If you work in the Government acquisition world, this podcast is for you. (not just for Contracting Officers!)

Kevin talks Other Transactions and consortia with Mica Dolan, Chief Operating Officer at Advanced Technology International (ATI). Learn why other transactions (OT)have become a more common acquisition strategy and how an OT consortium may be the manager of the acquisition process. (and the key to winning government business)

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Kevin Jans and Paul Schauer created the Contracting Officer Podcast to help government and industry acquisition professionals understand more about how the other side thinks. As former government Contracting Officers who have also worked on the industry side, Kevin and Paul share their perspectives in support of the podcast’s mission: Make government contracts better, one contract at a time.


Transcript Below

Paul Schauer 0:07
Welcome to the contracting officer podcast. It’s not just for contracting officers. If you’re anywhere in the government acquisition world, this podcast is for you. Today, Kevin is talking other transactions and consortiums with special guest Mica Dolan. This episode is brought to you by Skyway acquisition, visit Skywayacq.com to learn more. Alright, let’s get started with Kevin and Mica.

Kevin Jans 0:34
Hey there, welcome Mica Dolan to the contracting officer podcast. So Paul, and I covered other transactions, OTs in a podcast episode while ago and met you through LinkedIn and realize you live in OT land, much more than we do. Right? You work at ATI, and ATI leads the majority of the consortia OTs, which we’re going to talk about difference between OTS that are done outside of inside Consortium. So there’s a lot of space to talk through and how OTS work. So I want to kind of give you the floor how’d you end up in this little niche.

Mica Dolan 1:10
Thanks, Kevin. So ATI, we’re a collaboration management firm. We’ve been in existence for over 20 years. And what we believe is that if you get a group of innovators together, and you add and flexible acquisition mechanism that you can really solve problems. And you can solve problems quickly. Right now, as you’ve mentioned, OTAs are kind of in vogue, right, and there are a lot of them. And so that is one of those flexible acquisition methods that we have. But this is what we’ve been doing for over 20 years. And so we have collaborations that are also actually Firebase cooperative agreements, we’ve done grants. And so it’s a variety of different things. But OTS right now, I do believe give a lot of flexibility to accomplish that. And so I’m excited that we get to talk about that today. Myself, I’ve been at ATI for about 18 years. I started as a subcontracts administrator, work in Firebase program. So doing a lot of work with subcontractors, and then with the government. And we have been working with OTAs since 1998. So we had a research OTA, and then ultimately, a lot in the prototyping, starting in about 2008. And then continuing on until today.

Kevin Jans 2:26
We talked in the in the previous episode about what is an OT in terms of they seem to be kind of new. Like they’re, they’re becoming more popular, right, for lots of different reasons that we’ve talked about. But what’s cool is that you’ve been doing these ATI has been doing these for a while, then it’s not knew to you guys. not knew to ATI.

Mica Dolan 2:44
It is not new, and not new, although I will say everyone is new in that every single one is different. You’ve seen one, you’ve seen one, whether that’s within the Army or within the Navy, it doesn’t matter. But But no, they they’ve been around, even the consortium based ones have been around since 98. They have evolved. We’ll talk a little bit maybe they’ve evolved in some ways. They’re a great tool. And we’ve seen great success. I mean, I think if we want to talk about what’s been highlighted most recently, Operation warp speed used OTAs and use consortia based OTAs to get vaccines out. I mean, so that’s been a big highlight in the last couple of years. Obviously.

Kevin Jans 3:22
I love your point of if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen one. It the reason I laughed at that is that as a contracting officer, that that sounds like a lot of contracts that I’ve done, they’re based on something and yes, every contract is unique. That is, but it’s not 100% unique, the most complex, unique contracts I’ve done, I can’t imagine that more than 40% of what I do like the H clauses, the specialized clauses were a portion of them, right. But you raise a really good point. And I like how you’re, you’re getting my brain thinking about seeing this differently. It is a totally unique document, in some cases. Right. So So let’s back up for a second, what’s driving the preponderance of OTAs? Do you think?

