WSSC’s FY 2017 OSDI Programs’ Performance Results Report (revised 11/2017) 37 involvement plays a key role to quantify all of those contract requests and benchmark the SLMBEs available to deliver against the requirements.” Another major tool set in motion in FY 2017 will support the process of vendor qualification. WSSC is finalizing a new contract vehicle, Consulting and Technical Services (CATS). The CATS contract vehicle prequalifies companies across seven functional categories. Then Task Order proposal requests are issued to all prequalified companies within each particular functional area. This will offer companies that do not have an existing contract vehicle with WSSC the ability to work directly with WSSC in the future. “We anticipate awarding about 100 companies with the CATS vehicle,” Wright notes. “The OSDI’s involvement ensures that small and diverse enterprises are included in the mix of vendors that offer the skills we require in each specific area.” WSSC held its first Tech Tuesday session on July 25th, 2017. Wright describes this series of “bi- directional feed of information” sessions as a channel of communication to discuss areas of improvement, challenges, newly available technology, or trends that WSSC can use as best practices to nurture better partnerships. Tech Tuesday will be a space where all businesses, particularly small, local, and minority firms, can talk about their needs for growth in terms of IT. “Technology is changing rapidly, so we want to make sure that we are accounting for that to make adjustments as we move forward,” Wright adds. “WSSC’s IT Office is expanding its capacity for IT support by bringing in local technical business analysts who can translate ‘IT speak’ into language that everyone can understand,” Wright shares. These new analysts will have a more advanced view of the requirements that might be coming, as a result of new OSDI-proposed standards, and will serve as advocates on behalf of their departments. In regards to the road ahead Wright acknowledges that, “The OSDI faces challenges dealing with the loss of intellectual capital due to previously certified firms graduating from the MBE program. Those companies have partnered with the Commission for years and have become intimately familiar with WSSC operations. The OSDI’s planning will have to work on promoting seamless transition, effective communication, and engagement with new firms that are qualified to participate in the SLMBE Program.” “WSSC’s IT Office is expanding its capacity for IT support by bringing in local technical business analysts who can translate ‘IT speak’ into language that everyone can understand.“ VENNARD WRIGHT, WSSC’S CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER VIEWS FROM THE C-SUITE: CONT.