Ascend: The Newest Addition to GSA’s Cloud Portfolio – December 2023

Jan 12, 2024

Government agencies face a highly complex and evolving marketplace when it comes to acquiring cloud solutions. Navigating the security, data ownership, terms & conditions, and operational practices for acquiring and administering these solutions is difficult and time consuming. GSA found that common cloud requirements exist across government. As a result, we seek to simplify cloud acquisitions through our latest effort, the Ascend Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA).

Ascend: GSA’s Comprehensive Solution for Common Requirements

Ascend aims to meet the common secure cloud requirements of civilian and defense agencies. It will provide:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS),
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS),
  • Software as a Service (SaaS), and
  • cloud-related IT professional services based on GSA’s Multiple Award Schedule (MAS).

Ascend itself will not serve all government cloud requirements nor replace current GSA cloud offerings on our Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs) and MAS. Customers will still have the option of using the fixed pricing model.


For Agencies:

  • Get compliant solutions through vendors that meet cybersecurity and Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM) standards.
  • “Accelerate the movement to secure cloud services,” as outlined in the Executive Order 14028 on Cybersecurity and OMB’s Zero Trust Memo.
  • Meet category management requirements through a well-managed contracting vehicle.
  • Get access to standardized transactional and consumption data.

For Suppliers:

  • Follow a phased acquisition strategy that allows solution providers to participate both at initial award and be eligible for later award pools.
  • Get access to high-quality business leads for BPA holders.
  • Leverage more opportunities for small business awardees offering cloud-related IT professional services.

Moving Forward

In the coming weeks, GSA plans to issue a draft solicitation for our first pool of agreements. These consist of IaaS and PaaS solutions. We’ll then host an industry day, giving suppliers an opportunity to provide feedback. As we establish pools to serve SaaS solutions and cloud-related IT professional services, we will continue to collaborate with industry and agencies to gather critical feedback.

Read More

Ten Checkpoints - On the Way to Your GSA Schedule

Download our new step-by-step guide to learn the process for getting your own GSA Schedule!