Mica Dolan 4:02
Well, I think the drive actually you can go back to the very history of where they are started. Right? They all started with Sputnik. And it started with Cold War and how do we get, you know, how do we get to the moon and ultimately is where some of the Space Act right? And I think what you’re looking at today is a lot of those same things like how are we going to be ahead of our adversaries? How are we going to get to technology, where, you know, 2030 years ago, might have been in government labs, maybe you know, 15 years ago, 10 years ago was ended companies and now we’re seeing a lot of that is in small commercial companies. And so how you do that, you can do it the same way that we did it 3040 years ago, and there is a need to have to act more commercial light. And the OTS are what go there and I think it really all fundamentally comes back to getting technology in the hands of the then customer Whether that is a warfighter for DOD, or, you know, in the arms of the population for HHS, so I think that’s really what’s driving this. And the success that the government has found with being able to do that via prototyping and ultimately, production is why we’ve seen an increase in that. I mean, I think they had some successful part. And what do people say when they see something that they say I want one, right. And so I think that’s why you’ve seen a proliferation of that, across the government. And from an industry perspective, same thing, look at what these companies are able to do look at this kind of capital, even that they’re able to access from a non traditional non dilutive capital budgeting in the government to fund r&d. I think that’s really what’s driving on both ends, an increase in use of OTS.

Kevin Jans 5:53
And I’ve heard that it speeds up the the access to the technology, quickly from the small companies that otherwise would be lost in the fold, maybe?

Mica Dolan 6:02
I think so. And it’s, you know, a lot of people say, Oh, it’s because it’s an OTA and it’s far, you can just cut out a bunch of stuff. And that’s what makes it faster. I think that could be a component that that makes it faster. But part of it is the collaboration aspect. And I’m sure we’ll talk a little bit more of that about getting better refined requirements. And then also, if with consortia based OTAs, having a market that’s there. And so you have people who are dedicated and looking at an area that’s already there. And so you’re not necessarily having to go find everybody or miss people. So miss the key technology provider, because there they weren’t looking at Sam to go find it. So I think a lot of the faster isn’t it? Not necessarily, we cut out clauses, but kind of all the processes that the OTS allow,

Kevin Jans 6:47
Then you want to pull the string there, you talked about the collaboration inside the consortium. So we understand like, why the OTS makes sense now. So walk me through the consortium OTs, like when you say, collaboration, like how does that work? Sure.

Mica Dolan 7:01
So OTS are great, and there’s plenty of organizations that go find innovators, to use OTAs, to go do that the DARPA has come to, you know, DARPA is in di us come to mind. And that, you know, they’re typically focused on a specific project a specific need that they want to go and do. Really, when we look at Consortio cheese, where we see that there’s a value in that is when you have a portfolio of r&d initiatives that you want to take place. So it’s not just I want to get, you know, this piece accomplished, I want to get, you know, a certain AI robotic something in some way where we’re talking about looking at how am I going to make Armands better, how am I going to do on you know, under C, sustain maritime sustainment, so something that’s more broadly based. And that’s really why where you see the consortia based OTAs, you see them in the labs. So you see them in the dev coms of the world, for the Army for, you know, ground vehicles, for the armament for aviation and missiles. That’s why you see them across the warfare centers, because those are where those, you know, portfolio of r&d there, I always will tell government customers, if you have a single specific thing you’re trying to accomplish, then you don’t necessarily need a consortium to go do that. And that’s why you’ll see, you know, go through diu, go through different vehicles do a standalone, those are totally acceptable. But when you’re looking at, you know, long term planning, or multiple projects, especially, you know, maybe smaller, you know, smaller projects that are supporting something, that’s really where the consortium is. And why the consortia because it’s an ecosystem. There’s people there.

Kevin Jans 8:46
So using your like the undersea example, you’ve got a bunch of a group of smaller companies that do different things in that space, and you consortium allows the government to access all of them.

