Frequently Asked Questions


This section includes general frequently asked questions (FAQ). Other FAQ areas may be associated directly with the service or subject elsewhere on the website.

Policy


What is California's "Cloud First Policy"?

For California's Cloud First policy, refer to the published California Department of Technology (CDT) policy, Technology Letter (TL) 14-04. Also, see SAM 4983 and 4983.1.

The "Cloud First" policy directs state organizations to shift toward cloud computing solutions for all new reportable and non-reportable IT projects in accordance with SAM 4983 and 4983.1. Organizations shall build and evaluate for cloud solutions to meet their business needs, whenever feasible. Refer to CDT's guidance document Cloud Computing Reference Architecture (CCRA) for more information. Any project that utilizes cloud SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS solutions is an IT project and all relevant statewide IT policies contained in SAM apply to that project.

 

Services


CalCloud and Cloud Computing

In recent years, Cloud Computing has emerged as an important solution for cost effective and reliable delivery of IT services. Cloud Computing includes several categories of services. The three common cloud service models are Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

To help California agencies/departments understand and evaluate Cloud Computing services as a viable solution for business needs, the following can be a reference point.

State Organizations

  1. The enterprise cloud technologies or services offered through the California Department of Technology (CDT) do not meet my organization’s needs. What should I do?

Technology Suppliers

  1. My company offers cloud services or technologies that state agencies want to buy. How do I sell my offerings to state agencies?
  2. How can my company get its cloud offerings into CDT's Service Catalog as a vendor Hosted Subscription Service?
  3. How long does it take to create a Vendor Hosted Subscription Service?
  4. My company offers technologies that are not cloud technologies but departments or agencies still want to acquire them. Can I still market and sell my technologies to state agencies?
  5. Can a state department or technology provider get a “blanket exemption” from CDT's Cloud First Policy?
  6. How can my company get on the solicitation list when CDT goes out to bid on cloud procurements?
  7. My company’s corporate policies will not allow us to agree to the Cloud Computing Special Provisions for SaaS. Can I get an exemption from those?

State Organizations

1. The enterprise cloud technologies or services offered through the California Department of Technology (CDT) do not meet my organization’s needs. What should I do?

The CDT Service Catalog includes a number of cloud offerings including computing infrastructure, e-mail, service desk, customer relationship management and portfolio management technologies. Additionally, cloud technologies and services are a fast growing and quickly evolving segment of the Information Technology (IT) landscape. New technologies offering new capabilities are continuously being added to the marketplace. Accordingly, CDT's Service Catalog will be updated with new cloud offerings as dictated by the needs of our customers.

If your organization needs Software as a Service (SaaS) not currently offered through CDT, Leveraged Procurement Agreements (LPAs) available through the Department of General Services (DGS) may provide a solution. For more information, visit the DGS’ cloud computing website.

For SaaS purchases, organizations are reminded to comply with the standards described in the State Administrative Manual (SAM) section 4983.1 and use the Cloud Computing Special Provisions for SaaS developed by the Department of General Services.

If the CDT catalog or LPAs offering SaaS still do not meet your organization’s needs, let us work with you to explore options. Contact the Department of Technology through your Customer Delivery Division (CDD) representative and they will connect you with the appropriate procurement, architecture, and oversight resources to help meet your needs. Find your organization’s account lead at the CDD Look Up page.

 

Technology Suppliers

2. My company offers cloud services or technologies that state organizations want to buy. How do I sell my offerings to state organizations?

California’s Cloud First Policy directs state organizations to seek cloud-based technology solutions first when acquiring IT services and technologies. There are a number of ways organizations can acquire cloud technologies and associated services. These include the California Multiple Awards Schedule (CMAS) currently, and in the future may include other leveraged agreements (Master Services Agreement (MSA), Western States Contracting Alliance – National Association of State Purchasing Officials (WSCA/NASPO), & Statewide Contracts). If you are a cloud technology provider, make sure your offerings are available through the various procurement vehicles.

