How to Use the Polaris Symphony Portal

Modified on Fri, 29 Sep 2023 at 04:47 PM

You may watch the following overview video or read the Step-by-Step Instructions for the Polaris Symphony Portal (PSP). 

Click here to watch a Polaris Symphony Portal Overview video on YouTube.

After watching this video, you will successfully navigate Symphony for the Polaris solicitation(s). The PSP includes Small Business (SB), Woman-owned Small Business (WOSB), Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), and the HUBZone Pools. The required URL for Polaris offerors is https://polaris.app.cloud.gov/. You cannot access Polaris from another URL.


How to Access the Polaris Symphony Portal

How the Symphony Portal Works

Step 1. Understand the User-Specific Dashboard

Step 2. Understand How Q&A Works

Step 3. Utilize the My Company link

Step 4. Assemble Your Proposal

Step 5. Submit Your Proposal

How to Access the Polaris Symphony Portal

The website for Polaris is https://polaris.app.cloud.gov/

Polaris Symphony Portal at https://polaris.app.cloud.gov/


How the Polaris Symphony Portal Works

Step 1. Understand the User-Specific Dashboard

When you log in to the Symphony system, the dashboard will display a user-specific dashboard for the available solicitations.


Symphony Dashboard

 

Features of Symphony may include the following.

 

The Solicitation Details

The solicitation details will include the Q&A deadline and the Solicitation Deadline. During the Ask Questions period, you can ask questions and view responses when enabled.

 

When the Solicitations are open to submissions, you can start, continue or view your proposal. You cannot reset or cancel a Pool submission once started. Polaris will only receive the proposals that you submit. Symphony will display the submission date and time, with the option to view the details of it. Authorized users can retract a submission by using the Modify Submission option. Don't forget to resubmit. Once the Solicitation deadline occurs, all assets are frozen.

 

The Pool Submission

When the Solicitations are open to submissions, you can "Start your Submission" or "Continue your Submission" to complete your proposal in multiple sittings. Review before you submit. We recommend you complete your Company profile using the My Company link before applying for a pool. 


Administration

Only a Symphony Administrator has access to the Administration link per How to Manage Users. A Symphony Administrator can activate additional users in their company after they register for Symphony and can only activate users registered in the same instance of Symphony. Click on the row for the user you want to manage to activate or disable their account. Change their status to the one that applies and save your changes to allow other registered users for your company to log into Symphony with your organization.

 

Help and Information

Review the knowledge base or create a support ticket for the Polaris Symphony Portal. If you open a support ticket, you cannot log into the Helpdesk to check your ticket status, but if you do not receive a response within four business hours, your firewall may be preventing our messages from reaching you. Please check your junk/spam folders for client.support@apexlogic.com.

 

User Profile

Sign out or update your profile information from your user icon. You can also change your password, add, or update an authenticator app by scanning the QR code for your Polaris login.


Step 2. How PSP Q&A Works

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Ask Questions
  2. Enter Questions
  3. Unsubmitted Questions
  4. Submitted Questions

 

Ask Questions

From the solicitation section in Symphony, the available solicitation will have a button to go to the Ask Questions page. Questions can be submitted at any time after the solicitation is posted at http://www.sam.govPlease note, this is only available before the Question Deadline.

  

Enter Questions

In the Question entry field, you will enter a reference term for the section of the solicitation you need to be clarified, or you may enter a more general reference, as applicable, and then you can enter your question. As you complete each question, Save and Add to place the item in the Unsubmitted Questions list. You can also clear your work as needed. 

 

Unsubmitted Questions

In the unsubmitted state, you can edit or delete questions. If you have multiple questions, you can rearrange the order of the questions by moving them up or down in the list. Additionally, unsubmitted questions can be seen by all users in your organization so that others can view and edit them as needed.  

 

Make sure you submit your questions. Acknowledgment of receipt of questions will not be made except as displayed on the questions screen. If there are any Unsubmitted Questions, they will not be seen by the Program Office.

 

Submitted Questions

This area is only for reference. You cannot recall a question or make any changes to it once your questions have been submitted. Per Federal Acquisition Law, you will be notified when a consolidated list of questions and answers is available for your review at SAM.gov A link to View Responses is available on the Symphony dashboard.  If you still need help, please contact us.


