Microsoft focus on compliance and agility for Government Contractors – Part 1 of 3

With the recent announcement of the Microsoft GovCon Alliance, Microsoft is initiating a new phase in our ongoing effort to help contractors to the U.S. federal government operate more efficiently, respond more quickly to shifts in federal spending, and comply with a range of regulatory requirements.

Our guiding principle for this next phase is “Compliance and Agility” – a distinct counterpoint to the “compliance OR agility” tradeoff that we believe has become the status quo for most solutions in the government contracting (GovCon) market.

Why change and why now?

Change starts with customer feedback.

In government contracting, large enterprises running on Microsoft Dynamics AX have been most vocal. Customers adopted this, our multi-industry, enterprise resource planning (ERP) offering, to drive consolidation and move away from a diverse portfolio of silo applications embedded in various lines of business and legal entities. Why did they do this? To simplify administration, improve visibility into operations, and enable more agile responses to changing business conditions. Their feedback:  “Mission accomplished. Well… almost. There’s one entrenched system that we’re afraid to touch. A little help, please?!”

That entrenched system is specialist ERP for government contractors, typically used by project-based services and manufacturing divisions or subsidiaries. The fundamental sticking point? Indirect cost pooling and automated rules-based allocation to projects and cost objectives.

So, the message was clear:

Customers like that Microsoft Dynamics AX helps improve business agility, but the job isn’t done until it addresses the unique blend of government contractor regulatory requirements specified by FAR, DFARS, CAS, DCAA, and DCMA.  Fortunately Microsoft and our partners already offer capabilities that support government contractor compliance requirements in a number of contexts. (In future blogs we will expand upon these solutions.)

Our customer-driven marching orders:  Focus on the needs of enterprise-class businesses that often operate in multiple sectors and industries. And, while we are at it, stretch to address capture management as well as constructive applications of the broader Microsoft platform and our growing cloud capabilities.

To learn about what we’ve done so far, please read the next blog in this this series.

Link:  Microsoft focus on compliance and agility for Government Contractors – Part 2 of 3 (publishing on June 17th, 2014)

To learn more, visit us at Microsoft GovCon Alliance.