Newswise — Sandia National Laboratories awarded an information technology subcontract of potentially up to $700 million over a possible seven years to a New Mexico small business. This is the largest subcontract Sandia has issued to date.

“It’s a big deal and a huge win for the small-business community,” said Sandia subcontract manager Ally Gronager. “I think this will open doors. It showcases that small businesses have the ability and the capability to bid on big projects.”

Encantado Technical Solutions, LLC, will provide Sandia IT and telecommunications support under a five-year deal signed in January. The agreement includes an option to renew for an additional two years.

The award replaces several subcontracts set to expire in April and continues with a similar scope of work. The agreement covers the support and provisioning of specific telecommunications and IT services for Sandia, which employs more than 14,000 people.

“We are thrilled to support Sandia National Laboratories with our scalable, flexible and comprehensive service-delivery model,” said John Heneghan, Encantado partner. “We will leverage Encantado’s Centers of Excellence and innovation labs focused on IT operations, cloud, cybersecurity, software modernization and artificial intelligence to maximize Sandia’s investments and achieve the labs’ long-term IT strategy.”

The scope of the agreement includes servicing about 25,000 telephones and 30,000 user devices; delivering conventional end-user service to 30,000 computing devices; and providing end-user support that includes managing servers.

The subcontract’s infrastructure computing services include operating, maintaining and servicing the labs’ network, telephone, wired communications, wireless communications and mobile platforms, and desktop computing devices at Sandia’s New Mexico, California, Washington, D.C., and Nevada sites.

Encantado has an office in Albuquerque and is registered as a New Mexico small business. The company also plans to form a New Mexico nonprofit, the Encantado Technical Solutions Sandia Foundation, to promote local and regional STEM-related development programs in Albuquerque and Livermore, California.

“We are honored to be selected for this small-business award,” said Dave Yockman, Encantado partner. “We look forward to providing innovative and efficient IT service delivery to Sandia National Laboratories.”

Single award will merge efforts, improve processes

“There were a few main objectives we were trying to achieve by consolidating multiple subcontracts into one,” said Sandia Information Systems Engineering Manager Thomas Montano, who served as a technical expert during the bidding process. “Working with one company to manage the subcontract will improve the services’ quality through standardization, reduce the disruption of operations due to movement across subcontracts and increase the value IT provides to Sandia.”

Additional values of a single award include increased operational efficiency and enhanced collaboration between Sandia and the subcontractors, said Sandia subcontract manager Alex Riebli. It will be easier to share information and innovations across centers once all IT-related projects operate under the same company. In addition, managing a single subcontract will increase administrative efficiency and reduce costs within Sandia, Riebli said.

Montano said the transition has already begun and will be complete by the time the previous subcontracts expire.

Subcontract posting led to positive, ‘overwhelming response’

Companies were able to bid on the subcontract following an external Sandia website posting in the summer of 2019, Gronager said.

“We got an overwhelming response from the small-business community during that time and that led us to be able to plan for a full, small-business set-aside, which means only registered small businesses could bid,” she said.

Paul Sedillo, Sandia’s small-business program manager, also emphasized the response, saying there was a solid group of competitors that put a lot of effort into the process.

Proposals were evaluated based on the following technical criteria: relevant experience, technical solutions and transition plans, said Montano.

“The source selection team was concerned with striking the most advantageous balance between technical features, price and identified risk, which the Encantado proposal did,” said Riebli.

Sandia also partnered with the Small Business Administration, which helped guide the labs through policy in awarding the subcontract, said Sedillo.

“I appreciate Sandia National Laboratories’ effort to provide this kind of extraordinary opportunity for small businesses in New Mexico and throughout the country,” said John Garcia, SBA New Mexico District Office director. “The final contract will benefit our economy in so many ways.”

Sedillo said Sandia has long been committed to the small-business community and continues to work with the Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration to increase spending in that area.

“This new subcontract is a key element in ensuring we are committed to small business at every level,” Sedillo said. “This could open opportunities for small businesses at every cost level because this proves they can compete. This is big for the future, not just for Sandia, but for other sites that will see we were able to achieve this award, and others will most likely follow suit. Sandia is leading the way in awarding this major small-business, high-dollar, highly visible subcontract.”

For more information on doing business with Sandia, visit the Procurement website.