Unison Drives Insight from Acquisition Data
Unison helps agencies get the most value from their acquisition and grant data. No one understands acquisition and grant data better than Unison. Our consultants help you enhance and cleanse the data from your internal systems and government-wide systems (e.g., FPDS-NG), to uncover opportunities to reduce PALT, improve mission support, and reduce government expenses. In addition to unlocking the insights from your data, we work with your team to re-engineer business processes to maximize the usefulness of the data you capture in the future.
Our Data Science Practice
Modern acquisition systems capture the day-to-day activity of agencies’ procurement, acquisition, and grants workforce. That data can be distilled to help managers and buyers make better decisions more quickly using our Insight Platform and Data Scientists.
|Track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) within and across Acquisition organizations||
|Perform predictive analysis of acquisition and grant workflow||
Unison’s Insight Platform Feeds Machine Learning (ML)/Artificial Intelligence (AI) Initiatives
AI and ML critically depend on sources of accurate data. Unison Acquisition and Financial Assistance data, melded with data from other agency systems (e.g., finance, assets) and government-wide systems, can feed agency data repositories that collect data from many sources for ML/AI initiatives (see Application Integration).
Operations & Maintenance
Operations and Maintenance that Deliver SURE Success
Unison offers a comprehensive suite of Operations and Maintenance (O&M) services. We combine the strongest technologies with people who have deep knowledge of the federal procurement and grants functions to provide services that are impactful to the acquisitions community, ensure unparalleled system performance, and evolve a program of consistent improvement. O&M services include: the implementation of regulatory updates, security patching and continuous monitoring, supplying new Unison software functions, features, and technologies, all levels of service desk support, database administration, cloud hosting, project management, integration management, and advanced acquisition systems consulting services.
Our SURE O&M Methodology
At the core of our SURE O&M methodology is compliance—both compliance with acquisition regulation (e.g., the FAR, Federal and Agency forms, and data integration with SAM) followed by compliance with security, IT and accessibility standards. Our SURE methodology features workstreams addressing all four of the key O&M components of System Maintenance, User Care, Reporting and Environment Management. Within each workstream we list standard performance measures, track processes, and provide the tools necessary to support the operational tasks noted below.
System Maintenance is the technical component of maintaining a federally compliant, user-friendly application. Support and metrics encompass Unison Change Control Board support, Unison software upgrades, new releases, configuration management, and template management, among other tasks, to eliminate the burden on clients managing an IT infrastructure. Our cloud solution provides a secure, reliable, and predictable environment for Unison, which is engineered, hosted, and operated by a team of subject matter experts.
User Care tasks lead to a happy and more effective end-user experience. This includes Service Desk staff at various levels and User Engagement Consultants. These teams and individuals work hand-in-hand with the agency to provide incident metrics gathering, user tools and job aides (e.g. how-to guides), user outreach, communication and training. Our consultants are well-versed in client business processes and coordinate with Unison stakeholders to review existing bottlenecks or future hurdles and provide customized Unison software solutions.
Reporting is designed to support the ongoing reporting needs of an organization, including executive and congressional reporting, day-to-day management, user workload reporting, and regulation compliance reporting (e.g. FPDS-NG). Reporting Service consultants help clients understand the value of their Unison data by providing custom data extracts and tailored reports to improve data visibility and leverage such data to make informed business decisions. See our new Data Science offering.
Environment Management encapsulates all the tasks necessary to support the hardware, operating system, security, network and integration of a deployed Unison system. In addition, it encompasses managing multiple environments for testing, training, and other needs, as well as managing disaster planning and recovery of the system. Security Management includes patching, application and penetration scans and monitoring at the application, network and system layers. Onsite Technical and Integration Consultants assist agencies with overall upgrade processes, system maintenance, troubleshooting of technical issues, customer specific documentation for deployment efforts, and oversight of systems interfacing into and out of Unison, ensuring that agencies are best prepared for system and regulatory changes.
