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GSA Leasing Inspired by Star Trek
May 1, 2013

GSA Leasing Inspired
by Star Trek

GSA is about to turn how it leases buildings on its head. And to think we may have Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry to thank.

GSA-phil kerik
GSA is on the cusp of launching GREX to manage its 8,100 leased properties. GSA Public Building Service CIO Phil Klokis says it'll allow the agency more flexibility in how it handles complicated lease terms and move several functions to smartphones and tablets. Phil announced this yesterday at Appian World, a user conference at the Reagan Building thrown by the Reston, Va.-based BPM company. (Appian might have had a hand or two in developing the BPM functions of GREX.)

spock and captain kirk
Phil says there were lots of lessons learned during the GREX project. He likens one of the most important to a Star Trek scene where Spock utters the famous phrase, "The needs of many outweigh the needs of the few." Big IT projects won't please everyone, Phil says, but do the ones with the biggest impact.

The agency transitioned from paper leases to e-filing several years ago, but it wasn't keeping up with changes GSA was making to its lease process. The agency's Public Building Service has been working on GREX for 10 months and it has its hands full: GSA has 200 processes for putting together leases and over 30 different types of users. Phil insisted that GREX not only have some flexibility but also mobility, considering the most recent stat he saw: by 2016, there will be three billion more tablets and smartphones than there are people on earth. (So call your mother. You're running out of excuses.)

Life After Government

SBA-Sean Greene with logo
When we last spoke to Sean Greene, he was winding down his gig as SBA's investment and innovation associate administrator. Now he's the Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the Case Foundation and an advisor to Revolution LLC. Sean will help the foundation, run by Jean Case (Steve Case's wife), identify ways to inspire, educate, and mobilize capital in the impact investing space. Sean has a wee bit of investing experience, having started a $1 billion impact investing initiative at SBA and launching Away.com, which sold to Orbitz. He also co-founded Rock Creek Ventures and LaunchBox Digital.

Will Taxes Hurt Shoe Shopping?

amazon-jeff bezos
We certainly love us some Amazon. (Founder Jeff Bezos seems pretty jazzed about it as well.) Online shopping has long meant tax-free shopping. But that may change when the Senate takes up a measure May 6 to require online retailers to collect sales tax, no matter what state they call home. So will an Internet sales tax hurt online shopping? Answer our one-question poll and then go back to shoe shopping.

Arlington Economic Development's Business Bootcamp

spon spot-BI2 event
Jennifer Ives, director of business investment for Arlington Economic Development, and Carly Fiorina, kicked off the sold-out Ballston Innovation Initiative (BI²) Launch Party. Entrepreneurs are often stymied while trying to showcase innovative ideas to the right people and agencies. BI² is offering unique tools and ideas to help streamline the process. Its first initiative, "Bootcamp: Doing Business with the Federal Government," is a don't-miss for those looking to demystify the process. The conversation will be held Saturday, May 11 in Arlington, bringing together experts to assist entrepreneurs with the connections needed to be successful with the federal government. Don't forget: Google was seeded by an NSF grant and many other globally recognized names received big breaks after working with federal agencies. Register today!

SMBs Are The Ticket

cetrom-chris stark
There's lots to celebrate if you're a Cetrom employee. The Vienna, Va.-based company has seen 58% revenue growth and double the head count over the last three years selling cloud computing services to small- and medium-sized businesses. CEO Chris Stark, here with Sen. Tim Kaine and getting a Fantastic 50 award recently from the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, tells us SMBs are now realizing the cost savings of moving applications to a shared cloud model. SMBs also like the idea of using a cloud service provider as a virtual CIO rather than having an in-house IT expert. (Yeah, but can the cloud talk shop about Game of Thrones?)

Are you going to A Day of Fosterly this Saturday in Arlington, Va.? If so, come talk to Bisnow's Tania Anderson at Media Match.

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