUT
INPUT is the authority on government business. Established in 1974, INPUT helps companies develop federal, state, and local government business and helps public sector organizations achieve their objectives. More than 2,100 member organizations, including small specialized companies, new entrants to the public sector, and the largest government contractors and agencies, rely on INPUT for the latest and most comprehensive procurement and market information, consulting, a 30,000 strong teaming network, powerful sales management tools, and educational and networking events.  For more information about INPUT, visit www.input.com or call 703-707-3500.

About Deltek
Deltek (Nasdaq: PROJ) is the leading global provider of enterprise applications software and solutions designed specifically for project-focused businesses and professional services firms globally.  For nearly three decades, we have enabled government contractors and professional services firms to automate mission-critical business processes around the engagement, execution and delivery of projects. Over 13,000 customers use our solutions to measure business results, optimize performance, streamline operations and win new business. For more information, visit www.deltek.com.

Deltek also offers govWin, an online community dedicated to solving common business problems for government contractors. The govWin network delivers unique and specialized content, offers innovative matching capabilities to establish and manage teaming opportunities, and provides applications to identify, pursue, and win government contracts. Over 15,000 registered members, prime contractors, and small businesses are part of the govWin community. For more information, visit www.govwin.com.
Follow the conversation at http://govwin.com/deltek-input
Participate in the conversation on Twitter #DeltekInput

Written by cdorobek

September 30, 2010 at 7:40 AM

DorobekINSIDER: OMB’s government performance self-assessment

leave a comment »

The Obama administration’s chief performance officer self-assessment of how the federal government is doing so far: “I believe we are off to a good start, and that we are developing the momentum required for meaningful, sustained improvements in how the government works for the American people.”

In a memo to the Senior Executive Service from Jeff Zients, OMB’s Federal Chief Performance Officer and Deputy Director for Management, titled, “The Accountable Government Initiative – an Update on Our Performance Management Agenda,” Zients lays out the administration’s management plan — and how the administration is doing so far.

Here is the memo:

View this document on Scribd

Written by cdorobek

September 14, 2010 at 9:29 AM

DorobekINSIDER: OFPP recertifies NIH governmentwide contract

leave a comment »

The DorobekINSIDER has confirmed that the Office of Federal Procurement Policy has recertified the National Institute of Health Information Technology Acquisition & Assessment Center’sChief Information Officer – Solutions and Partners 3 (CIO-SP3), one of three governmentwide acquisition contracts.

There was widespread speculation that OFPP might not recertify the NIH contract — and Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller has been reporting that there has been a real focus whether there was a proliferation of multiple-award contracts. (See Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s special report — Contract Overload, which focused on the multiples of multiple-award contracts out there.)

Here is the OFPP decision:

On July 20, 2010, the OMB Director designated NIH as an executive agent for the Chief Information Officer Solutions and Partners 3 (CIOSP3) GWAC and the CIOSP3-Small Business GWAC.  Each GWAC will offer a wide range of IT services, with a particular focus on health-related IT services.

In deciding whether to grant the designation, OMB carefully evaluated a business case NIH developed to justify the need and value of its proposed GWACs.  To supplement this information, OMB conducted a significant amount of outreach with different stakeholders in the acquisition community, including agency users of NIH’s existing GWACs, agency managers of GWACs and other interagency contract vehicles, Chief Acquisition Officers and Senior Procurement Executives, trade associations, and Congressional staffers.

OMB approved the request based on several factors that promise enhanced value for the Government and our taxpayers.  NIH’s proposed GWACs will fill an important need by agencies with health-related responsibilities, including those in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  The programmatic expertise of its in-house scientists and medical experts will provide strong support for the award and management of its contracts.  The new GWAC vehicles will also provide increased opportunities for small businesses in Federal contracting, allowing agencies to tap into the talents of this community as they work to achieve best value for their missions and our citizens.

Written by cdorobek

July 22, 2010 at 3:46 PM

DorobekINSIDER: Green government – and telework

leave a comment »

I had the pleasure of moderating a panel last week… ostensibly on green IT, but it ended up being about the larger issue of green government.

