Strategic Partners Acquisition Readiness Contract (SPARC)
ERP International, a CMMI Dev Level 5 appraised company, provides health IT and mission support services to CMS and HHS Operating Divisions through our Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) 8(a) Small Business Strategic Partners Acquisition Readiness Contract (SPARC) . This Agency Wide Acquisition Contract (AWAC), managed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), provides a simplified and cost-effective way to procure a wide variety of IT services.
Who can use the SPARC vehicle?
This multiple-award contract is available to all components within CMS and all Operating Divisions within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Why use the SPARC contract?
SPARC offers many advantages to HHS customers:
- No administrative or contract access fees
- Pre-vetted contractors who are experienced with CMS and HHS IT work and requirements
- Ability to set aside work for small businesses and for specific socio-economic categories, making it easy to meet contracting goals
- Ability to sole source to 8(a) partners—including ERP—for task orders under $4 million
- Shortened procurement lead time
- $25 billion ceiling
What services are available through SPARC?
SPARC enables HHS customers to procure services throughout the entire IT lifecycle—from concept, to development, to maintenance—as discrete services or as an entire solution. The following is a list of available services. ERP received awards for all service categories under SPARC. Click on the service category for details on that service and ERP’s experience providing those services.
- Initiation, Concept, and Planning Services
- Requirements Services
- Design Services
- Development Services
- Testing Services
- Security Control Assessment (SCA) Services
- Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) Services
- Maintenance Services
- Support Services
- Data Request Services
- Help Desk Support Services
Initiation, Concept & Planning Services
ERP provides Enterprise Architecture, Capital Planning, Portfolio Management, and Enterprise Program Management and Governance services that enable our Federal customers to consistently and efficiently achieve mission objectives, save taxpayer dollars, and enhance service delivery. Our services not only support customers through project conceptualization, initiation, and planning, but also provide Program Management Office (PMO) support services through all System Development Lifecycle (SDLC) phases.
Our effective management processes have resulted in real-world cost savings. For the Army National Guard, we increased program efficiencies for our customer by identifying and removing hardware and software requirements that were not essential to the program, resulting in more than a 30 percent cost savings on the option years of the contract.
ERP performs Requirements Management Services for claims management applications, clinical information management applications, data processing applications, EHR systems, lab information management systems, and data analysis and business intelligence systems used by customers such as the Department of Homeland Security, the Defense Health Agency, and the Department of Health and Human Services. ERP accomplishes this by aligning our Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)® Maturity Level 5 appraised development processes and process performance management techniques to our customer’s system development lifecycles.
Well-defined, optimized, and managed requirements are essential for a project’s success. Whether capturing user stories for an Agile systems development life cycle (SDLC) or developing comprehensive requirements specifications for a Waterfall SDLC, ERP’s focus is to use techniques such as interviews and focus groups to ensure participation and input from all stakeholders such that accurate and complete requirements are captured and documented. We use tools such as JIRA and Confluence as well as IBM Rational DOORS and PVCS Tracker to store, optimize, and manage requirements efficiently and ensure full requirements traceability to design features and test cases.
ERP uses service-oriented architecture (SOA) principles and microservices to develop large and complex applications that are scalable, maintainable, and built on open standards. ERP’s design philosophy is based on using Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) platforms—such as the Oracle or IBM enterprise service bus—to facilitate enterprise-level SOA integration that can support large and complex lines of business.
For the US Air Force, ERP used Oracle SOA and Oracle Fusion products to design open standards-based software that support high availability missions, such as patient care within the Military Treatment Facility. Furthermore, we use products such as Hadoop, Mongo DB, and Birst BI to build and deploy extensible and scalable data analytics and data processing systems that can process billions of biographic and biometric data transactions.
ERP provides comprehensive Agile software development services across our major programs. These services include enterprise Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition (J2EE) , .Net , and Cold Fusion development. ERP currently manages a portfolio of more than 50 enterprise applications, providing Agile DevSecOps and Continuous Integration / Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) services using platforms such as Apache, Oracle Web Logic, Windows Server, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Jenkins, Nexus, and JIRA on private and public GovCloud environments. We currently support AgileSecOps programs on AWS and environments such as RedHat OpenShift.
We provide large-scale systems integration development support on major programs for the Defense Health Agency (DHA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). For DHA we support more than 40 discrete applications that have extensive integration point into mission critical systems that are used daily worldwide to support the warfighter. For DHS we provide Agile development services that support programs such as E-Verify and SAVE.
ERP provides comprehensive application testing, performance testing, information security compliance testing, and Section 508 compliance testing services for custom applications and COTS systems using a combination of manual testing and automated testing techniques. We use automated testing tools, including HP Mercury, Selenium, IBM Rational products, and Microsoft Team Foundation Server products, to develop test scripts and automated test packages that can be used to provide accurate and consistent testing. Additionally, we use automated testing to provide comprehensive test coverage when supporting Continuous Delivery / Continuous Integration on Agile DevSecOps projects.
