USDA National Information Technology Center


USDA Office of Chief Information Officer (OCIO) National IT Center (NITC)

NITC is one of the largest Federal Data Center service provider. NITC has provided services as a federated data center since 1973 and has performed data center migrations since the 1980s. NITC cross-services 14 federal departments/bureaus. As a working capital fund NITC receives all its funding by signing inter-agency agreements for providing facilities and operation services for the agencies.

Problem Statement

NITC handles over 350 inter-agency agreements every year. Until 2012, these agreements were being managed using Access databases with no ability to perform workflow, approval, or tracking for prior-year agreements. The technology limitations were resulting in several errors in the agreements sent to the customers resulting in less than optimal customer experience. Further, there was no effective way for Account Managers to communicate with Financial Management Branch (FMB).

Creative’s Solution

Creative developed the Cloud technology based application for National Information Technology Center (NITC) to manage all its data processing facilities, operation services agreements, and customer interaction.

Creative automated the full life cycle of the inter-agency agreements from initial lead to opportunity to proposal and final financial agreements and invoice tracking.

The project significantly improved NITC's ability to manage customer interaction by:

  • Automating NITC service catalog and support for multi-year price books.
  • Tracking all leads and opportunities so NITC account managers to interact with potential customers.
  • Auto-generation of Treasury 7600A/B forms to significantly reduce errors in agreement processing.
  • End-to-end agreement tracking including automated approvals from NITC internal staff and customers; Electronic signature support for agreements.
  • Developing Dashboard and Reports to provide real time management information to assist decision making.

Force.com technical features leveraged included:

  • Rapid Application Development platform
  • Automated workflows
  • Generation of pdf forms
  • Content management for agreement and procurement life-cycle management
  • Reports and dashboard
  • Email integration for reminders, tasks etc.

As part of this work, Creative was responsible for client site management of current SQL server database and operating system until it was retired and moved into Salesforce.com based application. Creative provided patch management, database administration for the server and operating system.

Benefits Realized

NITC Financial Management Branch (FMB) team has often commended Creative’s work in internal USDA briefings and offered to provide the solution to other agencies like GSA, who perform a large number of interagency agreements.

The online approvals of inter-agency agreements has enabled NITC to significantly cut down the time it takes for inter-agency approvals from approximately 10 days to 15 minutes.