"My Company" is where you build your company asset library before the submission period or in addition to it. Please ensure it is for the UEI and Cage for the company that will be the "prime" entity for the proposal. The Company Overview summarizes your assets such as Team Members, MRCLs, Projects/Past Performance, and Business Factors. Your company asset library is reusable across all of your proposal submissions.


Business Factors will display circles next to the items on the Overview screens. Team members can have their own business factors but MRCLs do not have the ability to claim business factors. They are considered part of the Prime.


Below is the definition of the circle shading.

  • No Shading - The factor has not been claimed.
  • Full Shading - The Organization submitting the proposal is claiming the factor.
  • Half Shading - One of the Organization's team members added to the submission is claiming the factor. 

Half-shading will only be seen in a submission on the Proposal Overview screen if an added Team Member claims a business factor that the Prime organization does not claim. 

 

If you need to remove a business factor, go to your assets in My Company to "unclaim" the business factor. 

Delete the documentation from the table below the File DropBox and "unclaim" the business factor from unsubmitted proposals. You cannot "unclaim" a business factor from submitted proposals. 


Company SAM Data

SAM data is pulled directly from your public SAM record. Out-of-date or incorrect information must be updated at SAM.gov and given 24-48 hours to reflect in their database. What you see on the Symphony assets screen is for display purposes only. Your SAM record is your official record. If your information is showing correctly in SAM, do not worry about any discrepancies from within Symphony.

 

Be advised the NAICS codes in your Reps and Certs need to match the NAICS codes referenced for the corresponding pool submission. You must update this data in SAM directly before it can appear in Symphony. Please, contact us if you need the prime entity's SAM data refreshed.

 

Company Team Members

Team Members can be added and then viewed or removed as needed. Make sure their SAM data is correct at SAM.gov before adding them to Symphony. We cannot refresh a Team member's SAM data. Their business factors and documents, which include your JV agreements, Mentor-Protege Agreements, and Subcontractor Letter of Commitment, can be entered in this section. These are useful for adding different team members to separate pool submissions. The steps to add team members are:

  1. Select +New Team Member.
  2. Use the drop-down to select the type of Team Member. The Team Member type can be one of the following:
    • Subcontractor
    • Joint Venture Member
    • Joint Venture Subcontractor
    • Mentor in an SBA Mentor-Protege Program
    • Protege in an SBA Mentor-Protege Program
  3. Enter the Team Member's UEI (formerly DUNS) and Cage Code.
  4. Look up the Team Member.
  5. Confirm the Team Member or Try Again. Make sure you have the correct UEI and Cage Code.
  6. Claim Business Factors. Business Factors are additional assets such as Systems, Industry Certifications, Clearances, Human Resources information, Financial Documents, and Other Documents that the Team Members can contribute. Business Factors will display in the Team Member's profile and then half-shaded circles when added to your proposal.
    • Claim the Team Member's Business Factors. 
    • Upload the supporting documentation. 
    • Certify the claim to save and continue.
  7. Upload supporting documents. You do not upload these documents at the prime level.  
    • A Joint Venture requires a JV agreement. 
    • A Mentor-Protege requires an SBA-approved Mentor-Protege Agreement. 
    • Subcontractors require the Subcontractor Letter of Commitment. 
  8. Review the data
  9. Save and Complete. 

The Team Members' Business factors will not display on the Company Overview screen. You should only see full shading for the business factors that belong to the prime in My Company > Company Overview. If you claimed business factors for the prime incorrectly, please go to My Company and then Business Factors to unclaim and delete the documents that do not apply to the prime offeror.


