Virginia Becoming a Hot Bed for Cybersecurity

HotBed_RERachel Eckertby Rachel Eckert, Senior Analyst

It’s that time of the year when Governors make their “State-of-the-State” speeches to legislatures, outlining their priorities for the upcoming year. Virginia was no different with Governor McAuliffe identifying plans that could position Virginia as the “Silicon Valley” for cybersecurity — providing great opportunities for technology companies in the commonwealth.

Governor McAuliffe announced that Virginia won a competition among 46 other states, and was selected to be the host for the U.S. Air Force’s new Cyber Operation Squadron at Langley Air Force Base — set to be operational in 2017. This move will surely boost the economy and create more jobs in the area. Virginia is also home to the new VISA state-of-the-art cyber fusion center in Ashburn that will provide threat detection and command and control operations for VISA’s payment network. All of these support Governor McAuliffe’s goal to become a cybersecurity powerhouse. Read more of this post

Riding the Wave of IT Procurement Consolidation in DOD

dv131001Mark Wisingerby Mark Wisinger, Analyst

For the past few years, the term “consolidation” has become synonymous with data center consolidation — a major initiative across public sector. The federal government’s objective in data center consolidation is clear: minimize spending and do more with less.

While data center consolidation has taken limelight for some time now, procurement consolidation is becoming a widespread initiative as it focuses on efficient spending. Let’s take a look at how DOD’s procurement consolidation impacts the bottom line of technology companies that do business with the government, and how you can ride “the wave of IT procurement consolidation.” Read more of this post

DHS Championing Innovation in Silicon Valley

ThinkstockPhotos-465821896Tom O'Keefeby Tomas O’Keefe, Consultant

Last spring, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) opened up its Silicon Valley Office (SVO) under the Directorate for Science and Technology (S&T), having high hopes of better engaging with technology innovators in Silicon Valley. DHS wants to build bridges with the startup community so that new technologies — particularly cybersecurity technologies — can be readily identified and selected to help defend public and private networks.

The office uses innovative contracting methods that speed up the acquisition process, involving Broad Agency Announcements and leveraging short-term technology contracts to get the latest and greatest tools in the hands of federal cybersecurity professionals. Read more of this post

The Latest Info Sharing Legislation: 3 Things IT Vendors Should Know

CyberLegistlation_LM

Lloyd McCoy Jr.by DOD Manager, Lloyd McCoy Jr.

Earlier this month President Obama enacted a $1.1 trillion spending bill, preventing a 2015 government shutdown and increasing funding for most agencies in FY16. This spending bill combines what would have been a dozen pieces of legislation funding the government, into one all-encompassing law. As is often the case, this massive spending bill came with riders — none as impactful as cyber information sharing legislation — which is based on drafts of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be at the forefront of gathering and distributing cyber threat information with industry as well as leading the establishment of information sharing organizations. Read more of this post

Slow Week in the Office? Watch On-Demand Sessions from the Government IT Sales Summit!

by Allan Rubin, Vice President, Marketing Allan Rubin 65x85

immixGroup’s 2nd Annual Government IT Sales Summit is done, but thanks to the magic of Al Gore and Tim Berners-Lee, it lives on forever on the Web (well maybe not forever).

This year’s event attracted nearly 1,000 sales, marketing, channel, and business executives from the public sector IT community who all came with one purpose: to get real-world perspectives and actionable information that helps them increase their government sales.

Since many of you tried but failed to be in two places at once, we’ve got a treat for you:  video and audio recordings of all 19 sessions (as well as downloadable presentations) are now available on demand at immixgroup.com/summit2015.

Sessions explore everything from the newest technology developments in Big Data, Cybersecurity, and The Internet of Things to the latest government IT priorities and what they mean for technology companies that sell their products to the government. Watch the keynote address by Walter Isaacson (highly recommended), panel discussions led by government IT leaders, and the 11th Annual DOD and Civilian Budget Briefings (our most popular sessions by far)— anytime, anywhere.

