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OpenGov, Pavilion Team on Digital Procurement Push

The two gov tech vendors have built a large online library of public contracts. The goal is to make it easier for suppliers and public agencies to study and evaluate contracts, and craft the best deals.

Piggybacking: That’s one of the main concepts behind a new procurement partnership between government technology vendors OpenGov and Pavilion.

The effort aims to create what amounts to a larger digital library for public contracts.

Widening access to such information, the theory goes, will help companies involved in gov tech — or firms that want to start selling to public agencies — find more opportunities for cooperative or piggyback contracts.

Public officials can also benefit from the deal, which will “enable them to purchase more efficiently with access to thousands of contracts on Pavilion from the OpenGov community,” according to a blog post from the two companies.

Specifically, OpenGov — recently valued at $1.8 billion when Cox Enterprises bought a majority stake in the San Francisco firm — now offers its customers “the option to automatically publish its public contracts to Pavilion.”

Thousands of contracts are searchable via this partnership, according to the post.

OpenGov and Pavilion (formerly known as CoProcure) have worked together since 2022 on procurement search tools. Then, customers gained the ability to search cooperative contracts from Pavilion via the OpenGov Procurement Suite.

The new deal not only makes contracts from OpenGov customers searchable via Pavilion, but automatically updates changes to those contracts.

This new deal — happening as procurement, like so much of gov tech, becomes ever more digital — will provide various benefits for startups, more established vendors and public agencies, Thao Jones-Hill, OpenGov’s vice president of product management, procurement, told Government Technology.

Some of the rewards might seem relatively small but still meaningful, such as saving users from having to “perform all this mundane copy and pasting and downloading” when it comes to contract research and bidding.

Other benefits are more existential, he said.

OpenGov might be a big player now in gov tech but when “we were this small little software company,” Jones-Hill recalled, the time and resources committed to contracting — for instance, finding ways to get on national cooperative deals — was nothing short of taxing, with no guarantee of success.

“You really had to pick your battles,” he said.

Another example of where procurement is headed, and how this new deal could help advance procurement trends, came from Mariel Reed, Pavilion CEO and co-founder.

She said that when Orange County, Calif. — the agency is an OpenGov customer and Pavilion user — published their contracts on Pavilion, an early review found that about two-thirds of the vendors awarded on Orange County contracts were net new to Pavilion's database.

That means “they did not yet exist on the platform until Orange County added them,” Reed told Government Technology. “By publishing their contracts, Orange County is giving these local, small and diverse businesses access to serving the more than 2,500 public entities that regularly search on Pavilion.”

She also said that a survey of “hundreds” of Pavilion users showed that more than 70 percent report “almost always or usually [looking] into cooperative procurement options before starting a new solicitation.”
Thad Rueter writes about the business of government technology. He covered local and state governments for newspapers in the Chicago area and Florida, as well as e-commerce, digital payments and related topics for various publications. He lives in Wisconsin.