Company MRCL(s)

Add MRCL(s), the type of relationship, and your MRCL agreements and other documents. Then view, edit, or remove as needed. You can add different MRCL(s) to separate pool submissions, but the MRCL(s) Business Factors are considered part of the prime offerors. The steps to add MRCL(s) are:

  1. Select +New MRCL.
  2. Use the drop-down to select the type(s) of MRCL. You can select more than one condition but if a MRCL does not meet the standard of the types of MRCLs defined, please provide the documentation of the MRCL relationship with the corresponding project experience. A “meaningful relationship” exists within a corporate structure when at least one of the following conditions exists:
    • This entity is a wholly-owned subsidiary of a parent organization.
    • This entity is a parent of a wholly-owned subsidiary.
    • This entity operates under a single internal operational unit.
    • This entity operates under a consolidated accounting system.
    • This entity operates under a consolidated purchasing system.
    • This entity operates under a consolidated human resources or personnel system.
    • This entity operates under common policy and corporate guidelines.
    • The operating structure between the entities includes internal organizational reporting lines and management chains for “lines of business” that operate across the formal corporate subsidiaries.
  3. Enter the MRCL's UEI (formerly DUNS) and Cage Code.
  4. Look up the MRCL.
  5. Confirm the MRCL or Try Again. Make sure you have the correct UEI and Cage Code.
  6. Upload supporting documents
  7. Review the data
  8. Save and Complete

Once your MRCL is in the system, a table will display the MRCLs and then you can view, edit or delete them from your asset library. Use the MRCL's name as a link to review their general information and documentation. You can edit the attached supporting documents from their record. If you delete your MRCL after adding them to any project experience or unsubmitted proposals, update the corresponding assets in the applicable screens. Symphony will direct you to the order of the steps if attempted in the wrong order.


Company Projects and Past Performance

Add Projects/Past Performance, and then you can view, edit or delete projects as needed. Define a project and complete the core details for the project. Then in a submission, there are Functional/Performance Factors that you must add to your Project experience to earn additional points for Primary Relevant Experience, Cybersecurity, or Emerging Technology Relevant Experience. 

 

The steps to add Projects/Past Performance are:

  1. Select New Project Experience.
  2. Start Your Project Reference. The reference information includes:
    • Name of your project
    • Type of project
      • If you are adding a project where you performed as a subcontractor then you are not contracting directly to the government. This would be considered a commercial project. Enter your subcontract information and you would be the Team Member on your contract.
    • Contract Number(s)
    • Task Order Number(s) if applicable
      • If you need to reference multiple Task Order projects under a single Contract number, enter the contract number after selecting the type of project, add the TO number after the contract number, and again in the TO number field to create different projects under a single contract. For example Contract #: GSA123456-0001 and TO #: 0001.
    • Customer for your project
    • Prime Contractor (Team Member in a State/International/Non-US Fed Government/Commercial Project)
      • When identifying the Prime Contractor, you will need to add the Team Member or MRCL to your Company Assets so they will be available to reference. Team members may include a Subcontractor, JV Member, or Mentor-Protege, and you must add them as a Team Member or MRCL before they will be available for reference as the Prime Contractor in the Project entry screen.
  3. Use the Tag Legend for your Core Project Details only. New Tags and project details were added to Symphony after the Polaris solicitation closed in 2022. The new tags and project details are not required. You cannot rename or tag your files in Symphony. The recommended tags are:
    • CR = Cost Reimbursement
    • LOCATIONS = number of locations
    • OCONUS = Outside of the Continental United States work
    • POP = Period of Performance
    • TCV = Total Contract Value
    • TEAMING = Subcontractor/Teaming
      • Additional tags are at your discretion.
  4. Upload All Your Project Documents. Use descriptive file names that explain what information is contained in the documents to support your claims. Use the easiest, most logical reference names possible to make this process easier for yourself and the evaluators. 
    • Your project documents will be used as a reference to support your claims for your Project Details and the Performance Factors when you add the project to a submission. This may include Award Documents, Past Performance Documents, Scopes of Work (SOWs), and more. 
      1. All proposal documents should be in Adobe (.pdf) format and include tags for evaluation.
      2. Confirm your uploads in the table below the File DropBox. 
      3. Save and continue to the next step.
  5. Answer the Questions to Complete Your Project Details. Some questions are optional and do not apply to the Polaris Solicitation(s). Other solicitations may require them. Project Details include: 
    • Period of Performance
    • Total Contract Value
    • Claimed NAICS
    • Cost Reimbursement (Only applies to Federal Contracts)
    • Number of locations (Optional)
    • OCONUS work
    • Subcontractor/Teaming involvement (Optional)
    • Past Performance Ratings (select Positive, Negative, Unable to Obtain)
  6. Use the File Reference field to direct the evaluators to the relevant project document. Not every question requires a file reference.
  7. Review Your Project Experience. Make sure the data is correct and all files are included in your Project Summary. 
  8. Save and Complete.

