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EDCAPS Cloud Request for Information

Solicitation Number: EDCAPS-RFI-2011
Agency: Department of Education
Office: Contracts & Acquisitions Management
Location: Contracts (All ED Components)
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Added: Nov 18, 2011 4:19 pm Modified: Nov 22, 2011 7:58 amTrack Changes
RFI Purpose

The U.S. Department of Education (the Department) is issuing this request for information (RFI) as part of its market research efforts to identify potential sources with the technical capabilities in the area of design and deployment of "cloud" infrastructure. The objective of this RFI is to ascertain the level of capabilities and availability of potential vendors to provide infrastructure-as-a-service or platform-as-a-service for hosting the Department's mission critical financial management system: the Education Department's Central Automated Processing System (EDCAPS). Much like other federal agencies, the Department needs to continue providing effective information technology in support of the mission and work of the agency while facing the possibility of budget constraints and significantly fewer resources over the next few years. In anticipation of both an expected decrease in resources and the impending end of life for major elements of its existing EDCAPS infrastructure, the Department is assessing its options to transform its current environment into one that is more cost-effective, sustainable, and aligned with future business needs.

Important Note:
This is a request for information (RFI) only. This RFI is issued to support the Department's market research efforts and is solely for information and planning purposes. Any response to this RFI is purely voluntary and will be treated as information only. The Department assumes no financial responsibility for any costs incurred by any company responding to this RFI. The information provided may be used by the Department of Education in the development of its acquisition strategy and any related statement of work, statement of objectives, or performance specifications. If the Department decides to pursue a formal procurement action to obtain the services described herein, it will do so through the issuance of a formal request for proposal (RFP) or some similar formal document. Because this is an RFI requesting voluntary responses, companies that do not respond to this RFI will not be precluded from responding to any future formal RFP, if one is issued.


In order to gain greater control over and accountability for Department resources and meet a variety of legislative mandates, the Department developed EDCAPS, an integrated financial management system consisting of five (5) components: (1) Financial Management Support Software (FMSS), (2) G5 Grants Management System, (3) Contracts and Purchasing Support System (CPSS), (4) Travel Management System (TMS), and (5) Nortridge Loan System (NLS), each of which is described in further detail below.EDCAPS Systems

Figure 1 in the attached MS Word version provides a schematic of how the five (5) EDCAPS system are functionally integrated.

The EDCAPS systems are linked through custom interfaces to provide the Department with real-time financial management capabilities that must be maintained regardless of where the systems reside. EDCAPS serves the entire Department of Education's approximately 4,200 internal users in various buildings located in Washington D.C., as well as 10 regional offices across the United States. EDCAPS also serves approximately 100,000 external users through G5. Because EDCAPS is a mission critical system, it must be available at least 99.99% of the time.

Financial Management Support System (FMSS)

FMSS is provided by Oracle Financials version 11.5.10 (11i). It is the Department's official general ledger and also includes functionality for budget planning and execution, funds control, receipt management, administrative payment management, internal and external reporting. The external reports include the financial statements mandated by the Chief Financial Officer's Act. The Department has also implemented the Hyperion Budget Planning module and is currently considering its options for upgrading to Oracle's version Release 12 of their federal financial management system.
Contracts and Purchasing Support System (CPSS)

CPSS supports the pre-award and post-award processes for all types of contracts, delivery orders, task orders, interagency agreements, small purchases and purchase card transactions. Requirements maybe consolidated at any level and multiple awards may be made from a single requirement. Awards are modified financially or administratively as necessary, until closed in CPSS. CPSS uses various means of posting and receiving procurement data and future enhancements will add web-based procurements. CPSS interfaces with FMSS, in real time, at the detail level, for funds check, commitments, and obligations. Batch files are exchanged for vendors, accounting codes, and purchase card payment files. Transactions includea combination of sub-procurement lines, multiple accounting lines and incremental funding. Data is stored to meet all Federal Government mandated reporting requirements such as the Federal Procurement Data System. The Department currently employs CACI, Inc.'s Comprizon.Suite as the commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software package to provide CPSS functionalitybut has plans to replace the current CPSS system over the next several years.