State organizations acquiring cloud services and technologies are to follow the Cloud First Policy and by seeking solution through Department of Technology offerings. The Department of General Services (DGS) administers the procurement programs that suppliers can offer and state organizations can acquire cloud services and technologies. Those programs include Master Services Agreements (MSA); California Multiple Award Schedules (CMAS); Western States Contracting Alliance – National Association of State Purchasing Officials (WSCA-NASPO) Cooperatives; Software Licensing Program (SLP) and the Statewide Contracts (SC) program. Cloud technology providers should view the DGS Procurement Division websites for information related to opportunities to participate in these contracting programs.

To learn more about selling your offerings to the State of California visit the DGS home page.

If multiple organizations are interested in acquiring your cloud technologies, consider working with Department of Technology to make your offerings available through CDT as a Vendor Hosted Subscription Service (VHSS). A VHSS is a CDT Service offering in which CDT holds the contract for a vendor cloud service but all hardware and software is supported by the vendor and resides at the vendor’s data center.

 

3. How can my company get its cloud offerings into CDT's Service Catalog as a Vendor Hosted Subscription Service (VHSS)?

If three or more CDT customers submit service requests to CDT requesting the specified service, and the service does not directly compete with an existing CDT service offering, CDT will work with the vendor and customers to assess the viability of the proposed VHSS offering. If viable, CDT will procure the service and establish rate(s).

 

4. How long does it take to create a Vendor Hosted Subscription Service (VHSS)?

First, state customers must contact the Department of Technology through their Customer Delivery Division (CDD) representative. CDD will then connect the customer with the appropriate procurement, architecture, oversight resources to help meet the customer’s needs. After the requirements, Statement of Work (SOW), and approvals have been identified and received, CDT's Office of Technology Services (OTech) will review the request and provide a recommendation for a procurement. The following are estimated time frames for solicitations:

  • Small Business/Disabled Veterans Business Enterprise (SB/DVBE): 14-20 days
  • Leveraged Procurement Agreement (LPA) (via Request For Offer): 14-20 days
  • Invitation For Bid (via only authorized resellers): 30-45 days
  • Invitation For Bid(via advertising): 45-60 days
  • Non-Competitive Bid (process and approval only): 45 days minimum
 

5. My company offers technologies that are not cloud technologies but state organizations still want to acquire them. Can I still market and sell my technologies to the state?

Yes, you can sell your technologies through the existing procurement channels and programs. Potential customer organizations must confer and coordinate with CDT when acquiring technologies that do not meet the requirements of CDT's Cloud First Policy. Existing customers can contact CDT through their Customer Delivery Division (CDD) representative and CDD will connect the customer to the appropriate procurement, architecture and oversight resources to help meet their needs. Customers can identify their assigned account lead using the CDD Account Look Up page.

 

6. Can a state organization or technology provider get a “blanket exemption” from CDT's Cloud First Policy?

Since technology changes rapidly in the market place and CDT will continuously refresh the technology services offered through CDT or through the various IT procurement programs, exceptions to the Cloud First Policy will be addressed on a case by case basis. Similarly, the Cloud First Policy will be updated and refreshed periodically. Accordingly, it is not anticipated that CDT will establish blanket exemptions to the Cloud First Policy.

 

7. How can my company get on the solicitation list when CDT goes out to bid on cloud procurements?

Competitive solicitations are advertised through the Department of General Services (DGS) eProcurement system. 

Please visit the DGS home page to learn more about selling your offerings to the State of California.

Currently, there are several procurement methods that cloud offerings can be purchased. The majority of them are hosted by DGS like CMAS, MSA, WSCA, and Software Licensing Program (SLP). Please contact DGS and use the appropriate procurement methods to enroll cloud products. In addition, Small Business (SB) or Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) may partner with the manufacturer to participate in cloud solicitations under $250,000 (note this dollar amount only addresses the SB/DVBE Option informal bids. There are many other contracting methods (and dollar amounts) through which the services of SB and DVBE firms can be procured.

 

8. My company’s corporate policies will not allow us to agree to the Cloud Computing Special Provisions for Software as a Service(SaaS). Can I get an exemption from those?

No. Acceptance of the Cloud Computing Special Provisions for SaaS is required to contract with the State of California. Suppliers are advised, however, to read the potential state customer’s Statement of Work (SOW) carefully before determining it cannot accept the state’s terms and conditions. There are several sections in the Cloud Computing Special Provisions for SaaS that allow state organizations to tailor language in their SOW.