Mica Dolan 9:00
Exactly, exactly. And to be able to do, you know, projects that range from a couple of 100,000 to several million, right. And so this isn’t about just, this isn’t just a tool for, you know, major acquisition, that’s not what that’s about. This is about doing prototyping, doing multi phase. And that’s really where you’re able to do that. So we’re able to see, and I remember seeing through my, you know, history of doing that, especially when you start up the consortia, you’ll see a lead organization, and they’ll have some, you know, non traditional partners with it. And then sometimes you’ll end up seeing those non traditional partners then become primes next projects, right. And so it’s interesting because it’s feeding into that ecosystem where they’re getting involved. And I think there’s a little bit of flack that the OTAs get that oh, just for the major primes, but our experiences that we’ve 60% Over 6% of our awards to go directly to those non traditionals. And so you’re breeding in innovative, non traditionals into, into the government.

Kevin Jans 10:11
This is fun to think through, because I’m understanding the consortium allows for an organic process of development among a bunch of smaller companies. Whereas to your point, like business as usual at work 30 years ago, and maybe I’m dating myself, but like when the development of the F 35 was pretty, it was a great outcome, the thing works, right. But it was very linear. It was a major acquisition system that eventually had, you know, a couple of companies, all large companies, everybody recognized, it’s a different model. Whereas what in order to be able to Neve move at the speed that’s needed, and also just be able to access all those independent small companies, because they’re there. They’re interdependent by being in the consortium, but they’re still independent companies. They’re not owned by sombody else.

Mica Dolan 10:54
Absolutely, they’re not owned, they’re all those wards are all competed to. And so there’s still the competition aspect. I actually, there was an article I think, that came out about a year ago that said, at some level, competition within the consortia, you could argue is actually more competitive, in that it is people who are focused and who are able to respond to your requirement as opposed to just posting out publicly for anyone to look at like there’s actually maybe more robust competition, which I thought was a really interesting way to think about that from that perspective. But they’re there. And they’re able to team and they’re able, and we put the typically a consortium manager finds opportunities brings different organizations. And so they have at teaming, and then the statute itself does a non traditional favors because it says if you’re not a non traditional, that you need to have a non traditional participating to significant extent, or 1/3 cost share. And our experience has been, it’s non traditional as well, the way that the even the large, the large guys are finding non traditional ways to participate is significant extent.

Kevin Jans 11:59
So it’s interesting that there’s almost a level of targeting here, where if if you haven’t, as a Content Officer, I’m buying something right, and I need that capability. I want to narrowed this the scope of people who could bid down to as small as I can, that but still reasonably be able to get the solution. This goes to a different layer, because now you’re accessing companies that they’re not your, again, non traditional, they’re not the companies that are watching sam.gov, for the next opportunity. But this is what they do. This is exactly what they do. It’s very interesting. I never thought of using OTS as a targeting strategy or consortia as a targeting strategy. But that’s exactly what it is. Let’s let’s pick on too far for a minute. So the story goes that far acquisition is take too long. And I could argue that there are plenty of scenarios where they don’t when you use the form incorrectly, they take too long. But it could be that because you’re you’re bloating, the acquisition process. You’re you’re doing what used to work, right. So the story is that OTS are faster. And so what’s your what’s your thoughts on? Like? Is it guaranteed? Is it how’s that work?

