Blog - (Archived)

Maximize your trade show investment

April 13, 2018

By guest contributor Michael Lisagor President, Celerity Works Author: Winning and Managing Government Business. As a government business growth consultant, I’m often asked whether trade show participation is worth the investment. To which I usually respond, “You will get out of it what you’re able to put into it.” This is assuming, of course, the event will enable you to come into contact with your target audience and is consistent with your company’s strategic growth objectives. One of the first steps is to look at past exhibitors and attendees, talk to your peers in other companies and ask your clients if they ... Read more

Leveraging emerging government trends

April 13, 2018

As 2011 begins to unfold, leading contractors often review the emerging topics and trends in government and consider if and where they have sweet spots, so to speak, they could leverage to offer customers more value. Presenters at the ACT-IAC Executive Leadership Conference, held in late October, covered four such areas of focus for the government in the coming year: Health IT: IT opportunities are plentiful, but contractors should be highly strategic and focused in this sometimes complicated market.  (If you haven’t already, we encourage you to read this issue’s article on needs assessment studies in healthcare IT.) Sustainability: Government is moving toward ... Read more

General Dynamics Wins Bidding War and Finalizes Acquisition of CSRA Inc.

April 10, 2018

Congratulations to our long-time client, General Dynamics on their recent acquisition of CSRA Inc. After months of due diligence, analysis and evaluation, on April 3 they announced its completion, valued at approximately $9.7 billion (composed of an all-cash bid of $6.9 billion and assumption of CSRA’s $2.8 billion debt). With CSRA’s cybersecurity and data-analytics business and information technology contracts, this acquisition makes General Dynamics one of the largest providers of high-tech IT solutions to the government IT market. “We are excited for the opportunities that this presents GDIT,” says Aaron Heffron, president of Market Connections, “The GDIT brand is often touted by the ... Read more

CPARS Ratings Are Falling: Service Declining or Standards Increasing?

April 5, 2018

Do You Really Know How You’re Performing? Federal contractor performance ratings over the past eight years have fallen from “excellent” to only “satisfactory”. A recent study by Ultimus Performance LLC (UPLLC) identifies a clear and consistent decline in federal contractor performance (CPARS) ratings and a growing proportion of “satisfactory” ratings at the expense of “exceptional” ratings. Many questions arise: Has LPTA lowered quality? “Technically Acceptable” doesn’t really push vendors to provide the highest quality. Does the CPARS system make it easier to check a “satisfactory” box, knowing that being satisfactory doesn’t REALLY hurt anyone? Is this what they really think about their vendor partners? ... Read more

DOD Cybersecurity and Modernization Efforts Most Likely to Move Forward with New Federal Budget

March 27, 2018

In February, the Bi-Partisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA) passed, lifting caps on spending and paved the way for significant increases in discretionary spending across defense and civilian agencies. With the passing of BBA 2018, the defense discretionary funding cap was increased by $80 billion in FY2018 and $85 billion in FY 2019. What does this budget infusion mean for defense agency decision-makers and procurement officers? How should government contractors serving this industry prepare? To find out, Market Connections conducted a PulsePoll™ of federal defense agency technology leaders to find out. DOD is ready to move technology projects forward. Currently, eight ... Read more

Winning Contractor: DHS Selects Booz Allen Hamilton Prime Contractor for $621 Million Task Order to Further Develop CDM

March 6, 2018

Market Connections congratulates Booz Allen Hamilton for being selected the first prime contractor of the next chapter of Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) government-wide Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) program. This $621 million award is for a six-year task order to monitor and protect federal networks under the Dynamic and Evolving Federal Enterprise Network Defense (DEFEND) Program. For two years, Booz Allen hast supported the DHS CDM efforts, helping 13 agencies deploy cybersecurity tools to better protect four million computers. CDM DEFEND expands capabilities of the CDM Program to include: cybersecurity coverage for cloud and mobile devices; automated capabilities for incident response and ... Read more

Strong Employer Brand Critical to Recruit Top Talent

February 15, 2018

How do you differentiate yourself from competitors to attract the very best talent? How do you assure candidates that your organization stands above the rest? Together with Monster Government Solutions, Market Connections surveyed HR professionals and hiring managers in the public sector and at government contractors to find out how and what they are doing to attract and retain top talent at their organizations. The result: Perception of your overall brand matters and the messaging coming out from that brand must be customized to the audience. For general marketers, this is not “new”, but often in HR and recruiting, branding and messaging ... Read more

Attract Federal Audiences to Your Events: Event Preferences

February 8, 2018

Should we create a special event for our customers, or should we host a breakout session at a trade show our customers may already be attending? What kind of trade shows should we be participating in? Does it matter if it’s commercial or government focused? Should we save some dollars and just host a webinar instead? Event marketing isn’t easy, or cheap. Our clients want the answers that will help them get the most out of their event marketing budget. Over the years, Market Connections learned about event attendance in signature studies such as the Federal Media Marketing Study and the Federal ... Read more

Winning Contractor: Accenture Federal Services Wins $62 Million VBA Contract

January 30, 2018

Market Connections would like to congratulate our client, Accenture Federal Services for winning a contract with the Veterans Benefits Administration to upgrade and enhance its information technology infrastructure and provide a variety of services for the configuration and enhancement of VBA’s Salesforce-based applications, which are used by VBA employees, Veterans, their families and other stakeholders. This estimated $62 million contract includes a one-year base period of performance with four one-year options. The contract supports VBA lines of business, including: Compensation; Pension and Fiduciary; Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment; Insurance; Loan Guaranty; and Education. Among the VBA projects slated for functional enhancements are the ... Read more

Attract Federal Audiences to Your Events: Factors and Barriers in Event Attendance

January 18, 2018

Have you ever heard from your customers that the reason they didn’t attend your event was because of a lack of budget? Or that there were travel restrictions in place? Or that they just couldn’t get a manager’s approval? Well, you are not alone. According to Market Connections’ study from late 2017, these reasons were top of the list excuses from federal IT decision makers as to why they did not attend events. The study, designed to better identify those factors that drew IT decision makers to industry events and understand the barriers they faced, provided insights that can help you ... Read more


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