The General Services Administration is considering a new, governmentwide acquisition contract that will allow Federal agencies to buy a range of cloud services to replace expiring blanket purchase agreements.

The new contract would allow agencies to purchase infrastructure, platform, and software services and purchase integrated delivery solutions like hybrid cloud, Stan Kaczmarczyk, director of the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Cloud Computing Services Program Management Office, said at the EMC Federal Summit 2015 on Wednesday.

“One of the things that we want to do is figure out how this vehicle, if it’s approved and goes forward…is how you can procure hybrid cloud through it,” Kaczmarczyk said. “We’ve heard from vendors and from customers…you can get a private cloud. You can get a public cloud. You can get a community cloud, or you can get a super-duper secure private cloud. But you can’t get a hybrid cloud.”

Final approval for a governmentwide acquisition contract could take two more years, Kaczmarczyk said, but putting numerous cloud services under one umbrella would appeal to agencies that could purchase several cloud products at once.

“We don’t want to just keep putting contract after contract in place because it takes a lot of time and effort and money for the government to do that, but it also takes a lot of time and effort and money for the vendors to compete for it,” Kaczmarczyk said.

That streamlined approach could speed up cloud adoption by agencies.

“We do have several big agencies interested in it,” Kaczmarczyk said. “Industry seems to be interested, so we’re going down the road continuing to investigate it.”

The new governmentwide acquisition contract would replace one blanket purchase agreement that has expired and a purchase agreement for email that will expire in less than two years. Agencies were able to use GSA’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) through Oct. 14.

“The next contract, when we put it in place, we’ve got to have these end-to-end solutions,” Kaczmarczyk said.

GSA is collaborating with the Defense Department and the Defense Information Systems Agency on the potential cloud acquisition vehicle.

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MeriTalk Staff