Mica Dolan 13:03
So OTS can be faster, but by themselves the actual contractual agreement because it is a contract at the end of the day, little c aren’t magic. And by themselves, we’re not like that’s not it, what we find has been success successful. And where you can actually get things done quicker are a couple of ways. One is for prototyping. So just in and of itself, the fact that it’s prototyping, can you do prototyping, you can do it done quickly. You can have enough time to fail, if not, you know, fail and fail fast and go and go back and redo. So I think that’s that’s part of it is the fact that it’s geared towards that allows for that. Ultimately, though, for us, it’s really with the consortium about collaboration. And what I mean by that. I think we’ve all read solicitations that have requirement documents that are 20 3040, hundreds of pages long, and we all scratch our head and are like what the heck do they want. And on the government side, they get the proposal in and they go after reading the 68 pages or 20, whatever is required in there. They rub their heads and say what the hacker they’re giving us like there’s a disconnect of okay, this is what I put forth in the solicitation, the person reading and interpreting and then figuring out how to bid and put that back. Right. So what OTAs and consortia OTA specifically allow is some of some collaboration on requirements. So we have groups different and the government, each customer does this a little differently, where they will come in and say, hey, here are the requirements that we are providing, or we’re looking for here’s what here’s what my need is. And they can do that in short paragraphs. They can do it in big long documents, or they can do it in short paragraphs, and then we host Industry Days and they’re not your typical Industry Day that have the charts that come up and you write your FA Q’s down on little sheets of paper that get vetted and read it’s not that kind Whatever industry day, it’s you know, and we try not to actually call them Industry Days a good one, but collaboration events where they are having a dialogue, so goes up there, there’s questions and answers that are getting asked live. And not only that, but we’ll also set aside one on one times for government to meet with industry, and not just your normal large defense contractor industries, but with the non traditionals are able to have small, you know, short conversations to talk about those requirements, they’re also then able to have conversations with their industry partners, so with large primes with other non traditionals, and be able to have those same sorts of collaboration engagements, and then we’ll see, sometimes another set of draft a draft set of requirements after that, or perhaps even the final and the document comes out. So there’s a lot of there’s communication is able to happen. I know I’m rambling on a little bit, but ultimately, what that means is that we’re able to come up with a requirement. We’re industries like, Hey, this is what the state of the art is their governance able to understand that and they can better refine and hopefully come up with a better requirement for the organizations to bid on.

Kevin Jans 16:10
So it’s a it’s a communication forcing mechanism. It is that the far well, the far tries, very different recommends, communicational recommends,

Mica Dolan 16:24
I think I read an NCMA article several years ago that says you can do all this for part one gives you all the latitude in the world to go do it. And that, you know, there’s so much latitude that you’re able to have within the FAR and that’s 100%. True, it is there. It just doesn’t get utilized. And it’s it’s difficult to do that. And I think that’s what the consortia and the OTAs provide is because it doesn’t necessarily have to come with all the baggage, right? So it’s very, you know, it’s, it can be a blank sheet of paper where you’re able to figure that out. The other part where I think it could make it faster. And kind of going with that blank sheet of paper, figuring out is what we’ve seen most successful is when there’s an integrated team associated with the consortia, and the OTA, and an integrated team has your government customer at its heart. So the person who’s there who’s finding the requirements, if it’s DoD is there speaking for the warfighter, you have your consortia, and your consortium manager, and your acquisition. So everyone is there at the table determining, hey, this is what all of us need. This is what it takes. And this is what the end is in mind. It’s not necessarily about what, what I want, or what I’m used to. And the best ones, we all challenge each other as to Hey, can I do it this way? What’s preventing me from doing this way? If I can cut out time here? Can I do that if I can have this discussion here. And that’s really where we see it is not just this collaboration at the project level or at the department level, but the collaboration at the enterprise level to make the whole thing work faster, better.

Kevin Jans 18:07
So enterprise level being at the at the source of the overall problem like undersea technology make make the make the Navy SEALs submarine, the dry submersible work better? Poof, that’s the solution we’re looking for. And within that, you’ve got all kinds of people with different skill sets. And this, I like this, this communication as a forcing mechanism, that going back to your fire reference. Yeah, far, far one says you can do lots of things as long as you use business judgment. The problem with that is that I then have to defend my business judgment. And that’s easy to do in theory. And so you get everybody poking holes in you’re like, Well, you’ve never done it this way before. And all of a sudden, the contracting officer is standing there, you know, taking shots over why aren’t you doing it the way we’ve always done it. Whereas the consortium kind of turns that on its head and said, by definition, we’re not doing the way we’ve done it. We’ve had this disability to use OTS for years. But this allows for collaboration again, and then put it in timezone speak. In the market research zone. It’s forcing the communication, before there’s any kind of RFP before there’s a something that goes out to the world. And it’s a binary answer from from industry. And so that’s fundamentally different than of course, the challenge with that is that as a contracting officer, if I have to sign those, it’s actually an agreements officer, which is a whole nother rabbit trail. I’ll go down, but as the contracting officer, I’m not trained on how to manage a blank sheet of paper.