In many of our Agile projects, such as our system modernization support work for the US Citizenship and Immigration Service, we use Test Driven Development (TDD) to reduce the time between defect identification and remediation in the baseline code. By using such techniques, we are able to support development and design decisions that are driven by successful test results. This eliminates the risk of critical errors being identified late in the development cycle, thus reducing overall program costs due to substantial redesign or rework needs due to poor testing early in the development cycle.
Security Control Assessment(SCA) Services
ERP’s Assessment and Authorization (A&A) services are based on NIST SP 800-137, Information Security Continuous Monitoring for Federal Information Systems and Organization, in addition to NIST Special Publications 800-53A, 53, 39, 19, and 30. The goal of our A&A services is to provide our Federal customers with greater transparency into their IT security systems and enable them to make informed and timely risk management decisions for all Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA)-related activities.
ERP has successfully led customers such as the U.S. Army through several certification and accreditation (C&A) processes/iterations, the result of which has been Authority to Operate (ATO). ERP has a very strong understanding and background in the Department of Defense Information Assurance Certification (DIACAP) and Risk Management Framework (RMF) procedures, and we have coached and led customers to understanding that these processes never stop, but continue throughout the lifecycle of the system.
Independent Verification and Validation(IV&V) Services
ERP provides comprehensive IV&V services on major healthcare programs for the Defense Health Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. These include providing independent design reviews, system and user acceptance testing, code analysis, and system and infrastructure cyber security assessments. We work closely with the customer and program stakeholders to develop program requirements, establish acceptance criteria, and verify and validate that the delivered product meets the user’s needs.
ERP ensures that, when performing IV&V, there is no organizational conflict of interest (OCI). Furthermore, for programs where we perform IV&V services, we do not provide any product development support. ERP’s IV&V services are based on Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) practices as well as our CMMI Dev Level 5 appraised Verification and Validation processes, and is closely aligned to strategic consulting and mission support services.
ERP provides system maintenance services as a part of many of our health IT programs. We provide defect resolution and application enhancement using an Agile DevOps approach. We maintain and support Windows and Oracle Solaris Servers, Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server Data Warehouses, ETL and data integration applications, and reporting and dashboard applications.
ERP’s comprehensive maintenance support services includes using tools such as Remedy ITSM and Atlassian JIRA to track defects and fix bugs. We use IT Lean and Kanban techniques that enable us to reduce impediments and bottlenecks in the maintenance and support release process. By using efficient and streamlined build and test processes and automated Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) pipelines to increase build and release cycle times, we have successfully reduced the number of open tickets on many of our programs by more than 60%.
ERP provides support services that include user support, documentation, user training, product management, and business operations services. As an ISO 9001-certified and Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)® Maturity Level 5 Development appraised company, we have robust processes to ensure that our product and process documentation is of high quality, complete, version controlled, accessible, and current. Our support services also include end-user support and call center management services. ERP uses an ITIL service design and service delivery model to ensure that we provide responsive service with a clear line of issue escalation. User training is a key capability ERP has developed and currently employs in most of our major Federal programs. Over the past seven years, ERP has trained approximately 20,000 users nationally.
We are in the unique position as a prime contractor to the Army National Guard providing Six Sigma Black Belt Training to the reservist and internal staff. To date, ERP has trained 79 Black Belts and Green Belts. ERP’s process improvement efforts have resulted in more than $40 million in verified savings with G-staff practitioners in G-1, G-2, G-4, G-6 and AMO.
Data Request Services
ERP functions as a strategic partner supporting the leadership of many of our Federal customers. We work closely with agencies such as the Military Health System, the Defense Health Agency, and the Department of Homeland Security to provide reports, data synthesis services, data analysis services, and data aggregation services to support data requests from the Executive or the Legislative branches of the U.S. Government.
We have developed automated data processing systems that collect data from disparate data sources across Federal and State Government agencies, aggregate the data, and support multiple mission essential programs including third party payment processing and medical readiness and decision support systems.
Help Desk Services
ERP currently provides help desk services for agencies throughout the Federal Government, including the Defense Health Agency, Department of Commerce, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. In each case, ERP supports moderate to large help desk implementations using tools such as ServiceNow and BMC Remedy Service Management Software. ERP provides Tier 0 (Self Help), Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III support for end users who range from citizens requesting services from the government to government employees and government contractors.
Our service management offerings are ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011 certified and are designed to use a data driven approach to performance management and compliance with Service Level Agreements (SLAs). ERP has developed extensive monitoring and reporting capabilities within our help desk systems to provide real time analytics on areas such as call routing, queuing, agent skilling, and on SLA measurements such as response time and issue resolution time.