News Column

Sources Sought Notice - RFI-Cloud Based Capabilities

June 9, 2014



Notice Type: Sources Sought Notice

Posted Date: 06-JUN-14

Office Address: Department of the Air Force; Air Education and Training Command; Maxwell AFB Contracting Squadron; 50 LeMay Plaza SouthBldg 804 Maxwell AFB AL 36112-6334

Subject: RFI-Cloud Based Capabilities

Classification Code: D - Information technology services, including telecommunications services

Solicitation Number: FA3300-14-AU_CLOUD

Contact: Kimberly A. Knott, Contracting Officer, Phone 334-953-8552, Fax 334-953-3527, Email kimberly.knott.1@us.af.mil

Setaside: N/AN/A

Place of Performance (address): TBDMaxwell AFB, AL

Place of Performance (zipcode): 36112

Place of Performance Country: US

Description: Department of the Air Force

Air Education and Training Command

Maxwell AFB Contracting Squadron

THIS NOTICE IS NOT A REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP). The 42nd Contracting Squadron is soliciting this Request For Information (RFI) for planning purposes only and does not constitute an Invitation for Bids or a Request for Proposals. The Government does not reimburse respondents for any costs associated with submission of the information requested or reimburse expenses incurred to interested parties for responding to this RFI. Respondents are discouraged from submitting any information deemed competition-sensitive or proprietary. All feedback and information received may be used to determine the appropriate strategy for a possible acquisition. If the government decides to pursue RFP actions, portions of your RFI response may be incorporated into the applicable contractual document (i.e. PWS, SOW, etc). In accordance with FAR 15.201(e), responses to this RFI are not offers and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract. No award will be made from this RFI and the Government will not pay for any effort expended in responding to this notice. All submissions become Government property and will not be returned. Correspondences to this RFI should be submitted electronically, via e-mail, to mailto:kimberly.knott.1@us.af.mil and mailto:wayne.green.1@us.af.mil by 4:00 PM Central Standard Time (CST) 27 June 2014.

The purpose of this request is to gather information from industry on Cloud-Based capabilities available to improve the management and educational experience associated with Air University's (AU) Air Force Professional Military Education (PME) and Professional Continuing Education (PCE) missions. Air University is organized into 5 distinct centers: Spaatz Center (Officer PME), Barnes Center (Enlisted PME), Eaker Center (multidiscipline technical training and professional continuing education), LeMay Center (doctrine-based resident and online courses) and Holm Center (AF officer recruiting, training, and commissioning programs). Note: The scope of this RFI applies to all centers except for the Holm Center.

It is essential the government (inclusive of information gained under this RFI) fully understands and appreciates the benefits, risks, and maturity of various cloud-based technologies to develop and execute a smart strategy for using cloud computing in support of military education. Though the focus of this RFI is on Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) models; other cloud service models applicable for use in support of military education can be included in the RFI response.

* 1. Software as a Service (SaaS): Identify cloud-based software applications related to functions commonly employed by core services in higher education. Identify means for gaining efficiencies and capabilities, via cloud-optimized applications, with elastic resource consumption, services-based integration, and accessibility from any device across core services supporting students, faculty, administrators, and support staff associated with the following:

* a. Curriculum Development

* i. Available cloud-based solutions supporting development of curriculum for access and use across virtual and physical networks.

* b. Course Management and Delivery

* i. Learning Management System employed as SaaS with integration to hybrid-cloud environments supporting public and private shared services and systems accessing virtual and physical networks supporting faculty course assignment, student enrollment, registration, attendance and grade reporting.

* ii. Integrated learning environments configured as cloud-optimized instance applications

* c. Research Services Supporting Students, Faculty, Administrators, and Support Staff

* i. Distributed public and private library services supporting literature reviews, check-out of digital and hard-copy resources, electronic journal subscriptions, student thesis and dissertation submissions, review and publication management applications

* ii. Institutional Review Board (IRB) processes and documentation applications, grant submission and funding management applications.