The program was sponsored by the Java Team of the American Council on Technology and Industry Advisory Council’s Partners program, which is a marvelous development program designed to help government and industry understand each other better.

And we had a great line-up:

Jeff Eagan, Energy Department, who is on assignment at the White House reviewing the agency sustainability plans. I should note he is a 2010 Fed 100 winner.
Emile Monette, director of GSA’s Federal Technology Service’s sustainability division
Kimberly T. Nelson, Microsoft and former EPA CIO
Marian Van Pelt, a principal at ICF and a carbon inventory expert.

And we discussed Executive Order 13514: Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance [PDF] — read more from the White House about EO 13514 here… and a WhiteHouse.gov blog post on the green initiative here.

The executive order essentially calls on agencies to cut energy use by 28 percent… and they were required to submit “sustainability plans” to the Office of Management and Budget by the begging of this month. (I understand all are in now.)

There were several issues that came out of our discussion.

One was that this just seems overwhelming. One CIO for one of the big agency departments asked, essentially, help me know what are the best things to do out there. Agencies — and agency CIOs — have scores of mandates on them… and most of them generally want to be as green as possible. That being said, the greening discussion became so broad that it became almost overwhelming.

The general response was…
1. Work with your sustainability officer… Each agency is required to appoint a chief sustainability officers. I can’t seem to find a list of those names, unfortunately, but the first recommendation was to find out who that person is and work with them.

2. Measure… The second was to come up with a plan for measuring what your organization’s energy footprint is… so you can then determine if you are having an impact.

3. Just do it… Start doing something… turning off computers at night… turn off lights in buildings… reduce your data centers… GSA Administrator Martha Johnson has actually taken this issue quite seriously. At recent conferences, GSA executives were prohibited from renting their own cars. Instead, GSA organized a bus to shuttle people where they needed to go. And, it was pointed out to me, GSA actually sought public input on its sustainability plan.

4. See helpful links below for other ideas.

The other big issue that was discussed was — ready for it — telework. I should note that this is now the third green focused panel that I have moderated — and it is the third time the panel has been dominated by telework issues. And again, people asked why the government seems to be so reluctant to institute telework — and why there isn’t more of a push for telework.

Last week on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Dorobek Insider, we spoke about telework — and a new FedScoop survey on the government’s attitudes towards telework [PDF]. The survey shows the government is still behind, but that attitudes are changing.

Anyway, during the discussion, there were a number of helpful sites mentioned… I promised I would round them up.

* The Federal Electronics Challenge: http://www.federalelectronicschallenge.net
The Federal Electronics Challenge (FEC) is a partnership program that encourages federal facilities and agencies to:
Purchase greener electronic products.
Reduce impacts of electronic products during use.
Manage obsolete electronics in an environmentally safe way.

* EPEAT: http://www.epeat.net
EPEAT is a system that helps purchasers evaluate, compare and select electronic products based on their environmental attributes. The system currently covers desktop and laptop computers, thin clients, workstations and computer monitors.

* Energy Department’s Federal Energy Management Program
The Energy Department’s Federal Energy Management Program’s (FEMP) mission is to facilitate the Federal Government’s implementation of sound, cost-effective energy management and investment practices to enhance the nation’s energy security and environmental stewardship.

Other resources from Federal News Radio 1500 AM:

* For Earth Day, we spoke to Michelle Moore, Federal Environmental Executive in the Executive Office of the President. She is the person who is leading the oversight of the agency sustainability plans. Hear that conversation here.

* Somebody who just did it: Want to have hope in what you can do… and in young people… Last week, I got to talk to a 29-year-old woman who is making a difference. Saskia van Gendt is a resource conservation specialist at the EPA… and she is working in the field of “climaterials” — essentially the greening of all the materials to make buildings. And she launched a contest — the Lifecycle Building Challenge, a yearly online competition that recognizes cutting-edge building design and challenges students, architects and builders to reduce the environmental impact of buildings. This ‘just do it’ attitude scored her a place as a finalist for the Service to America Medals — the SAMMIES. Hear Ms. van Gendt talk about what she did here.

