D--Geospatial Information System (GIS) Healthcare Enterprise Service and Support Agreement (GHESS)
Department of Veterans Affairs, VA Technology Acquisition Center | Published December 1, 2015
On November 27, 2015, the Technology Acquisition Center awarded Delivery Order VA118-16-F-0797 under the terms and conditions of General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule 70 Contract GS-35F-253CA with Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (Esri), located at 380 New York Street, Redlands, CA 92373. Esri will be providing Geospatial Information System (GIS) Healthcare Enterprise Service and Support Enterprise License Agreement that will provide various Esri ArcGIS software, cloud services, data, and support services in order to support the goal of creating a GIS shared services. The period of performance for shall be from December 1, 2015 to November 30, 2016, plus four option years, if exercised. The total order value is $2,633,780.00.
JUSTIFICATION FOR OTHER THAN FULL AND OPEN COMPETITION
1. Contracting Activity: Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
Office of Acquisition Operations
Technology Acquisition Center
23 Christopher Way
Eatontown, NJ 07724
2. Description of Action: The proposed action is for a sole source firm-fixed-price contract with Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (Esri) located at 380 New York Street, Redlands, CA 92373.
3. Description of Supplies or Services: VA, Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Office of the Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Policy and Services (10P) requires a Geospatial Information System (GIS) Healthcare Enterprise Service and Support (GHESS) Enterprise License Agreement (ELA) that will provide various Esri ArcGIS software, cloud services, data, and support services in order to support the goal of creating a GIS shared services platform across multiple disparate offices of 10P. The offices of 10P include Policy and Planning, Informatics and Analytics, Public Health, Office of Health Information, Patient Care Services, Research and Development, Intergovernmental Affairs, and Ethics. This will enable multiple offices that are responsible for planning healthcare initiatives, as well as policy makers, access to a uniform platform that is non-variable by providing a consistent infrastructure for geo-spatial data development, analysis, cartographic products and access to web services. This enables VA to focus policies and planning to increase access for Veterans, especially those geographically dispersed from VA medical centers and clinics. Esri has the only Geospatial Information System software that has the enterprise capabilities needed to support this level of activity and to allow those with the expertise to participate in this type of analysis. With the GHESS ELA, VA will have an unlimited user license to deploy and share software and cloud services. Software and cloud services include the ArcGIS software suite of products such as ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Server, Portal for ArcGIS, ArcGIS Online for Organizations Account, ArcGIS Online for Organizations Users, ArcGIS Online for Organizations Credits, Software Media Kit, and Community Analyst. Additional services include Esri's Enterprise Advantage Program, Right to Call Staff support, Home Use Program, and Street-Map Premium Advanced, US Data Only, Navteq version subscription. Furthermore, 10P offices will have access to two software as a service portals capable of supporting simultaneous users and a portal maintained on Planning Systems Support Group (PSSG) servers, Tier 2 helpdesk support, and all training offered through Esri's online training library. An option for an additional copy of StreetMap mapping data is also included. Once exercised, this data shall be supported for the duration of the contract, including options. The period of performance shall be November 1, 2015 through October 31, 2016, plus four 12-month option years for continued use and maintenance of GHESS ELA products, if exercised.
4. Statutory Authority: The statutory authority permitting other than full and open competition is 41 U.S.C.3304(a)(1) as implemented by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 6.302-1 entitled, "Only One Responsible Source and No Other Supplies or Services Will Satisfy Agency Requirements."