G5 supports the Department's management of more than 10,000 discretionary grants, amounting to approximately $2.1 billion per fiscal year, as well as Formula and Block grants totaling more than $15.2 billion each fiscal year. The Department also disburses approximately $28 billion annually in grants and loans to approximately 14,000 recipient institutions. G5 handles grant planning, pre-award, award management and post-award of the Department programs including discretionary, formula, fellowship, and block grants. G5 also interfaces with other program office systems, referred to as program feeder systems, to process obligation and payment data. The program feeder systems typically support the planning, scheduling, and award processes performed by the program offices to manage their programs (e.g., Campus-Based and Pell). G5 includes functionality for preparing and submitting grant applications electronically and interfaces with Find and Apply functionality for programs using standard forms. G5 allows peer reviewers to electronically review applications submitted electronically to the Department, in their homes or offices. It also allows them to record their evaluations and scores and submit the same to ED electronically. This system affords Department staff the capability to maintain quality control by monitoring the reviewers' progress during the review process. Grantees are able to prepare and submit their Annual Grant Performance Reports to the Department via the Internet. G5 controls payments for the Department's programs, including payments for grants and direct loans and other program-related obligations. It also serves as a subsidiary to the FMSS general ledger for program-related obligations, payments, and expenditures, and interfaces with FMSS at the summary level for funds control and general ledger postings.
In 2005, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) designated the Department of Education as a Grants Management Line of Business (GMLoB) Consortia Lead. In this role, the Department provides structure, leadership and governance support for the development and on-going maintenance of the Department Consortia solution, G5. G5 is available to other Federal Government Agencies as a shared-service, end-to-end grants management solution. Current plans include transitioning G5 to a fully enabled Federal cloud computing solution consistent with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) definition for cloud computing. It is anticipated that future enhancements to the current G5 provisioning capabilities will be needed to fully meet this objective.
The G5 system was custom developed for the Department using WebSphere Portal and Process Servers, Java, and Oracle. COGNOS is used for reporting. The final phase of G5 was recently put into production. The Department expects the G5 system to stabilize over the next six (6) to twelve (12) months.
Nortridge Loan System (NLS)

The Nortridge Loan System (NLS) is a commercial-off-the-shelf loan-servicing financial package that accommodates the Department's specialized needs for the following:
• Promissory note functionality (Administrative Receivables)
• Escrow functionality (Administrative Receivables)
• Summary level recording of the Department's four Facility Loans Programs: the College Housing Loan program, the College Housing Academic Facilities Loan program, the Facilities Loan Program, and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities program.

Functionality includes receivable, collection and reporting activities, and financial transaction capabilities. NLS serves as an external subsidiary ledger to the FMSS general ledger for these activities. An electronic interface exists between NLS and the FMSS that provides for the transfer of general ledger level data from NLS to the FMSS on a daily basis.
Travel Management System (TMS):

The Department's Travel Management System (TMS), E2 Solutions, is a solution provided by Carlson Wagonlit Government Travel that is hosted outside of the Department as part of GSA's government wide eTravel initiative. It provides an end-to-end process including an integrated on-line booking engine, travel authorization, and vouchering process. The system is currently in a steady state lifecycle through November 2013.

Current Operating Environment

The Department's Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) is responsible for all design, development, testing, installation, operations, and maintenance of EDCAPS. The system is accessed via the Department's network, which is owned, operated, and maintained by Dell. These essential network services will continue to be provided by Dell. The current EDCAPS infrastructure is located in Dell's Plano Texas Data Center and Dell is responsible for its maintenance.
The current technical architecture is a multi-tiered and tightly integrated system utilizing clustered IBM pSeries hardware and high-speed archival devices. The IBM AIX systems and Oracle 10g are optimized for user requirements and are aligned with the technology strategy of Oracle and the Department's Enterprise Architecture (EA): Future State Vision and Transition Strategy. In particular, the IBM architecture is being optimized to provide the best value in terms of scalability, reliability, manageability, performance, and cost.
System Hardware and Software

The EDCAPS environment and infrastructure supports multiple AIX hardware platforms, including but not limited to this basic system configuration below.
Hardware Details
• IBM P-Series (p550, p560, p570 and p750) Hardware
• IBM 3583 Tape Backup System for Backup
• IBM DS4300/DS4500 and DS4800 SAN Storage
• Cisco Gigabit Fiber switch for Oracle RAC Interconnects
• Cisco Gigabit Copper switch for Public and Backup Networks
• Dedicated Backup Network
• Dedicate GPFS file system redundant network

Attachment A (embedded in the MS Word version of this RFI) contains diagrams and matrices that provide an overview of the number of CPU's, memory, and servers being utilized to support the EDCAPS Technical Architecture. Companies who respond to this RFI should note that this information is provided solely as background information and should not be interpreted in any way to imply that the Department is intending to reproduce its current EDCAPS environment one for one in a cloud environment. The Department is focused on transforming its current EDCAPS environment to meet its future requirements.

Additionally, the following Sun and Windows configurations support the EDCAPS total environment:
Windows Hardware & Software
• HP Proliant DL Series Intel Servers
• Windows 2003, 2008, and VM systems

Sun Hardware & Software
• Oracle T-3 Virtual Servers
• Solaris 10
• Sun Java System Application Server 7

Third Party System Support Applications

The following software constitutes third party support applications running on AIX UNIX:
• IBM GPFS 3.3 Shared File System
• IBM Websphere
• IBM Tivoli
• IBM VIO Server
• Tripwire Security Software for Unix Servers
• HP - Load Runner
• HP - Win Runner
• IBM - Rational Software (Configuration Management)
• Oracle Application 11.5.10, CU2 with RUP3 Patches
• Oracle Database 10g Release 1 and 2
• Oracle Application Server 10g Release 2 and 3
• Oracle Grid Control 10g Release 3
• Oracle RMAN with Veritas Oracle Agent for Database Backup
• Oracle Clusterware
• Oracle Single Sign-on
• Oracle Identitiy Management
• Oracle Access Manager
• Oracle Hyperion
• CACI Comprizon.Suite
• Symantec NetBackup Software