* Beneath the Green Dome: My colleague Amy Morris did a series looking at the greening of the Capitol. Find that series here.

Tomorrow… is there a better way to do sustainability plans?

Written by cdorobek

June 21, 2010 at 9:51 AM

DorobekINSIDER: GSA clarifies the role of regional administrators

leave a comment »

Many GSA watchers believe that one of the longstanding systemic issues within GSA were regional administrators. The issue: Did the regional administrators report to the GSA administrator. Because the regional administrators are political appointees, it was a cloudy issue.

Earlier this year, GSA renamed the regional administrations as ‘regional commissioners’… and named regional senior executives

But last week, GSA Administrator Martha Johnson issued a memo titled “Regional Leadership Structure” — posted below — which seeks to define the role of the regional administrators.

The regional administrator is the GSA official in the region who represents the administrator, and is the face of GSA and the White House in the region. There is new significance to this role because GSA, for the first time, is in a limelight position with an administration. We are being asked to do much more and do it in a much more visible and governmentwide arena.

While previously, the regional administrators were expected to “run” the operational divisions of the region, that ends up being “somewhat foolish” as the expertise, situational knowledge, and functional clustering was in the Federal Acquisition Service and the Public Building Service, she said. “Asking a regional administrator to assume a knowledgeable oversight role did not regularly match their qualifications.”

Read the full memo here:

View this document on Scribd

Previous posts:

DorobekINSIDER: GSA renames regional administrators as ‘regional commissioners’ — the first step to a broader reorg? [March 18, 2009]

DorobekInsider.com: Many changes at GSA – this week, it’s the regional senior executives [April 25, 2009]

Written by cdorobek

April 21, 2010 at 6:19 PM

DorobekINSIDER: Assessing transparency and open government

leave a comment »

Last weekend, open government advocates gathered in Washington, DC for the second Transparency Camp — an un-conference, which is one of these events where bright people come together and decide what they want to talk about. Read the Twitter feed from that event by checking out #tcamp2010 — and even the Washington Post wrote a story about the event this year.

I could only be there on the second day, but there were great folks with great ideas…

I have been fascinated by the Obama administration’s transparency and open government initiative. Among previous posts:

The DorobekInsider transparency, openness and data.gov reader [May 22, 2009]

DorobekInsider: The first draft from the Open Government and Innovations conference [July 21, 2009]

DorobekINSIDER: On NewsChannel 8 talking government openness and transparency — the liner notes [February 25, 2010]

Signal magazine column: Why Transparency Matters [May 2009]

Signal magazine column: Contract Transparency Poised to Open Up [September 2009]

And O’Reilly media has just published a book Open Government: Collaboration, Transparency, and Participation in Practice. I’ve just started it, but… the early parts of the book are well worth reading.

And this coming week will be a big week for the open government as the Office of Management and Budget and agencies will issue their open government plans.

There were several interesting aspects that came out of transparency camp.

* Most agencies get transparency: Most of the employees I know get transparency and open government. They understand why it matters and how it can help. In theory, they get that one of the powerful parts of transparency is the acknowledgment that more wisdom exists outside any organization than it does inside an organization. That being said, there is a difference between theory and practice. At Transparency Camp 2010, there were a number of staffers from Capitol Hill, which, by and large, is horrible at transparency. And some of the Hill staffers even suggested that if bills are created in a more open framework, well, that’s what staffers do. And the argument is that they know more then… well, those people out there.

Even still, the theory of transparency is one of those ideas that goes against the grain. It’s akin to the Mike Causey example that he uses for investing: When a car starts sliding on ice, you’re supposed to turn into the slide. It just doesn’t feel natural. In many ways, transparency is unnatural.

Furthermore…

* Transparency and open government still isn’t fully defined: As I said last year, transparency continues something akin to a Rorschach test — everybody sees transparency very differently. Each person has very different ways of defining what transparency means and how it can be implemented. A lot of that is good at this point — it is important to note that we are still very early in this and everybody is still learning. But it will be interesting to see how it actually gets implemented.

