6.2 Promoting competition

To achieve maximum value for its IT dollars, the Commonwealth needs a sufficient number of strategic suppliers to ensure the necessary motivation for competition. Procurement officials should attempt to understand the marketplace to identify and promote the involvement of the maximum number of eligible suppliers to ensure competition. Knowledge of the marketplace also helps identify and minimize any barriers to participation that suppliers may face. Some states have been successful in identifying factors that might prevent suppliers from bidding by establishing "communities of practice"-a network of buyers and suppliers that actively seeks to work more effectively together. This forum supports obtaining market intelligence about suppliers, the solutions they are delivering, and their reputation in the eyes of other buyers. The greater the number of suppliers participating in the IT procurement process-the greater the competition. Agency requests for assistance in obtaining sourcing information may be sent to: scminfo@vita.virginia.gov.