Mica Dolan 19:34
Absolutely. And that’s where we, we see that that’s where the far creep happens. I like that. Yes, the far creep happens, it ends for that and I’ll go back to I you know, I’m a contracting professional. That’s what I what I’ve been doing for the past many years, but we can’t have the contracting officer be at the center. Have it and be the one ultimately making making decisions for him or his or her file. But we can’t live the contract. And we can’t say that and leave the contracting officer out there. That’s the warranted person. And so what that what that individual needs typically in these arrangements is support from senior levels in their organization. Because I, I don’t envy he or she who feels like they’re having to defend or do that. And we can see that with the far creep and some of the OTAs. Now, with policies being brought on other things happening, additional requirements being levied. And at the end of the day, a lot of it comes out of well, because there’s an audit coming, or well, there’s this, what’s your taxpayer dollars, we absolutely have to be doing all the right things. But we’re not always looking to find the real reasons why. And I think that’s something that I would, I would challenge everyone to always question why are we really doing? Is it absolutely necessary?

Kevin Jans 21:05
Yeah, far creek for creep. And OTS is another rabbit trail, they just decided. It’s such a complex concept. But it comes back to the basic element of as a contracting officer. I’ve got lots of training and experience living in the far. And I personally have been negotiating commercial contracts with customers for years, because I’m running running a small company. And they feel really tiny by comparison, and they don’t cover every scenario. And most business relationships don’t have a contingent for every scenario, and particularly for a small company, because you’re trying to move. But the government has to operate that way.

Mica Dolan 21:41
So yeah, and as a taxpayer, you want the government to right, and so it is about failing, what that that what that balance is across those. And that’s what the beauty of no TAs, it shouldn’t be a one size fits all. So if someone’s doing $100 million, do D. O T? Yeah. Should it feel different than the $100,000? One? Yes, yes, it should. And so that’s where I think you OTS are also can be helpful is that that can be things can be adjusted accordingly. And I just think that that’s what we need to challenge to is what’s right for that scenario, that requirement?

Kevin Jans 22:17
Yeah, this goes back to Paul and I talked about this being a thinking job, this is a great example, is good. We’re picking through all the things that as a contracting officer, or as a as a would be agreements officer, I’m concerned about getting my My judgment is being called and it’s called into question, because you’re doing this through an OT, I love your point about there’s $100,000 ot strategy, and there’s a million dollar and there’s $100 million OT and they’re probably gonna have four clauses in them. He but enough dollars on there, because there is a balance of this. But it goes back to thinking job, right? So from a government perspective, as a contracting officer, or as a government, user, government, customer, these allow for a lot of mission focus, because like you said, that ecosystem, you’re able to get into that ecosystem through through Consortium. Now I clearly understand why consortium wouldn’t be effective, because you’re not solving this tiny problem, that I can put out an RFP and say, yes, they answered it or not. It’s more, we have this big problem, or a better way of saying, we have a series of opportunities to make this better. Absolutely. Yes. Help me figure that out. Right. So so the deployment of all those solutions at once and there’s different opinions and there’s different and then to your point, you try it, you spent 100 grand didn’t work, try something else, versus you awarded a $5 million contract, it didn’t work. And now you’re like, Okay, we got to modify, we got to negotiate, you’ll get back in, you end up hanging on to a, which I never thought of it this way. But this is going to sound snarky, but you’re hanging on to a losing strategy. Like awarding one could argue as a taxpayer, you could argue that you award a $5 million r&d contract and a million dollars and you realize it’s not going to work. If it’s a far based contract, there’s a whole process to shut that contract down. Exactly. Whereas with a consortium, you expected that it was 5050. It was gonna work or not.

