Survival Tips for DOT’s IT Spending Freeze

IT Freeze_KSKevin Shaker_65 x 85by Kevin Shaker, Analyst, Market Intelligence

The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) is no longer a work in progress, it’s a full-blown reality. FITARA is leading the charge in some real IT reform — particularly at the Department of Transportation (DOT) —  as it currently assesses its IT budgets and plans. In case you didn’t know, FITARA puts more budget formulation and IT operational control into the hands of the CIO. DOT’s CIO, Richard McKinney, isn’t missing out on the opportunity to take advantage of his new role. 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.

3 Things You Should Know About the FY16 Omnibus

OmniBus_CWChris Wiedemann_65 x 85by Chris Wiedemann, Senior Analyst

Late Tuesday night, news broke that a spending deal was agreed on by both the House and Senate. Barring an unforeseen emergency or last-minute change of heart, it now looks like the remainder of the fiscal year will be funded by an Omnibus appropriations bill. This is obviously great news for both the government and their industry partners — as a full-year Continuing Resolution (CR) would have frozen many new programs and investments.

At first glance, the Omnibus itself reveals some interesting details that could affect the IT community at large.

Here are three things you should know about the new appropriations package:

  1. Not a Law Just Yet

Although both the House and the Senate have agreed on the broad terms of the bill, neither chamber has actually voted on it — and the earliest they are likely to do so is tomorrow. This means that another short-term CR will be necessary to avoid a temporary shutdown. 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?

Read more of this post

Internet of Things: 3 Areas of Opportunity for COTS Vendors

IoT_KSKevin Shaker_65 x 85by Kevin Shaker, Analyst, Market Intelligence

The Internet of Things (IoT) is more than just a buzzword, it’s a full-blown reality. IoT is essentially the composition of multiple electronics, sensors, software, and device endpoints that communicate with each other by exchanging data and signals. Think of the IoT as a robust network of working and moving parts that change their habits and functions based on information between sensors. The Internet of Things is transforming the way business processes are conducted from security and surveillance to telemedicine and healthcare (just to name a few). Read more of this post

Government to Improve IT Acquisition with Collaboration Tools

Collaboration_KSKevin Shaker_65 x 85by Kevin Shaker, Analyst, Market Intelligence

Lack of transparency and communication is one of the fundamental challenges facing government agencies. DOD struggles the most to communicate effectively between information silos. DOD CIO, Terry Halvorsen recently highlighted this problem as it pertains to the IT acquisition process. Halvorsen stated that too often federal contracting officers are not embedded in groups that deal directly with the programs they support. Therefore, purchase criteria is not always based on sound decisions — the government obtains goods and services that may not be well suited for certain agencies. Sometimes IT officials sitting in the room of acquisition deliberations is not enough — the government needs better alignment between product requirements development and acquisition professionals. Read more of this post

3 Questions Every COTS Vendor Should Ask in Preparation for FY16

End of FY15_CWChris Wiedemann_65 x 85by Chris Wiedemann, Senior Analyst

It’s the last couple days of the 2015 government fiscal year, which to most of us means only one thing: closing year-end business. Selling COTS products to the government can get pretty hectic around this time of year, so you’d be forgiven for overlooking a salient and somewhat worrying fact: we still have no agency funding for FY16.

With exactly 2 days left of FY15 (and counting) the only existing Continuing Resolution (CR) flat lined in the Senate, although Congress does appear poised to pass a clean CR which has a good chance of making it to the President’s desk. Still, they are dealing with a very tight deadline and we might be in for another brief government shutdown before Congress can put a short-term CR in place.

The good news is, we’ve been here before. The beginning of FY14 became famous for its 16-day government shutdown. While it was painful for both the government and its industry partners, COTS manufacturers made a rebound, showing strong results at the end of the fiscal year. In the event of another shutdown, the best advice we can give to the COTS community is “hold tight.” While having most of your customers furloughed to begin a fiscal year isn’t ideal — and the impacts of a shutdown on the larger economy are significant COTS vendors will likely emerge more or less unscathed. All that being said, there are still important questions that need to be answered and issues that need to be addressed as we enter FY16’s uncertain beginning. Read more of this post

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