The Established Authorized Reseller Program, or EARP, is a tool that takes a well-defined part of supply chain management and helps government customers quickly identify and verify authorized resellers and the authenticity of the purchases made under SEWP. The SEWP V contract vehicle, hosted under NASA, provides computer system technologies, high-end scientific and engineering capabilities, peripherals and network equipment to federal government customers. Worth an estimated $20B over a potential 10 year duration, the vehicle’s 140+ vendors have won over $5B in reported obligations since its latest inception in 2015.
The EARP database set within SEWP’s system provides clients the option to obtain quotes only from those that are authorized resellers. According to an informative webinar session hosted by SEWP on August 2, 2017, an authorized reseller is defined as “a reseller who is known by the OEM [Original Equipment Manufacturer] and the OEM has verified that the reseller is considered by them to be an authorized or approved reseller.” EARP will be applicable only for products/services from an OEM that:
- Has a defined and documented Authorized Reseller program;
- Has provided SEWP with a central Point of Contact that manages their Federal Supply Chain/Sales team and who can verify a Contract Holder’s relationship with the OEM;
- Has defined consequences for the Government when obtaining items from an authorized vs. a non-authorized reseller;
- Does not recognize non-authorized resellers using authorized distributors or partners as being authorized themselves.
The SEWP vehicle was able to set up the exclusive tool by creating a verification process at the beginning of SEWP V where every quote and order had to be verified against its database, including checking for the relationship between vendor and manufacturer, according to SEWP Program Manager, Joanne Woytek. Once that was in place, Woytek explained, EARP just added the flag to indicate eligible participants.
As simple as it seems, the concept of EARP has been in the works under SEWP for almost 10 years, since midway through the SEWP IV duration. The fuel behind it? Clients’ rising needs within supply chain risk management. According to a Washington Technology report, Darlene Coen, SEWP Deputy Program Manager, stated that EARP will protect agencies from buying products they later find out do not qualify for manufacturer services agreements or warranties. Moreover, EARP lowers the risk to possible counterfeiting and tainting issues of the products received in government purchases. This is especially true for clients using SEWP to obtain critical items for the government where reseller/provider relationships are of the utmost importance. EARP is also in line with recent pushes from the current administration on preferences for domestic sourcing and moreover, authenticating the items being used by the government.
Per the EARP webinar session, the SEWP office has identified a little more than a dozen of the vehicle’s vendors that fit the program’s criteria thus far:
- Barracuda Networks, Inc.
- Cisco Systems, Inc.
- Dell, Inc.
- Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company
- Ingram Micro, Inc.
- Juniper Networks, Inc.
- KEMP Technologies, Inc.
- Microsoft Corp.
- MiTAC-SYNNEX Group
- Oracle Corp.
- Panasonic Corp.
- SDV Solutions, Inc.
- Tenable Network Security, Inc.
The development and release of this tool is right in time for the federal government’s well-known fourth quarter spending spree. EARP will efficiently help agencies in obtaining the valid types of products and services needed under a contract vehicle that does about 40-50% of its annual business in the month of September alone, stated Woytek.
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