Mica Dolan 24:03
Right. Yeah. I mean, you’re you’re doing prototyping, you’re phasing. There’s many times that we see where there’s multiple awards. And so multiple awards and things get shut down after phase two, you know, there’s things that it’s prototyping, so their shoot offs, you know, if if it’s armaments related, maybe and so yeah, they’re able to neck down and continue on.

Kevin Jans 24:23
That’s a lot more effective way to do r&d. And to your point, I again, I’ve never worked for a commercial r&d company, but I suspect this this is what a scrum looks like. Far isn’t built around scrums far is built around. We know it’s going to work. It has to work. Therefore, we’re going to invest in this big strategy. Whereas these consortiums are built for like you said, use a shoot off and go it didn’t work. Let’s try something else. And you’ve already got an organic plan to meet that so that from a government side, I see the value of them now and again. That’s why I want to talk to you is to be able to kind of walk through what are the ways this creates a unique collaboration environment that So the way to think of this, and when you think in terms of how small companies can collaborate in the same environment under the same contract portfolio, to, to give the government access, I’m picking on DoD because it’s my background to better things for the warfighter more quickly. That’s all when, and the fact that we had to use some parts of the far we had to think through how to use or not use parts of the far, it’s still gonna be faster, it’s still gonna cost us less at the end. So, okay, so let’s jump to the industry side. So why are these so great for for industry? The OTS.

Mica Dolan 25:35
So I think, OTs they’re gonna look more like what they’re used to doing. So I think there, there’s that aspect of it. I was, it was a while ago, talking to a VC firm. And the statement really stuck with me, they said, you know, we’ve seen where organizations get government funding, and that actually can decrease their value in the minds of investors sometimes, and I’m like, Well, that’s an IT, why would you do that you’re getting more capital. And the comment was, is because they don’t want to become DoD contractors becoming a DOD contractor, government contractor can actually lead to more expenses, as they have to get approved systems and whatnot. And so therefore, margins go down, I was like, you know, that makes a lot of sense that that would be how that would work, you know, depending on what that investment is. And so, what OTAs, because they’re not, you know, bar based, so you generally accepted accounting principles, there is that aspect where you’re not all in. And that’s a good thing, we shouldn’t want non traditionals to be all in on that, if that’s not what they’re, you know, not what their whole business necessarily is. And so I think OTAs get that flexibility of the commercial aspects of it, that can be really intriguing to a non traditional, the consortium itself, it’s a marketplace for it, right? And so instead of having to look on Sam, or, you know, end up at the right event, necessarily, or whatnot, they’re able to join a consortia have dedicated around a technology space that they’re interested in. Now, there’s also those organizations, you know, pick on cyber, right, cyber is across everything, right. And so they may join multiple consortia offer, that joining in consortium is usually a very small dollar amount, do three or four, it’s probably smaller than going to a large tradeshow somewhere, they’re able to have access to this cooperation meetings and be able to talk not only to government program managers, but we have found what they find equally important is talking to those large OEMs. And so sometimes they feel like, Hey, I could probably, I may be able to get to this program manager and the government, but I would have never been able to get to Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman. And we’re able to do the b2b aspects of it to which I think is really unique to the consortia.

Kevin Jans 28:04
And the beauty of these these connections. They’re targeted. They’re not just meeting somebody at Lockheed, they’re meeting somebody who specializes and I keep picking on let’s move to cyber, they’re big into somebody who specializes their small company that’s got some innovations and how to how to do cyber, and they’re already doing it for either, they’re already either already doing it for a commercial customer, or they’re already doing it, because it’s a I mean, cyber deals, everybody does a cyber issue. It’s not just a government problem, right. And so that is a really easy place to look for innovation that’s happening in the commercial sector. And to pull back on one of your other points about, we had a we have a couple of companies that we work with that have their opportunity to move into the government space was driven by some technology they had, and it’s their commercial company. And so we call them like it’s it’s a large company with a small government footprint. And you know, they’re not all defense, it’s a matter of figuring out like, the government wants this. But to your point, they have to stand up a whole federal team, because all of a sudden, they’ve got what’s I literally had this conversation, what’s the far they had that like, awkward moment of like, okay, we, we got asked to be involved in this, we realized that this is a good customer for us. How much change are we talking about? And going back to your VC comment, that fear of like, how much change are we talking about? Like, how much do we have to invest in this, to be able to compete and of course, if you get into like really high end cyber stuff are really high in military things, unique clearances, I mean, it’s a different animal. It’s a different animal in this and for them to be afraid to even enter it is not good for us. From a country perspective. It’s not good for the for the taxpayers, but put the CEO hat on as contracting officer. We want the best companies playing in here. They want to the best, how do we give them the access to the best company? How do we get the customer the access to the best companies? Well, this is another way to do that.

