February 18, 2014
The Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) is considering the development of requirements for an information system to support the planning and management of the 2014 National Veterans Small Business Collaboration (NVSBC). We are seeking ideas and solutions on how to approach the establishment of requirements that will enable us to address the challenges we face in developing a procurement for a management information system to enable us to manage a large, complex event whose primary purpose is to effectively and efficiently connect Veteran Owned Small Businesses (VOSB) directly to Procurement Decision Makers (PDM) who have procurement requirements that need to be addressed. We expect to publish an RFI and to host an Industry Day shortly.
We seek to procure a management system that will enable us to bring more than 4,000 VOSB together with more than 800 PDM from more than 20 federal agencies and more than 50 large commercial firms seeking to purchase products and services from VOSB to support their commercial activities. While the size of the event is an important parameter, the key challenge we face is to schedule people, places, and activities based on multiple parameters. We seek a system that will build and electronically publish agendas to attendees’ mobile platforms based on organizing and assigning people and places to more than 3,000 activities over 3 days. We expect to hold as many as 500 activities simultaneously.
We need to be able to organize and schedule activities around the following parameters:
While these parameters focus on the Host(s) of the activity so we can position them effectively (e.g., all construction activities in same geographic proximity) and to enable attendees to search for — and find — the person that they seek to engage based on a review of the Small Business or Buyer profile input by the attendees. We also seek to be able to invite people who meet certain profile parameters to particular activities based on a “Preferred Profile” input into the system by the host. In order to match VOSB with PDM effectively, the system must enable participants to establish detailed profiles and have a sophisticated search function that can enable a participant to identify others that want to meet based on multiple parameters.
We want to eliminate the requirement for extensive manual scheduling of people and places based on the parameters outlined above. We want the system to be able to assign people to activities based on their registration information and profile information provided by participants.
We also seek an approach that fully leverages our significant investment in the Veterans Enterprise Management System (VEMS). VEMS currently in development, eliminates redundant systems, improves user experience and overall security should be our guiding principle. We are considering at least three approaches to meeting the requirement for a fully integrated social networking portal and event/conference planning application designed to facilitate matchmaking, partnering, networking, and accountability among attendees before, during and after a Conference or Event:
In addition to the technical challenges of an EMS and its integration with VEMS, we also face significant challenges in scheduling and timing. The current VEMS timeline calls for an Initial Operational Capability in May/June 2014, with the first release focused on replacing the functionalities of the legacy Vendor Information Pages (VIP)/VCMS system. Following the release of the Increment 1, we will immediately turn to address the requirements for Increment II, which include event/conference management with a tentative delivery date set for September 2014 timeframe. Our task becomes more difficult when you consider the proposed timeline for the 2014 NVSBC conference is Deccember 2014. With VEMS Increment II schedule for delivery in September/October 2014 that would give us just 2-3 months to prepare for the conference. Ideally, the VGP4/NVSBC Event Management System should be in place no later than May/June 2014 to ensure maximum support for the conference (registration, event management, etc).