If you’ve got some extra time to kill over the holidays, grab a notepad and check out some of the videos. They’ll help you start strong in January.

Air Force Aiming to Transform IT Operations with Cybersecurity and Big Data Solutions

3D Wire PlaneStephanie Meloni_65x85by Stephanie Meloni, Senior Analyst

Air Force senior leadership came together at AFCEA NOVA’s recent Air Force IT Day to share their priorities for the near future. Two overarching themes became clear: IT related to data integration and analytics as well as cybersecurity are main focus areas for the Air Force in FY16. Additionally, the Air Force’s Task Force, Cyber Secure — established earlier this year to help the Air Force get ahead of cyber threats — has been a success story as the Air Force establishes its cyber terrain. Read more of this post

10 Dos and Don’ts of SLED Procurement

DoDontsSLED_RERachel Eckertby Rachel Eckert, Senior Analyst

For IT vendors trying to sell their products to the state, local, and education (SLED) market, contracting is a major hurdle (and headache). Navigating SLED procurement requires more than just reading strategic plans and responding to RFPs. To succeed in SLED, you need to understand the purchasing process inside out, who the key decision makers are, and ultimately who has buying power.

With each state, local, and education organization being unique, the procurement process is even more complex.  During our 2nd Annual Government IT Sales Summit — exactly 2 weeks ago — four SLED procurement experts shared their top Dos and Don’ts of SLED procurement during session, This Ain’t DC: Navigating SLED Procurement Reform.

Check out this list of top 10 dos and don’ts of SLED procurement:

  1. Do – Understand the reporting relationship and organization authority flow
  2. Do – Be a business partner to your government customer
  3. Do – Ask questions upfront in the procurement process
  4. Do – Build a relationship and trust with the government customer
  5. Do – Get all stakeholders involved early

Read more of this post

3 Joint Staff Takeaways from MILCOM 2015

Number 3 Fingers_CroppedMark Wisingerby Mark Wisinger, Analyst

Joint Staff J6 Director Lt. Gen. Mark Bowman recently spoke at MILCOM 2015 with DOD topics such as the Joint Information Environment (JIE), the Joint Regional Security Stack (JRSS), and interoperability top of mind. These reflections shed light on the Joint Staff’s IT priorities and challenges.

Here are the three main takeaways that COTS vendors and channel partners (large and small) will find of value:

  1. Common Architecture

At this juncture, Lt. Gen. Bowman believes the DOD’s JIE should be more advanced — progress is not moving fast enough. He indicated that there is a need for common architecture, especially an architecture than can be controlled by the Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) via the DOD Information Network Joint Force Headquarters (DODIN-JFHQ). Open and compatible architecture is a continuing challenge for the DOD at large. Ensure your product messaging emphasizes compatibility, as this is the key element the Joint Staff is looking for in COTS products. Read more of this post

3 Aspects of Navigating Government Convergence

ImmixgroupGOVit-219_250x166Chris Wiedemann_65 x 85by Chris Wiedemann, Senior Analyst

As immixGroup’s 2nd Annual Government IT Sales Summit draws closer, I want to give you an inside look at the major theme of this year’s 11th Annual Civilian Budget Briefing: convergence. Whether in acquisition, management structure, or technology, the federal COTS market is positioned to come together in new ways this year.

Here are three broad trends the Market Intelligence organization will explore next Thursday, November 19th at the 2nd Annual Government IT Sales Summit: Read more of this post

Navigating Government’s Evolving Contractual Landscape

Contracts_TOTom O'Keefeby Tomas O’Keefe, Consultant

Government is raising the bar for competition, making management of contract vehicles more complicated through increased reporting requirements and consolidation of spend into large systems development vehicles. Competing in this environment is becoming more and more challenging for technology vendors with limited resources to balance between managing and growing their business. Identifying an optimal go-to-market strategy is critical for technology suppliers to expand their public sector footprint, but finding the best path forward isn’t always cut and dry.  With this in mind, how should technology companies proceed?

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