 

Project Information Worth Mentioning

  • In a submission, Performance Factors must be added to your project experience to justify how the project experience applies to the pool being applied for. This is an additional scoring element in your submission.
    1. Return to the Dashboard, go to your pool submission, and make sure Proposal Overview is the first item on the left menu. In a Submission, a project is defined by its title, contract number, and prime contractor.  Follow the prompts to add projects to your proposal submission and Begin or Modify the Functional/Performance Factors on the Projects/Past Performance tab to earn additional points for Primary Relevant Experience, Cybersecurity, or Emerging Technology Relevant Experience. 
    2. When you go to your "Submission" and add your projects to your proposal, you can "Modify" your performance factors to receive solicitation-specific points for your project experience until you submit your offer. You can reference multiple documents and select or deselect these references as needed. You must link to a file for reference and provide the reference keywords/tags/comments that you used to support your claims. These tags are at your discretion.
  • Tagging is like the "Find" feature in software systems. Therefore, if you have a keyword already in the document you can enter it into the tag field (location in file).  Or you can add tags throughout the document(s). We tend to use an overarching keyword for the solicitation-specific factors for simplicity in using a "Jump to" or "Find function".

     

    For example, our tag could be "Relevant" - with an explanation (ex. Relevant - NAICS, Relevant - Multiple Award, Relevant - Customer), and we only need to enter "Relevant" in the tag field. Your tags are up to you. At evaluation, we will find all instances of your "tag" in one or more documents that you select for the file reference field. The evaluator will see everything you enter in the "location in file" field. Evaluators can navigate the tags using the same features as the Adobe comment pane. Symphony will not prompt users to search for tags in a web browser.

    When answering a question, each document that you reference, and it may be more than one, will be linked to the question it is applied to, and the reference tag will guide the evaluators to the comment you create that contains that word or phrase in your document(s). Tags for a specific claim can be used more than once in the PDF document. For consistency, only use one tag per claim in Symphony.


  • If you update a project after using it in a submission, update and verify the changes in any unsubmitted Pools. You can upload more documents to your Projects in the My Company link any time before the solicitation deadline. Potentially required documents depending on the offeror are:
    • FPDS-NG Report
    • Attachment J.P-2 Joint Venture Experience Template
    • Attachment J.P-6 Project Verification Form
    • Contract Award Document (SF1449, SF26, SF33, DD1155, Optional Form 307, GSA Form 300, Other Official Government Award Form) 
    • Contract Statement of Work (SOW, PWS, SOO)
    • Other/Optional Documents 
      • CPARS 
      • Award Fee 
      • Determination Attachment J.P-3 
      • Past Performance Rating Form 
      • Section B Supplies/Services 
      • Costs Contract Line Items (CLINs)
  • You can withdraw a project from a submission pool that is recorded in your Company profile to not use it as a scoring element. If you attempt to delete a project, Symphony will let you know if the project is added to a submission and prevent you from deleting a project before withdrawing it from a pool submission. Then, you can view, edit or delete projects by selecting the Project Name you created in the Projects/Past Performance section of the My Company screen. 


Please note, a maximum of five Relevant Experience Projects may be submitted for scoring but you can have more in your Company Asset Library.


Company Business Factors

Business Factors are additional assets you claim. These include Systems, Industry Certifications, Clearances, Human Resources information, Financial Documents, and Other Documents relevant to your company asset library. The following. is a list of Business Factors relevant to the Polaris solicitation.