5. Rationale Supporting Use of Authority Cited Above: VA has one of the largest patient and non-patient record data sets in the United States. The offices of 10P require tools that enable their staff members the ability to analyze and extract meaningful information from these extremely large data sets. Only Esri's products are capable of handling this vast amount of data. There is no other GIS Product that can process and analyze the vast amounts of data required, and has sufficient support in place to ensure VA has the required support and software reliability. Any other similar product would encounter severe performance degradation and software unavailability and downtime as it processes and analyzes this large amount of data. This extensive amount of data includes the entire enrollee and non-enrollee population, which is about 4 gigabits of data per copy. VA also has latitude and longitude data for Veteran drive time analysis. Only Esri's products can process and analyze this amount of data with location allocation or similar techniques. The location allocation technique is a VA requirement that utilizes algorithms used primarily in a GIS system and allows VA to determine an optimal location for one or more facilities that will service demand for a given set of Veteran data points. PSSG utilizes this technique to determine Veterans population with types of care needed or other specific needs within VA centers of care. This technique allows VA to utilize Veteran population and density data in planning efforts of placing sites of care. For instance, VA can identify a certain area to place a care center at a specific location based on the number of Veterans in that area. This allows planners to service the most Veterans possible with clinical access. Without this required functionality which only Esri offers, VA would not be able to strategically place sites of care and provide efficient and effective healthcare to Veterans. The cornerstone of the GHESS ELA is the unlimited enterprise user license agreement which will grant PSSG the right to deploy and share the products listed in the product description for this effort during the term of the ELA to other 10P offices which are also responsible for planning care initiatives, as well as grant policy makers access to a mutual platform that is non-variable by providing a consistent infrastructure for geo-spatial data development, analysis, cartographic products and access to web services to best access data critical to plan for the needs of Veterans. No other GIS software manufacturer offers an enterprise license that enables a shared services platform allowing ArcGIS software products to be hosted within the VA network (on premise). Hosting within the VA network will allow 10P to effectively manage and enforce consistent policies across 10P offices, to conform data use and its integrity and also ensure data security. In addition, Esri's GIS software is the only software that has the ability to conduct geospatial analytics that will enable 10P users to detect patterns, access trends, generate geographic interactive maps and conduct geo-spatial analytics to conduct deep analysis, create data visualization through maps, and make sound decisions based on trusted concurrent data with ability to share these results among 10P users. These are VA functional requirements that no other GIS software can provide.
Additionally, Esri's suite of product licenses and maintenance support provides a solution that is compatible with the existing VA infrastructure and is embedded within current VA business systems. Currently, VA's GIS infrastructure is based solely upon Esri products, and the entire infrastructure that surrounds the Esri solution has been built to be interoperable with Esri's suite of products, as discussed further below in this justification. It has taken the PSSG appropriately 15 years to build and develop this current Esri-based infrastructure which is continually expanding. VA has built customized tools, scripts, and processes that would have to be re-engineered to be utilized on a non-Esri solution. No other product can work in this environment and communicate with the existing infrastructure. If any other product were utilized, VA would be unable to utilize many years of embedded regional and national workflow data, and would have to rebuild its current GIS enterprise environment to accommodate new and non-proprietary software. Any other product would cause VA to lose interoperability, as Esri is the only GIS software that interoperates with Microsoft Office and other products to perform the geospatial analysis as required by VA, such as location allocation techniques. PSSG's platform must integrate with Microsoft Windows and other Microsoft software products. This solution leverages the Microsoft Windows platform to provide the infrastructure for geospatial data processing and storage. This is seamless to the end user, but enables them to have a central, secure location for accessing, designing, managing, and sharing geospatial information without requiring additional processing, storage and network infrastructure. In addition, ArcGIS interfaces with various Microsoft products such as Microsoft Office and Microsoft SharePoint as well as Microsoft Structured Query Language (SQL),, which accommodates large increases of data and users which enables PSSG to easily and more cost-effectively grow our enterprise system and web applications. No other source provides this same interoperability with Microsoft products.
The PSSG, through the use of Esri's GIS solution, has developed a prototype Enrollee Drive Time Processor (EDTP) tool that is unique to the industry. The EDTP tool is used to serve over 8 million enrolled Veterans and over 1100 facilities for defining optimum routes to facilities with proper care. This tool uses a geocoding process to identify addresses which can then be used by the Esri's ArcGIS analysis tools for determining best routes and other pertinent information. No other vendor in the market place currently supports the EDTP tool since it was based upon Esri's proprietary ArcGIS suite of products. Switching to another vendor's GIS software would render the EDTP tool inoperable.
