BPS has in-depth knowledge of the grants management processes and systems, honed by more than fifteen years of experience performing providing support to HHS (Grants.gov) and the Department of Education (primarily for the Impact Aid Program and Office of Postsecondary Education). Our staff have extensive experience supporting planning, implementation, and verification of grants systems, and have detailed knowledge and expertise in grant opportunity management, application forms, review processing, award processing, payment processing, and annual performance reporting. We also apply our experience from related projects, including strategic IT planning for NASA’s Earth Science Enterprise, mission-critical Web application development and testing for OSHA’s Information System and NARA’s presidential library system, and Performance Analysis Testing for the USPTO.
BPS applies various implementation approaches depending on the specific requirements of the project. We have experience in all of these approaches, and assist clients in determining the best solution for their needs:
- Commercial SaaS solution. These solutions, such as REI’s GovGrants, provide a proven foundation for a grants system that is configurable to the specific needs of the grantor. The benefit is a much lower cost and shorter schedule for implementation.
- Government SaaS solution. These solutions, such as HHS GrantSolutions, are similar to the commercial solutions referenced above, but are provided as a shared service by a federal agency. Consequently, they have similar attributes, but are likely to be somewhat less flexible: while commercial solutions are typically built from the outset with configurability for various customers in mind, government solutions are typically built for a particular program then made more configurable afterward.
- Custom using PaaS. This approach uses a Platform-as-a-Service product (MS Dynamics, Force.com, ServiceNow, Appian, OutSystems, etc.) to accelerate development of a custom solution. This approach provides more flexibility than a commercial SaaS solution at a higher cost. However, they are still constrained based on their heritage and the platform itself. For example, the foundational data model tends to reflect the heritage of the platform in Sales/CRM, helpdesk ticketing, accounting, or business process management. Further, on-going license costs can be prohibitive with large numbers of public users (members and grantees).
- Custom using MEAN stack. This approach uses a contemporary technology stack consisting of MongoDB, Express, Angular, and Node.js (MEAN) to re-implement a completely custom solution. This approach provides the most flexibility at the highest cost. Although custom solutions can be intimidating, advances in component-based software frameworks begin to look somewhat like PaaS products.
BPS provides technical support services to the Grants.gov program to support development, operations, and enhancement of the Grants.gov federal grants portal. In this capacity, we provide program/project management support, perform independent verification and validation (IV&V), and conduct technology insertion studies. This project exemplifies our deep understanding of grants management requirements, ability to introduce innovative yet practical solutions, and ability to cooperate effectively on a large multi-contractor project.
Department of Education IAGS and OPE IDC
BPS provides a variety of ED IT projects with technical support throughout the full lifecycle, from initial planning through final deployment and operation. Specific activities include concept development, business case definition, capital planning, alternatives analysis, acquisition support, implementation oversight, system implementation, system verification, and financial/performance reporting. These projects exemplify our ability to support all phases of the system lifecycle, our deep understanding of discretionary and non-discretionary grants systems, and our ability to introduce SaaS and PaaS solutions to reduce development costs.