Mica Dolan 29:57
It is and with a consorta for industry, there’s a help mechanism in that. So your consortium management firm is there to help you through that, and being able to provide kind of I like to say the translation services sometimes, to your point, you know, can I also, you know, speak government ease or DOD ease back to them and contractors, ie sometimes back to the, to the contracting or agreement officer. And so I think that’s the other part of it is there is help that is there to get them through that process and navigate it, you know, how do you we still got to submit some sort of cost or price proposal, right? Yep. non traditional is like the way I would like to just get a price, I can’t just do a letterhead with $1 sign. Now, that’s not gonna work. And so that’s part of what a consortium that, you know, the consortium manager specifically is able to provide, it’d be like, Well, no, here are the type of things that I think you could provide, or how that would work in order in order to meet the requirements that the government has. So that’s, that’s the other aspect of it, too, isn’t is not so it’s available a marketplace. And then also the underpinnings to help them be able to to meet the government and take, you know, take funding from the government.

Kevin Jans 31:17
Wow, that’s really helpful to see the layers that the consortium bring, and what I’m, why they’re so popular and why they’re coming up and popularity and usage. And, frankly, you know, how we cross paths, because now people are becoming more aware of this, right? And so we have, we don’t really have two different pads so far versus non far. We have, it’s another acquisition strategy. And when, like, with a lot of things, when people have context on the acquisition strategy, they’re not as afraid of it. Because I don’t know 10 years ago, when I was going to the officer and somebody asked me to take can you wear this through an OET? And I Googled it. And I’m like, what? You’re asking me take all kinds of risks, what’s a good story? And so to be able to walk people through this has been really helpful. So how do folks get a hold of you? Like, what’s, what’s the best way for them to? Like if they want to get into one of the consortium?

Mica Dolan 32:07
Absolutely. So they can find me at ati.org is our company and you can see the different collaborations that we manage. There. Welcome to LinkedIn, me directly, Micah Dolan, my email is mica.dolan@ati.org. I’ll also offer and I think you’ll, you’ll be able to provide this later through LinkedIn. mitre has a great site that talks about OTAs talks about the difference between OTA and consortia OTAs. And they have all sorts of existing consortia, the ATI ones and the other ones that are managed elsewhere. And that’s a great place for both industry and government to at least get some initial information.

Kevin Jans 32:47
Yeah, that’s a great point. Well, we’ll put the link to that in the in the LinkedIn post. So folks can see that ATI is one of the consortiums, and there’s there’s a lot of opportunity. But again, having a million options is great. Oh, we have million options. It’s really hard to pick one, right? And so the fact that MITRE is able to kind of coalesce a lot of this and help to understand what’s the best way to navigate it. And by the way, it’s am I see a.dolan@ati.org Correct? Yes. All right. Cool. Well, this is fun. I appreciate you taking the time I learned a lot. And I’m just when I think I understand all the nuances of OTAs. I have a conversation with you. This is awesome. Thanks.

Mica Dolan 33:27
Thank you.

Paul Schauer 33:31
Okay, that’s it for another episode of the contracting officer podcast. We’ve organized our podcasts and playlists in broad topic areas on our site at Skywayacq.com/cop for contracting officer podcast. Thanks for joining us today, and we’ll see you next time.