Application Matrix (See MS Word Version of RFI uploaded separately)

Application Name Type Server/OS Users
CPSS Web Oracle/Sun Solaris Internal
G5 Web UNIX/AIX External
ADI Web Windows Internal
Hyperion Budget Planning Web UNIX/AIX Internal
Travel Web Hosted Internal
Nortridge Client Windows Internal
Cognos 6.0 Client Windows Internal
Cognos 8.0 Web Intel/Windows Internal
Oracle Reports Web UNIX/AIX Internal
Impact Aid Client/Server Intel/Windows Internal
Sunflower Web UNIX/AIX Internal

EDCAPS Database

The backend database for FMSS, G5, CPSS, Single Sign-on, G5 Meta-data, and EDCAPS Data Store is Oracle 10g, Release 1 and 2. Oracle 10g is configured using Oracle Real Application Clusters, with the database residing on a General Parallel File System (GPFS) file structure. We are anticipating upgrading to Oracle 11g in FY12.

Information Being Requested:

Responses to this RFI will help shape the Department's strategy for obtaining infrastructure services, as well as any subsequent formalized requests for proposal. The information provided in response to this RFI should include the following:
1) Company Profile/Information
a) Brief company profile, to include company name, address, website, and point of contact name, telephone number and e-mail address
b) Indication of the company's size status; namely whether the company is a small business and/or small, disadvantaged business, and if it qualifies under any other socio-economic categories (e.g., WOSB, SDVOSB, HUBZone, etc.)
c) -Brief summary of the organization's experience with and capability to provide "cloud" services, especially infrastructure-as-a-service. Include a table listing prior and current customers for whom your company has deployed "cloud" services and a brief (i.e., one sentence) description of the service deployed. This table should not exceed one page. Should include customers who may share common characteristics of organization, technology or direction with the Department of Education
d) -Brief summary of existing Federal Government contracts where your company is providing "cloud" or "cloud-related" services.
e) -Brief summary of your company's current offerings of "cloud" and "cloud" related services? Include a table listing each major offering along with a brief explanation that is concise but which contains sufficient high-level description to adequately summarize each service offering.
f) Brief description of applicable and appropriate service level agreements (SLAs) used to achieve desired performance levels.
2) Services Approach
a) High level summary describing the specific applications and/or data that has been migrated to the "cloud (e.g., type, number/quantity, operational or development environments. Indicate how operational and development environments are handled.

b) High level summary describing the extent to which applications where integrated prior to transitioning to the "cloud" and what, if any, challenges occurred when certain applications that did transition to the "cloud" still required integration with applications that did not transition to the "cloud"

c) High level summary describing how, if at all, security requirements were impacted through migration to the "cloud", especially those involving compliance with applicable Federal Government mandated security requirements (e.g., protection of Personally Identifiable Information (PII)) and a description of what risk management measures were adopted to ensure compliance with applicable Federal Government security requirements. Have you applied to or completed the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP)?

d) High level description of how system availability was maintained or improved following migration to the " cloud" to include a description of the methods employeed to ensure system availability metrics are met.

e) High level description of how, if at all, system performance was impacted by the distance (e.g., more than 1,000 miles) between the location of the "cloud" environment and the location of the system users.

f) High level description of the organizational change management approaches (e.g., user training, support team training, etc.) that were used to ensure smooth transition to the "cloud" for users, system support personnel, etc. during transition and post-transition operations.

g) High level description of what technical support capabilities are provided for systems users and system support personnel working in the "cloud" environment.

h) High level description of the cost impact of moving to the "cloud" environment.

i) High level description of any immediate cost savings (e.g., through reduced equipment cost, reduced labor cost, etc.) resulting from migration to the "cloud" environment.

j) High level description of how return on investment was determined.

k) High level summary of the impact on life cycle cost resulting from migration to the "cloud" environment.

l) Provide any other recommendations your company firm has for a possible deployment of "cloud" infrastructure for the Department and any other information deemed relevant to this RFI.
m) Provide a rough order of magnitude (ROM) estimate for a representative annual cost to provide a cloud environment for EDCAPS.

RFI Submission Requirements
Proprietary information is not being solicited; however, if proprietary information is included in your response, it should be appropriately labeled. Please limit your formal response to twelve (12) pages, including cover letter, double-spaced, double-sided and in 12-point font. Electronic submissions are strongly encouraged. All items must be in Microsoft Office 2000 or Adobe pdf format and must be free of all computer viruses.

Technical questions and industry responses shall be submitted via e-mail to: Stephen Scheffer at Technical questions must be received no later than 4:00 p.m. eastern standard time on November 30, 2011. RFI responses must be received no later than 4:00 p.m. eastern standard time on December 12, 2011. All material submitted in response to this RFI must be unclassified and properly marked.

550 12th Street, SW, 7th Floor
Washington, District of Columbia 20202
Stephen Scheffer,
Contract Specialist
Gary L. Weaver,
Contracting Officer
Phone: (202)245-6138