New Developments in the FirstNet RFP

Tom O'KeefeTomas O’Keefe, Consultant, Market Intelligence

I’ve written New Developments in the FirstNet RFP about the First Responder Network, FirstNet, on this blog before because it’s a fantastic opportunity all COTS vendors should know about. TJ Kennedy, the acting executive director of FirstNet, just announced they’re having to delay the release of the FirstNet RFP until early 2016, which means you have more time to form teaming arrangements and conversations with program officers to gauge what technologies they’re looking to invest in.

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3 Areas the First Responder Community Needs Industry Support

Tom O'KeefeTomas O’Keefe, Consultant, Market Intelligence

Interoperability3 Areas the First Responder Community Needs Industry Support was the buzz word at AFCEA Bethesda’s Law Enforcement IT Day. Government speakers gave first-hand accounts of the challenges they’re experiencing and where they could use some industry support. Interoperability is a persistent challenge for government, as agencies struggle to work with each other and properly share information across different devices in different environments. The law enforcement and public safety community are increasingly struggling in their information sharing efforts with State and Local municipalities and the COTS community can offer support to our government end users.

There are three main areas of concern among federal law enforcement and public safety groups when it comes to interoperability with their state and local partners.

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Next-gen Supercomputing Opportunities at DOE

Tom O'KeefeTomas O’Keefe, Consultant, Market Intelligence

There’sDatacenter been quite a bit going on at the Department of Energy (DOE) in the past few months. Bob Brese left as CIO (Michael Johnson replaced him) and Deputy CIO Donald Adcock left DOE as well. The department released its first ever Quadrennial Energy Review, a blueprint for modernizing the U.S. energy infrastructure. The department’s Joint Cybersecurity Coordination Center (JC3) entered its second year of life, protecting the department’s networks and allowing for safe and secure collaboration among its research communities. DOE also announced they have more than $600M dedicated to piloting and building the next generation of supercomputers.

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Big Data Opportunities in the Pipeline at DHS & DOJ

Tomas OKeefe_65x85Tomas O’Keefe, Consultant, Market Intelligence

At last Big data on blackboardweek’s AFCEA Homeland Security conference, information sharing and cybersecurity were some hot topics that seemed to take center stage. These are critical elements of the homeland security enterprise, tied to protecting information and ensuring it gets delivered to the right analyst, at the right time. A topic that wasn’t discussed as much, but continues to play a vital role in the federal IT landscape, is big data. I’d like to share some insights on where DHS and DOJ are looking to expand their big data capabilities, based on the sessions I attended.

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Digital Service Teams a Boon to COTS Vendors

Tomas OKeefe_65x85Tomas O’Keefe, Consultant, Market Intelligence

This pastDigital Services week, when President Obama released his FY16 budget, there was something in the request that piqued my interest. Chris Wiedemann did a great job breaking down some of the top takeaways of the Exhibit 53 in his last blog post, but I thought I’d share an additional nugget that was buried in agency budget requests: the creation of Digital Service teams at nearly all of the major federal departments and independent agencies. The establishment of these teams, signals new avenues of opportunity for COTS manufacturers who sell to the federal government.

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DHS’s New Years Resolution: A Budget

Tomas OKeefe_65x85Tomas O’Keefe, Consultant, Market Intelligence

NewYear1When Congress voted last year to give appropriations to federal agencies, there was one glaring omission: the Department of Homeland Security. Due to furor over executive actions on immigration taken by President Obama, Congress passed a Continuing Resolution for DHS until the end of February, so expect conversations on the Hill to be geared toward how to fund the Department while attempting to address the President’s executive action; this could affect two departmental components in particular, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
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New OFPP Memo: a Beacon of Opportunity for Technology Companies that do Business with Government

Tomas OKeefe_65x85Tomas O’Keefe, Senior Analyst, Market Intelligence

The new OpportunitiesOffice of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) head, Anne Rung, released a memo focusing on updates to federal acquisition policy. It’s no secret both agencies and vendors have struggled with overly long solicitations and proposals, complicated contractual language, and unique government requirements. The OFPP memo outlines specific actions that agencies are expected to adopt in the coming year in an effort to improve acquisition and transparency across the board. This falls in step with a new trend brought to the forefront by the Obama administration that aligns with the Digital Services Playbook, modernizing IT infrastructure and how the government purchases IT.

The memo entitled “Transforming the Marketplace: Simplifying Federal Procurement to Improve Performance, Drive Innovation, and Increase Savings,” highlights three areas that agencies will focus on in FY15:

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The New Normal for Federal IT Spending?

Tomas OKeefe_65x85by Tomas O’Keefe, Senior Analyst

For the past few years we’ve been saying we’re in the dawn of a new budget environment — where the days of significant year-over-year growth for IT spending are over. At the TechAmerica Vision Conference, which wrapped-up yesterday, speakers referenced conversations they had with top government IT leaders, confirming flat and declining budgets are the “new normal” in government. Most notably, the days of 7% overall IT budget growth are done.

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DHS’s Lessons Learned from Heartbleed

Tomas OKeefe_65x85

by Tomas O’Keefe, Senior Analyst

Virus DetectedAt a recent Washington Post event on cybersecurity recognizing National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, spoke of DHS’s “dire need” for cybersecurity legislation that better enables cyber threat information sharing and helps recruit top cybersecurity talent. While the sky isn’t falling in on Deputy Secretary Mayorkas and DHS, the failure of Congress to pass updated cybersecurity legislation has hindered the department’s ability to meet the rapidly shifting landscape of cyber threats.

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VA Seeking Analytics Tools to Enhance Veteran Care

Tomas OKeefe_65x85by Tomas O’Keefe, Senior Analyst

Some recent developments suggest that the Department of Veterans Affairs is starting to get organized and introducing more advanced analytics capabilities into its environment.

One of the new tools being introduced into the VA environment is a program called Joint Legacy Viewer, nicknamed Janus. Janus is going to give VA employees a significantly better ability to view medical information from the Defense Health Agency in a single screen. Additional capability will be added to the program to provide the ability for clinicians to order medication and other necessities based on the information on the screen. As more and more medical information is available via Janus, the VA will turn towards analytics to predict care for particular populations of veterans.

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