Essential Things to Know About the 2017 National Veterans Small Business Engagement (NVSBE)

Recently, Three Wire, CEO Dan Frank, Solutions Engineer, Wes Jackson, Sr. Client Executive, Keith Foley, and Director, Business Development, Katie Koehler, attended the National Veterans Small Business Engagement (NVSBE) in St. Louis, MO. In its seventh year, this conference connects Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (VOSB) with Procurement Decision Makers (PDMs) from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and other federal agencies, state government, and commercial firms. As a collective effort, the conference affords PDMs an opportunity to conduct hands-on research and participate in product demonstrations all under one roof.

Team Reflections:

Dan Frank – Founder, CEO

“While at the event, I learned about a potential new Veterans Affairs (VA) approach to set-aside RFPs in which all companies (small and large) would be able to submit a proposal, called a “tiered evaluation.” VA would first consider SDVOSB proposals, to determine if the proposals have a fair and reasonable price. If so, VA would award the contract to a SDVOSB. If not, other categories of businesses (e.g., VOSB, 8a, etc.) would then be considered. Ultimately, if no small business has a fair and reasonable price, the contract could then be awarded to a large business who does. This could have major impacts to small businesses who partner with large businesses for set-aside work.”

Wes Jackson

“The Three Wire team met a variety of people this year at the conference. There were several PDMs and senior executives from the VA there, as well as a multitude of current and potential industry partners. We met leaders and team members from organizations who can augment things we already do, which led to some exciting discussions.”

“It is fun to engage with knowledgeable people in talks that range from the future of IT, to what other industries are doing with today’s technology, to how the Government will build tomorrow’s public services.

“It was good of the VA to make so many PDMs available both for one-on-one discussions as well as several breakout sessions.  Hearing directly from our key stakeholders like this, helps the industry formulate plans and contemplate innovations that can solve the most important problems the VA is facing. So many times, in this industry, you see solutions looking for a problem. Gaining insight and having real dialogue helps us focus on the right things and not waste time and taxpayer dollars on solutions that don’t quite hit the mark.”

“I was particularly interested in hearing that VA is making progress on the path of modernizing its application ecosystem through the use of APIs.  Those efforts and innovations will mean that future apps will be far easier to develop, secure and operate.”

Keith Foley

“The Three Wire Systems team had a tremendous time at this year’s event.  Our mission especially hit home within Industry and Government engagement to collaborate on addressing the needs of our veterans.  We discussed a wide range of technical and operational areas that the VA needs help from partners such as Three Wire to modernize and transform healthcare delivery.”

“Of particular importance is the alignment of new business approaches and technologies for VA to stay ahead of healthcare demands and produce greater health outcomes for veteran care.  Cloud, Managed Services, Agile Development, Analytics and Accountability within IT are areas that we’ll continue to focus on and drive change within the agency.”

“It’s exciting to see Technology reaching a point of rapid delivery and mobility to remove legacy stove-pipe systems and improve communications which tie directly back to saving lives and enhancing the quality of life for the people who mean so much to our country.” 

Katie Koehler

“I was able to meet with over 30 companies within 48 hours, most SDVOSB and some large companies who are very interested in our Call Center capabilities and would like to partner to bring more efficient and effective performance to VA. It is extremely exciting to know others are interested in the great work we’re currently doing for veterans and want to expand and grow with us.”

“VA is changing as it grows to better support veterans, from both a healthcare and benefits perspective and there are so many good businesses and entrepreneurs that want to help VA during this transition. I heard a VA PDM say how excited he was to meet with so many people who had their hearts in the right places vice just looking to ‘get rich’. “

“With a stack of business cards in hand, new insight, and inspiration, we look forward to each follow-up to reconnect and continue the conversation.  Those follow-up meetings inevitably lead to new partnerships, great new ideas, and a wealth of new opportunities for the coming year.”

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