Federal Agencies, Are You Taking Advantage of Contractor Certifications and Partnerships? Part II

By CJ Capizzi, Senior Manager, Health Business Unit

In Part I of this series, we discussed the differences between certifications and partnerships and offered reasons why they are meaningful. In Part II, we will overview specific benefits along with why and how federal agencies can (and should) leverage certifications and partnerships, including Octo’s.

Leveraging certifications and partnerships

Leveraging certifications and partnerships creates benefits not only for the contractor but for federal customers. However, for that to happen, agencies must be aware of when to first take action and how to proceed after. Here are two ways to ensure your agency can reap the benefits of certifications and partnerships:

Procurement actions – Early in the procurement cycle, federal agencies should evaluate if there are any industry certifications and/or product partnerships that align with their mission goals. As part of market research, agencies should be soliciting contractors for recommendations on beneficial certifications or partnerships, as well as validating a qualified pool of vendors with these qualifications. Including these certifications or partnerships as part of the solicitation evaluation criteria will improve the quality of contractors responding to the opportunity.

Partner resources and training – Partnership benefits vary widely depending on the maturity of partner products and services, as well as the level or tier of the partnership agreement. Partners often extend the benefits of their agreement to federal customers supported by the partner company free of charge. This in part is designed to support successful adoption through a variety of methods including education (e.g., webinars) and training resources (e.g., workshops), toolkits to accelerate realization of benefits, and reach-back to consulting services for implementation and optimization. As an added benefit to most federal agencies, many product or service vendors provide discounted or free access to conferences and training to federal employees to improve awareness, promote adoption, and highlight successful implementation within the public sector. Working with your contractors to better understand their partnerships and leverage the benefits enables federal agencies to improve both short-term and long-term outcomes through access to education, resources, and training.

Benefits of Octo’s certifications and process partnerships

As a leading technology services provider to the Federal Government, Octo has been deliberate and diligent in obtaining key certifications and establishing strategic product partnerships to deliver forward leaning technology solutions to our customers. With Agile in our DNA, we are constantly reflecting on our certifications and partnerships to ensure we mature our processes and position our employees to support federal customers in achieving mission success.

Certifications with benefits to the federal government

Octo’s certifications include:

  • CMMI-DEV 4 – CMMI-DEV 4 ensures that Octo has a quantitatively managed development process by which we enable data-driven decision making through historical data to better predict performance and create realistic plans.
  • ISO 9001 – Octo has a verified quality management system (QMS) that “bakes” quality into how we plan and deliver services to our federal customers.
  • ISO 20000 – Octo has a mature, verified framework for performing IT Services Management demonstrating our ability to provide a variety of services from application and infrastructure management to service desk design and support.
  • ISO 27001 – Octo has verified expertise, experience, and established processes for implementing information security controls for the design, development, and operations of IT systems.

Partnerships with benefits to the Federal Government

Octo’s partnerships focus on how individuals or teams work through proven frameworks, practices, and processes to deliver high-quality solutions. Our process partnerships include:

  • AWS Well-Architected Partnership – As a member of the AWS Partner Network (APN), Octo maintains in-house expertise to implement high quality, scalable, secure AWS-based solutions through adoption of AWS best practices to eliminate risk and enable organizations to respond faster to changes that impact solution designs, applications, and workloads. Our partnership also provides reach back to AWS technical expertise to provide consulting for complex implementations and to drive improvements to architectural design.
  • SAFe Gold Partnership – Octo maintains staff training and is certified in SAFe, which means a high percentage of our employees holds the skills to lead Agile transformations at scale. Our gold level partnership provides access to SAFe intellectual property and toolkits to enable accelerated adoption and maturation of Lean-Agile practices. We also retain access to SAFe thought leaders to consult for complex implementations and speaking engagements to promote the benefits of Agile transformation.

Whether your agency is in the information gathering stage or making a final decision on GovCon contractors, be sure not to overlook certifications and partnerships. Those badges mean something, and companies that do not hold the right credentials will not be able to deliver. Do the research, and if you have questions, reach out to a member of our team to discuss further.