I attended the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce event, “How to do Business with the Intelligence Community”. The panel speakers, Tony Summerlin, Senior Strategic Advisor, FCC and Diana Hughes, Director of the Office of the Small Business Programs, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency shared their knowledge and opinions based on the experiences. Below is what I learned.
- According to Tony Summerlin, if a company does not respond to a Request for Information (RFI), they are not going to win the award. Responding to the RFI is an opportunity for a company to sell themselves and shape the solicitation.
- If your company is having issues getting a clearance, build a relationship with an agency. Some agencies are friendlier than others.
- Certifications are a “nice to have”, but a company’s core competencies are most important.
- Some intelligence agencies are exempt from meeting small business goals.
- Many companies focus the cybersecurity threats instead of the solution. The Government is already familiar with the threats.
- There are advisors on Source Selection to ensure that cybersecurity regulations are met.
Hope these tips lead to more awards.