Before RFP, early communication in everyone's interest

Friday - 12/17/2010, 12:54pm EST

Jim Mears, Vice President for Federal Markets, Motorola

Click to hear the interview.

Download mp3

Government and industry should communicate in "more of a business-type approach" prior to a request for proposal, said Jim Mears, vice president for federal markets at Motorola.

Mears was the guest on In Depth's Industry Chatter series with host Francis Rose.

The notion that prospective vendors and acquisition workers can't talk to each other is now the focus of a myth-busting campaign by the Office of Management and Budget.

Mears said it's in everyone's interest to communicate early on.

"The more I understand what I'm trying to solve for that border agent or soldier in theater, whatever that opportunity might be...the better that network, that system, that solution is going to be for the end user moving forward," Mears said.

Industry also needs to ask what the government wants to do with the project in the present and in the future to build a "product roadmap," he said.

Motorola is currently developing wireless broadband capabilities for troops on the move, as well as a multi-band handheld radio, Mears said.

The technology, he said, is "not perfect, but it's a long way from where we were ten years ago."

Mears said Motorola has a "blend" of prime contracts and sub-contracts with the government. By understanding the larger problems of government, a contractor can find a "niche" in the larger solution, he said.