Seamless Application Integrations “Out-of-the-Box”
Successfully incorporating acquisition and grants systems into enterprise architecture requires proven and seamless application integration capabilities. Unison has a wide range of out-of-the-box integrations with federal financial systems, inventory management, asset management, data warehousing, and other business systems. True to our commitment to our user community, we create client-specific financial interfaces that use Unison’s existing COTS system capabilities to the maximum extent possible.
We Connect Core Business Systems
Unison is the choice for organizations expecting out-of-the-box interfaces with all SAM system components, while also providing the application flexibility needed to integrate with other core business systems. Over the past decade, Unison has developed and implemented interfaces between our Unison software and the leading financial packages (Oracle’s E-Business Suite, SAP’s R/3, CGI’s Momentum, PeopleSoft, etc.). These interfaces are in production operations at all major cabinet departments, as well as independent agencies within the federal government.
Unison Makes Integration Easy
The benefit to any federal organization is that Unison fully understands the detailed transaction sets that make up integration between acquisition and financial systems. Unison’s multi-tier architecture supports many types of data exchange from legacy flat files to Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), and our existing Web Service Descriptive Language (WSDL) library and Application Program Interfaces (APIs) make integration a business process discussion rather than a complex technical issue.
Our Five Steps to Integration Success
Unison relies on AIM, a proven implementation methodology that combines aspects of business process reengineering and the software development lifecycle. Our key to successful integration with other systems is to include the right stakeholders from the acquisition, financial, and program office communities early in the business process reengineering discussions and the gap analysis process.
The Unison five-step implementation process involves defining a Strategy to fulfill financial interface requirements and developing a Technical Solution Design for the entire interface. A Detailed Design and Development plan highlights any necessary COTS modifications, as well as the middleware agency-specific code requirements, followed by a comprehensive Testing Cycle, which includes end-to-end unit testing, system testing, and user acceptance testing. Our Deployment Plan includes a phase to monitor systems closely, which ensures interface success.
Unison has a long history of successful government implementations and our software’s flexibility makes application integration seamless.
On-Target System Implementations
Acquisition, contracting, and grants organizations all strive to improve business efficiency and transparency and understand the importance of implementing systems and processes. Due to the rapidly changing acquisition and financial assistance environments, organizations must implement systems that best support end-user requirements, meet critical mission objectives and provide the organization with the fastest path to obtaining a clean financial audit.
A Proven Process, Defined Strategy, and Essential Steps
Unison’s professional services team has developed a proven deployment process that defines the strategy and essential steps for implementing our acquisition and financial assistance solutions, incorporates existing and related third-party systems, and defines the change management strategy that will be used to prepare for organizational readiness and acceptance.
Our AIM is On-Target Implementations
By using the Application Implementation Methodology (AIM), our professional services teams keep implementation projects on-schedule and within budget. The AIM methodology is our essential “tried and tested” blueprint for successful implementationsand, with more than 80 major deployments under our belts, the process is proven, duplicable, and successful. AIM incorporates project delivery processes, tools, and best practices from dozens ofimplementations, including a structured approach to project quality assurance, milestone management, and the security Certification and Accreditation (C&A) processes critical to bringing new systems into production operation.
Professional Services that Provide High Value
When implementing Unison systems, organizations will gain a proven partner in a “one-stop-shop” that avoids the risks typically associated with complex teams of multiple service providers and a third-party’s software. Unison’s professional services team provides the lowest risk path to achieve project success. Additionally, Unison is committed to helping small business, and we augment our services capabilities with the skills and experience of small business partners. Learn more about our small business program. By combining the strongest technology with people who are deeply committed to federal acquisition and grant administration, your organization can remain confident that your implementation is always on target.
Federal acquisition and financial assistance professionals are consistently being challenged to do more with less. Reduced budgets and staffing and an increased focus on transparency and accountability demand that you increase efficiency and productivity wherever and however you can. With Unison as your strategic partner for Hosting Services, the burden of securely managing an IT infrastructure is eliminated resulting in more time to focus on your mission. Plus, you’ll achieve predictable operating expenses and reduce your total cost of ownership (TCO).
