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The FedBizOpps Transition:

How to Regain Lost Functionality
with an FBO Alternative

FBO Notification Alternative

In late 2019, the General Services Administration announced that 10 government sites would be merged in order to centralize federal procurement data on one site. Previously, FBO.gov was the primary source for federal government contract opportunities valued at over $25,000 but, now that the switch is underway, beta.sam.gov is the official U.S. government website for federal bids.

Unfortunately, some functionality was lost in the transition, along with some features that were very popular with users.

One of the features lost during the FBO transition was the email notification system, which notified vendors when agencies posted opportunities that met specific vendors' criteria. This feature was called the "Search Agent" and vendors could configure the tool with information they wanted to receive and set it to run at a specific frequency. The Search Agent would then notify them of relevant opportunities as they were posted.

In addition, once a user clicked on an opportunity of interest, they were able to add it to their "Watch List" or add themselves as an interested vendor. This feature made the government bidding process more convenient for vendors and allowed them to get updated information instantly.*

In this article we will review some of the differences between FedBizOpps and beta.sam.gov and show how vendors can use a reputable bid service such as GovernmentBids.com as an alternative to FBO.

FBO Transition to SAM.gov: What you Can Still Do on the Site

On beta.sam.gov, users are grouped into three types: Federal, Non-Federal Entity and Public. A user's type determines what site features they will have access to.

The criteria that determines each user type is as follows:

  1. Federal: Must have a federal government email to sign up.
  2. Non-Federal Entity: These users will have at least one role that enables action on behalf of an entity.
  3. Public: Do not need a user account, but will not be able to save searches, follow records, and run reports.**

A vendor must register and create an account on beta.sam.gov to be able to access all the features the new site offers. Beta.sam.gov has also changed their tabs at the top of the homepage as well as certain features that were previously found on FBO.gov. A few of these include the "Watchlist", "Search Agent", and the "Archived" section.

The goal of merging the old sites was to make it easier for users to find and access federal awards and opportunities in one place. Unfortunately, the transition has been anything but smooth.

Beta.SAM.gov, FBO Email Notification and Beyond: What you Can't Do Anymore

Users who do not create a new account on beta.sam.gov will only have access to public information. In order to have full access to the features of the site, vendors must register and create a new account, as their previous FedBizOpps account will no longer work on beta.sam.gov.

An unfortunate side effect of this transition is that users will not be able to keep their saved searches, reports, watch lists and followed opportunities from their previous FBO accounts. For many vendors, this means years of curated documents will be lost.

Another downside to the transition is that the FBO notification feature has been lost. Users are no longer able to receive bid notifications and email alerts for saved searches. Currently, vendors cannot receive quick, up-to-date information about the opportunities they're interested in and must manually check the website to find out about new opportunities. They must also regularly check saved searches to view updates and changes.

Users will also not be able to perform the following actions unless they create a beta.sam.gov account:

  • Saving and rerunning searches
  • Following opportunities
  • Accessing the Interested Vendors' List
(Source: 2019 beta.sam.gov. General Services Administration. Contract Opportunities)

Although the consolidation of 10 federal websites into beta.sam.gov was supposed to make it easier for vendors to manage their accounts and do business with the federal government, the new site is proving to be more difficult to navigate than expected. Because much of the functionality of FBO has been lost in the transition to beta.sam.gov, vendors are scrambling to find alternatives to FedBizOpps.

How to Find an FBO Alternative

Fortunately, GovernmentBids.com can help fill the gaps created by FBO. GovernmentBids.com has been the leader in Government Bid opportunities since 1998 and offers services that are easy and straightforward to use. GovernmentBids.com offers:

  • Bids from all levels of government, not just federal
  • Daily email bid notifications
  • Bid summaries
  • Future opportunities
  • Support team

With a service that offers so much, why not make the switch? With GovernmentBids.com, vendors receive daily notices about targeted bid opportunities that match the products or services their business sells. GovernmentBids.com's team of expert researchers searches and filters bids based on business' product and service codes and sends summaries of bid opportunities to members, making all relevant documents available to vendor members for review. Equipped with this information, GovernmentBids.com members have more time to write winning proposals for the bids that they're interested in.

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*2019 https://fsd.gov/fsd-gov General Services Administration. How can I receive alerts automatically from FBO when Agencies post notices that I might be interested in? 10 Feb. 2020

**2019 https://beta.sam.gov/help/user-accounts General Services Administration. User Accounts. 10 Feb 2020

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