* iii. Laboratory and simulation technologies.

* iv. Survey and data collection applications.

* v. Institutional review and effectiveness assessments, Quality Effectiveness Programs (QEP), program reviews, and reporting to accreditation agencies.

* d. Student Information and Business Process Management Tools Associated With Registrar Services (see Attachment 1: Air University AIS Description)

* i. Capability to meet the security, reporting or compliance requirements required for the protection of student data/information (addressed by FERPA and DoD requirements)

* ii. Industry best practices for security, reporting, and compliance standards commonly applied to sensitive or PII information in the commercial sector.

* iii. Cloud computing business process and master data management (BPM and MDM) tools for managing registrar business logic, processes, and associated data supporting core registrar services involving course grade recording, transcript generation, review, and requests, credit-transfer reviews, institutional course catalog management, archived and current registration, enrollment, and course completion statistics.

* iv. Common hurdles incurred when migrating disparate registrar systems to a cloud solution.

* 2. Platform as a Service (PaaS): Experience providing institutions of higher education platforms to host their organic or commercially-licensed applications and tools supporting curriculum development, course management and delivery, research services, and student information and management systems associated with registrar services

* a. Flexibility normally afforded to implement/configure firewalls changes.

* b. Support for multiple physical locations for PaaS, on a global scale, that can be supported with automatic failover to standby with no intervention required for services associated with database platforms to resume as soon as failover is complete.

* 3. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS); Experience providing institutions of higher education IaaS capabilities for offering virtual machine instances with their own physically distinct, independent infrastructure supporting targeted configurations of CPU, memory, storage, and networking capacity offered on demand for supporting a range of resident, distance, or blended learning curricular programs.

* a. Support for establishing hybrid-cloud environments consisting of private and public clouds sharing systems, data, and services.

* b. Flexibility normally afforded to implement/configure firewall changes supporting hybrid-cloud environments involving multiple virtual machine instances with unique security group specifications.

* 4. Visibility provided to the cloud-user to assure service quality of the cloud-provider.

* 5. Cost factors and calculators to model, estimate, and manage costs associated with cloud delivery models, services, and usage.

* 6. Applicable cost model framework utilized by academic institutions using cloud services.

* 7. Provide a ROM estimate for cost and time-to-implement. Information will better enable the respective government function to develop a decision making landscape for senior leadership.

* 8. Commonly accepted practices to prevent cost overrun associated with usage.

* 9. Highlight existing contracts available to 42nd Contracting to access the envisioned support.

* 10. Hurdles commonly encountered when migrating and integrating legacy stovepipe systems into a cloud solution.

* 11. Commonly employed tools, processes, and support for ensuring a successful migration of existing systems, services employed by an institution of higher education to a cloud solution.

Dependent on the response to this RFI, the government may hold an Industry Day and/or one-on-one discussions to better capture the requirement in commercial meaning terms. The Government will assess the value of continuing the dialog via an Industry Day format or one-on-one discussions by 16 June 2014.

The Government considers information on market capabilities, common industry standards, latest technological advances, commercial terms and conditions, timelines for adaptation and integration, estimated pricing and possible suppliers and sources as essential to developing future acquisitions. Respondents should submit soft-copy via e-mail to mailto:kimberly.knott.1@us.af.mil and mailto:wayne.green.1@us.af.mil by the date and time specified above. Though the Government prefers soft-copy any hardcopy submission can be mailed to 42nd Contracting Squadron, Attn: 42 CONS/LGCB, 50 LeMay Plaza South Bldg 804, Maxwell AFB, AL 36112. Please limit responses to no more than thirty (30) pages. Also, include information such as company name, address, email, telephone number, points of contact, size of business pursuant to the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS).

Link/URL: https://www.fbo.gov/spg/USAF/AETC/MaxAFBCS/FA3300-14-AU_CLOUD/listing.html


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