Cost Accounting System and Audit Information
Systems
Approved Purchasing System
Systems
CMMI Maturity
Industry Certifications
ISO-9001:2015 Certification
Industry Certifications
ISO 27001:2013 Certification
Industry Certifications
ISO 20000-1-2018 Certification
Industry Certifications
Representations and Certifications
Industry Certifications
Facility Clearance
Clearances
Professional Employee Compensation Plan
Human Resources
Uncompensated Overtime Policy
Human Resources
GSA Form 527
Financial Documents
Organizational Risk Assessment
Other Documents

New Business Factors were added to Symphony after the Polaris solicitation closed in 2022. 
The new Business factors are not required. They will not be evaluated.


The steps to add Business Factors are:

  1. Select the Business Factor you wish to claim
  2. Answer any questions (as applicable)
  3. Upload your supporting documentation (as applicable)
  4. Certify your claim
  5. Save and Claim


You should only see full shading for the business factors that belong to the prime entity in My Company > Company Overview. If you incorrectly claimed business factors, please go to My Company and then Business Factors to unclaim and delete the documents that do not apply to the prime offeror. Use the close button to keep a factor unclaimed.


New Feature!

Company Cost/Price

Upload the completed pricing spreadsheet as provided by the corresponding Solicitation and ensure that you upload a Basis of Estimate to support the Cost/Price methodology. Certify your claim and save your changes. You can view, edit or delete documents as needed by following the same process as Business Factors. Symphony will provide any validation errors in your submission for the corresponding Solicitation.


Company Documents

View all files you upload in their corresponding folders in the Documents library. You cannot upload or remove documents from the Document Library. Symphony will allow you to attach as many files as you need to support your claims in the corresponding location in Symphony but the size limitation of 20MB will prevent you from uploading too large of a file. File uploads also have additional rules.

  • File names cannot exceed 250 characters
  • Files cannot be combined into a "zip" folder but there is no limit to how many files you can upload.
  • You can not drag and drop from Sharepoint or other Cloud Drives. Files must come from your computer.


Step 4. Assemble Your Proposal

When the Polaris solicitation(s) are open to proposals, you can "Start your Submission" or "Continue your Submission" to complete your proposal in multiple sittings or review it before submission. We recommend you complete your Company profile using the My Company link before assembling your proposal.


For more information about the Live Score displayed at the top of the screen, select the button it is displayed on to review your Scorecard, what the point values are, and how many points you have as you assemble your company assets for your offer. Validation messages will not prevent you from submitting your proposal.

 

Proposal Overview

The Proposal Overview summarizes the information entered in Symphony, such as Team Members, MRCLs, Project Experience, and other Business Factors relevant to the solicitation. Links to the Document Library and your SAM data are also at the bottom of this page.  

 

When you add team members to your submission, the Business Factors on the Proposal Overview page should show half-shading to represent the claims coming from the members (regardless of how many have a factor). All Business Factors relevant to the solicitation are part of your proposal submission. You should only see full shading for the business factors that belong to the prime entity.

 

Proposal Contacts

Add your key personnel required for the submission, such as your Contract Manager and Program Manager. Select from your company's registered users in Symphony. You cannot assign positions to users who have not registered in Symphony. All users should register themselves. These are not Symphony roles available in the Administration link.

 

Proposal Team Members

Team Members, their business factors, and documentation (which includes your team member agreements) can be added to your pool submission and then viewed or removed as needed. You can have different team members for each proposal. If you have already added team members to your company profile, you can select them to add to the pool submission from a drop-down menu, or you can add a new team member record by going to My Company and including the asset there. 

 

  • When you add your team members to your submission, the Business Factors on the Proposal Overview page should show half-shading to represent the claims coming from the members (regardless of how many have a factor). 
  • If you need to delete a Team Member, first verify the team member is not in any project experience or unsubmitted proposals.

 

Proposal MRCL(s)

Existing MRCL(s) in your Company Asset Library can be selected from the drop-down menu to add to the pool submission, or you can add a new MRCL record as necessary for your proposal by going to My Company and including the asset there. MRCL(s) can be added, viewed, or removed. You can have different MRCL(s) for separate proposals and project experiences. Please note that MRCL(s) cannot claim business factors. MRCL(s) are considered part of the Prime.

 

Proposal Projects and Past Performance

Select from past projects in Symphony and add them to the pool submission from a drop-down menu or add a new Project experience by navigating to Projects/Past Performance in My Company.