Furthermore, if another source was available, the entire GIS platform would have to be re-built from multiple different suppliers. The platform would have to be coded and scripted and a new portal would have to be created. PSSG would also require a new GIS Services contract to re-write code and scripts so new infrastructure would work across multiple vendor products. No other source other than Esri can provide the aforementioned services due to proprietary constraints. Specifically, any other source would need access to Esri's proprietary data in order to ensure that the services provided are properly configured and patched through. This code ensures that the services provided will allow the ESRI products to remain fully operational and work in the current Esri based environment.
6. Efforts to Obtain Competition: Market research was conducted, details of which are in the market research section of this document. This effort did not yield any additional sources that can meet the Government's requirements. There is no competition anticipated for this acquisition. Additionally, the proposed action will be synopsized on the Federal Business Opportunities Page in accordance with FAR 5.201. Any proposals that are received shall be evaluated.
7. Actions to Increase Competition: The Government will continue to conduct market research to ascertain if there are changes in the marketplace that would enable future actions to be competed.
8. Market Research: The Government's technical experts have performed market research from March through September 2015 by conducting internet queries to determine availability of the required products and support services. Market Research included companies that could provide Vector based analysis, work within MicrosoftOffice Suite Products, and with Python scripting. It also included companies that could work with the current GIS tools created specifically for PSSG's unique needs. All other GIS software products on the market are either limited in products/services selection, have limited spatial analytic capabilities, and/or are limited by a less integrated shared services platform as explained below.
Imagine software is cartographic software, but it fails to meet all of VA's requirements as outlined above. Specifically, it does not perform vector-based geospatial analysis through points, lines, and polygons with no focus on imagery. It does not allow for Python scripting, and does not work with Microsoft products. For example, the software fails to work with SQL and the user cannot download an analysis into Excel or any other similar format that VA is capable of utilizing. It also does not meet VA's interoperability requirements with the existing ArcGIS infrastructure.
Hexagon software is cartographic software, but it also fails to meet all of VA's requirements as outlined above. It does not handle vector-based geospatial analysis through points, lines, and polygons with no focus on imagery or allow for Python scripting. Its target customer is for remote sensing capabilities such as imagery analysis. The software focuses more on the size, latitude, and longitude of buildings to support unmanned technologies and drone activity. It also does not meet VA's interoperability requirements with the existing ArcGIS infrastructure.
Maptitude Mapping Software performs similar functionality; however, it is limited in only polygon format when shape files are needed and does not meet all of VA's requirements as outlined above. This software has limited layer availability while VA needs a living atlas that is built with content contributed by organizations around the world through the Community Maps Program. This software cannot handle the large data sets that the VA requires from a vendor. This software is not integrateable with the already functioning platform in PSSG which would require downloads of Esri products to use. It also does not meet VA's interoperability requirements with the existing ArcGIS infrastructure.
Esri was the only company found that provided the exact services required by the PSSG. No other companies were found that could support/offer the services and the support required to work with the VA large data sets, existing computer scripting, and offer an enterprise license.
9. Other Facts: The software and vendor requested represent the industry standard in geographic information systems GIS software. This software is central to the body of knowledge of all professional geographers, including those employed by Veterans Affairs. Esri's ArcGIS suite of products is used by federal, state, and local governments as well as the private sector; this software serves all industries that have a geographic analysis component. The operational impact if an award is not made as requested, is an adverse impact on many key VHA program offices and their associated programs. These programs include the VA Enrollee Health Care Projection Model, the VHA Health Care Planning Model, the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health GIS Planning Portal that serves VHA's Veterans Integrated Service Networks and facilities, the seven VHA/10P GIS Healthcare Enterprise Support and Services program offices, ad-hoc inter-agency collaborations requiring geospatial analyses (e.g. VHA collaborates with Department of Defense and Indian Health Service), and most importantly, GHESS supports Section 101 of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act (VACAA) of 2014. GHESS VACAA support leverages robust geoprocessing tools that are unique to Esri's ArcGIS suite of products such as Network Analyst and Spatial Analyst extensions to provide driving distance calculations to nearest site of care for 9+ million enrollees.