* Transparency and open government moves a lot of cheese around… and I’ll take a simple example: Freedom of Information Act Requests. It has always seemed to me that this is a process that is just made for openness and transparency. Why can’t all FOIA requests be posted in a public fashion… and agency responses be posted online. One reason: We journalists don’t want others knowing what we are working on.

* Open government and transparency needs to help government operate better: If this is going to take hold — if this is going to be real, I continue to believe that it needs to help agencies do their jobs better.

* Open government and transparency aren’t just a bludgeon: In many ways, Recovery.gov is the poster child for transparency and open government. In fact, Earl Devaney, the chairman of the Recovery, Accountability and Transparency Board told Federal News Radio that the transparency of the site actually has helped the Recovery Board operate more effectively. But it has been difficult at times. We remember the stories about the recovery dollars that were listed in phantom congressional districts. And everybody went nuts. The fact is that incorrect data was probably always there. We just didn’t know it before. Now we know — and it has been fixed. In fact, that is the power of open government, transparency and collaboration. Yet too often we use it as a bludgeon.

The fact is, this is new — and there are going to be mistakes.

But there are real opportunities out there. One of my favorites is the Better Buy Project. This is an innovative initiative by GSA, the National Academy of Public Administration’s Collaboration Project, and the Industry Advisory Council. And the goal is to build a better acquisition process by tapping the wisdom of the crowds, something I had discussed last year. They are actually trying it. The Better Buy Project started in the GovLoop Acquisition 2.0 community, then evolved to a way of having people suggest ideas (hear GSA’s Mary Davie talk about it on Federal News Radio) … and it is now a wiki where you can actually help GSA build a better contract both for Data.gov and for the replacement of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service’s mainframe computers. More on this later this week, but… it is such a remarkable way of seeking people’s ideas.

We’ll be talking to the folks at GSA who are leading this project later this week. You can also read more on the Better Buy blog.

There are many examples and ideas how transparency and open government can help agencies do their jobs better. It is fun to watch!

DorobekINSIDER: Is that a ‘for sale’ sign at market research firm Input?

leave a comment »

Input, the market research firm, has opened the door to potential buyers, insiders and industry sources say.

While the privately held company has been in talks before, nothing panned out.

Input officials had no comment noting that Input is a privately held company and therefore, they tend not to comment on these kinds of topics. But insiders did note that “INPUT is a strong performer in a hot sector and naturally is an attractive asset.”

Input board chairman Peter Cunningham has held sales talks before, but nothing ever came of it. But Cunningham might believe now is the right time.

The shop talk comes after media giant Bloomburg purchased Eagle Eye Publishers, a much smaller market research firm, as marketing guru Mark Amtower reported. And, in fact, Bloomburg is seeming to growing its government focus. Last month, Bloomberg announced that Kevin Sheekey is rejoining the company as chairman of the government-oriented division. He will also oversee government relations and communications. It is unclear exactly what Bloomberg plans to do in the government market, but FishbowlDC has reported that the company is looking to take on the other so-called Hill rags.

I can’t imagine why one would want to jump into that already crowded market, which already has Politico, Roll Call, Congressional Quarterly, The Hill… and others like, say, the Washington Post. There is, however, much less of a focus on the business of government market. Washington Technology covers the business of government IT, but there are few others. The Washington Post has dramatically reduced its business coverage, and the Washington Business Journal, which seems like the other logical contender, has not really jumped into that space.

Who might be potential buyers?

Aside from those, 1105 Media’s Neal Vitale, owner of the 1105 Government Information Group, had said publicly that he saw market research as an important part of a government media organization to add it’s print, Web and events businesses.

Government Executive‘s research and “thought leadership” division, the Government Business Council, has been doing more business with research, but it is unclear how much GovExec’s parent, Atlantic Media, is interested in investing beyond its current holdings.

Some Input facts from the company’s Web site:

INPUT helps buyers buy and vendors sell in the government marketplace. We are committed to promoting collaboration between government and industry for the benefit of all.

Year Founded: 1974, privately held

Headquarters: Reston, Virginia

# of Employees: 160

Stay tuned.

Written by cdorobek

April 1, 2010 at 1:09 PM