 

  • Make sure to begin or modify your Functional/Performance factors to claim solicitation-specific performance once you add Projects to your submission. You can reference multiple documents and select or deselect these references as needed. You must link to a file for reference and provide reference keywords/tags/comments. The location in file field can help the evaluation team either "Jump To" the keyword or tag in your document(s). Or they can use it as a reference to "Find" your evidence. We tend to use an overarching keyword for the solicitation-specific factors for simplicity in using a Jump to or Find function.
  • Additionally, make sure your tags match in both your PDF(s) and Symphony so that the evaluators can easily find the support for your claims. The reference tags become links in the evaluation tool during the evaluation phase which opens your documents at the position of the first tag. The evaluators are then guided from comment to comment, similar to using a Find feature when they review your proposal.


Additional Project Information

  • If you edit a project experience after submitting the project with a proposal, the changes will not affect your submission.  If it is before the proposal's due date, you may incorporate changes you have made by modifying your submission and withdrawing the project from that submission using the red circle.  You can then add it in and your changes will be included.
  • You cannot delete a project if it has been used in a submitted pool submission. 
  • If there is a document that you want the government to review after the solicitation deadline, do not delete it. After the solicitation deadline, only the government will have access to the Symphony system unless a clarification is requested. 
  • If you are uploading sensitive information, you should redact the document to the extent it still substantiates your claims.  
  • If you have submitted a pool offer but need to revise a project, and you are an Administrator or Proposal manager, modify the submission, verify the project and performance factors refreshed, and then submit your proposal again.

 

Proposal Business Factors

Business factors relevant to each pool automatically add to the scorecard provided for that pool. These can be Systems, Industry Certifications, Clearances, Human Resources data, Financial Documents, and Other Documents that are either required or relevant to the pool.

 

Proposal Submission Documents

This area contains the solicitation-required form(s) for you to upload (SF-33, SF30, J.P-7, etc.) once the Q&A is complete. You may upload your required or optional documents into the options for the Submission Documents for each pool submission to attach the necessary files from your company to each proposal.

 

Proposal Document Library

The Document Library contains all files uploaded to Symphony and included in your proposal. The files that are used in your pool submission(s) must remain until after submission and the pool's solicitation deadline. Do not delete anything you need to submit to a pool until after the solicitation deadline. Symphony is unavailable when a solicitation deadline occurs so your assets are saved. 

 

Proposal Review

Review all the information assembled to see how each section scored. You can also use the Live Score button at the top of the screen to review your scorecard as you add your company assets to your offer.

 

Step 5. Submit your Proposal

The Submit function is not available until after the Q&A deadline. If the government needs to make amendments to the solicitation, this prevents you from having to submit it multiple times.

  • A proposal can be certified and submitted from this screen by Administrators or the Open Market Proposal Manager even if error messages state that requirements are incomplete. 
  • Warning and error messages also display to the evaluators.
  • Once submitted, the selected pool will display the submission date and time, with the option to view the details. There are no receipts in Symphony. Use the View Details option to save a copy of your submission.
  • An Administrator or Proposal Manager can retract a submission and make edits until the solicitation deadline. Carefully review and resubmit if changes are made. 
  • Once the Solicitation deadline is met, all assets are frozen.


If you still need help, contact us.


Users should be aware that the information available on this website may not reflect the official positions of the government. Views and opinions expressed by agents of Apex Logic, Inc. are those of the employees and do not necessarily reflect the view of the government or any of its officials. Guidelines and requirements provided by the government in the form of solicitations, amendments, modifications, or any other communications supersede any information provided by Apex Logic, Inc. If you have questions about this disclaimer please contact us.
Copyright © 1999-2023 Apex Logic, Inc. All Rights Reserved | PrivacyEU Data Protection Notice

Was this article helpful?

That’s Great!

Thank you for your feedback

Sorry! We couldn't be helpful

Thank you for your feedback

Let us know how can we improve this article!

Select atleast one of the reasons
CAPTCHA verification is required.

Feedback sent

We appreciate your effort and will try to fix the article