All the Power of Unison with None of the IT Headaches
All Unison Acquisition and Financial Assistance modules are available as part of our Hosting Services program. You have the same comprehensive federal acquisition and grants management capability available in a traditional implementation — We’ve just eliminated the headache and expense of implementing and managing the IT infrastructure to support it.
Our Hosting Offerings Include:
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
- Hybrid cloud hosting
- Private cloud hosting
In a Unison-hosted environment, you have greater control over how and when upgrades are rolled out. You are no longer in line behind a myriad of other back office and agency infrastructure IT solutions. In Unison SaaS, you are always running the latest version and our 99.9% uptime guarantee and 24/7 infrastructure support mean you can rely on a steady stream of computing power.
Experience Delivering Secure Environments
Unison SaaS is already fully FedRAMP Compliant at a Moderate level, so you can concentrate on procurement, not security. Unison has a clear understanding of FISMA requirements and NIST mandates and guidance. Our applications have achieved Authorization To Operate (ATO) in Civilian and DoD environments.
Reliability You Can Count On
Unison SaaS is hosted in two geographically separate Amazon Web Services (AWS) Regions, for maximum reliability. All data is replicated between sites in real-time, so there is little data loss in case of single-site issues. AWS is FISMA; ISO-9001, -27001, -27017 and -27018; SOC-1, -2 and -3 compliant. Unison Cloud (private and hybrid) is hosted in two secure, SSAE-16 Type II audited datacenter facilities that were chosen for their high level of physical security, redundant power, cooling, and internet service. They are strategically located for optimal disaster recovery operations.
Scalability to Meet Your Procurement Cycles
Unison SaaS allows you to quickly increase capacity without the headache of buying additional hardware and software and without the long lead time for provision*. Rapidly add more users for an end of year push and scale back when the capacity is no longer needed.
*contract modification may be required
Our Standard* Private Hosted Services and Architecture Package
- Dedicated hardware in one data center for enhanced security and control
- Dedicated rack, power, and internet connection
- Certified Network and Systems Engineers to maintain the IT infrastructure
- Certified Systems Administrators to maintain the Unison web servers
- Certified Oracle DBAs to maintain the Unison database servers
- A Certified Information Assurance Officer to oversee system security and maintain FedRAMP and FISMA/NIST compliance
* Standard environments include Production, and optional Development, Test/QA and Disaster Recovery environments.
Unison Hosting Services are Fully Interoperable
Unison Hosting Services are built upon an SOA compliant architecture and can integrate via web services with other systems within your organization’s IT infrastructure. If you are hosting solutions in other cloud environments, Unison Hosting Services can connect. Additionally, since it is a Unison solution, it comes fully integrated with the GSA’s System for Award Management (SAM), as well as Unison’ s FedConnect® product.
The Unison Advantage
Unison Hosting Services are backed by more than 30 years of experience in the federal space. We know how to fine tune Unison to maximize your team’s productivity. We follow ITIL industry best practices. Additionally, our engineers hold both industry IT certifications and Unison certifications, eliminating the need for fragmented support teams.
No one can support Unison better than the team that built it.
Hosting Services Key Benefits
- Unison keeps up-to-date with federal regulations and FAR updates
- Out-of-the-box federal integrations, including FPDS, federal systems (SAM) and FedConnect
- Achieve predictable operating expenses, reduce TCO, and increase ROI
- Hosted in recognizably secure data centers with fully redundant systems offering SLAs of 99.9% availability
- Unison meets federal standards for an authorization to operate as set out by: the NIST Risk Management Framework
- Unison SaaS is FedRAMP Moderate Authorized
- Unison Hosting Services offers fully scalable solutions that dynamically adapt to meet your organizational needs
- SOA-compliant architecture fully supports web service integration with internal systems and other cloud hosted applications
- Section 508 compliant