The Low Down on the New National Strategic Computing Initiative

Tom O'Keefe by Tomas O’Keefe, Consultant

On The Low Down on the New National Strategic Computing InitiativeJuly 29th, President Obama released a new executive order entitled: “Creating a National Strategic Computing Initiative.” This executive order seeks “to maximize benefits of high-performance computing (HPC) research, development, and deployment” for the benefit of not only federal departments but also economic competitiveness and scientific discovery in the United States. The order establishes the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI), an effort to create a cross-agency development strategy for HPC and a way to leverage budget among a multitude of agencies to further scientific success and promote exascale computing.

These are the top five objectives of the National Strategic Computing Initiative:

  1. Accelerating delivery of a capable exascale computing system
  2. Establishing a roadmap for future HPC systems
  3. Developing an enduring public-private collaboration
  4. Increasing coherence between modeling and simulation and data analytic computing technologies
  5. Addressing HPC challenges in networking technology, workflow, downward scaling, foundational algorithms and software, accessibility, and workforce development

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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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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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DOD’s COCOMs: Unique Opportunities and Requirements

Stephanie Meloni_65x85by Stephanie Meloni, Senior Analyst

Among theDOD’s COCOMs: Unique Opportunities and Requirements public sector IT industry there’s a common misconception that the Combatant Commands (COCOMs) have no information technology budget, they operate purely at the discretion of the Service Branches, and offer little in the way of procurement opportunities for COTS vendors. To be fair, the COCOMs have complex and dissimilar budget structures that muddle the buckets of money spent on IT, making it difficult to determine how and where money is being allocated. Misperceptions are understandable.

Some may be surprised to learn IT funding for the COCOMs does not always originate from the Services. For example, Functional commands like U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) and U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) get IT budgets appropriated from Congress. TRANSCOM’s IT budget request for FY16 is $444M and SOCOM’s is $287M. Also, the COCOMs have some autonomy for purchasing technologies and offer potent procurement opportunities IT vendors shouldn’t ignore.

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3 FAA Programs Seeing Growth in DME Funding: Part II

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

In DME Explosion at FAA7 FAA Programs Seeing Growth in DME Funding: Part 1 I gave a quick rundown on which Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) programs had requested larger amounts of development, modernization, and enhancement (DME) funding for their FY16 IT budget. Today I’ll touch on the largest technology priorities within the FAA and their related programs.


FAA’s program with the largest DME increase, DataComm – the organization’s attempt to automate enhancements for air control communication and data linkage between aircraft and ground users – has modeling & simulation requirements that’ll need to be met before its implementation in FY16-17. You’ll want to show how your product can aid in their testing efforts and efficiently meet their rollout deadline. If your company has collaboration solutions, you’ll also want to reach out to DataComm decision makers to indicate how your product can help automate data transfer from aircraft to ground users.

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4 Areas Air Force Looks to COTS Vendors to Fuel Innovation

Stephanie Headshot 65x85by Stephanie Meloni, Senior Analyst

With the 20163D Wire Plane DOD Budget Request kicking around Congress, we’ll have to wait and see how the budget ultimately shakes out. We are also still waiting to receive the FY16 Information Technology budget requests for the Services. But, with an overall increase in the DOD request, we have reason to hope that when the final spending bill does pass, it will still include more funding than FY15 enacted budgets.

The Air Force’s total budget base (or “blue”) request for FY16 is 122.2 Billion dollars, which represents about a 12% increase from FY15. Operations and Maintenance, which has long been an area targeted for cuts, along with Procurement, will surprisingly see the biggest increases in the FY16 request. Also interestingly, RDT&E Research Development Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) shows an increase of about 13% from last year. The Air Force is an organization that is very committed to the idea of innovation. They spend more on RDT&E than the rest of the Services.

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4 Initiatives Taking a Front Row Seat in Navy’s FY16 Budget

4 Initiatives Taking a Front Row Seat in Navy’s FY16 Navy Budget
Lloyd McCoy_65x85by Lloyd McCoy Jr., Consultant

The 2016 DOD Budget Request has arrived. If passed, it would be the biggest military base budget ever. So now what?

Before you hit the ground running, it’s important to remember that this is just a request. Congress and the administration still have to hash out any differences and agree on a budget. Also, while the possibility of sequestration is weighing heavy on everyone’s mind, I anticipate it will be kicked to the curb and both parties will settle on a compromise (not far off from the requested totals).
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GSA’s Search for a New Agile Software Procurement Vehicle

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

Many view GSA to {139d2873-a0fe-4038-b1d6-98fbd57fb9ba}_GSAbe a regulatory value-add agency with a budget designed to assist other agencies with their strategic plans. However, GSA is not just composed of grant money, and occasionally creates an opportunity for industry to engage directly. With constantly shrinking budgets it is undoubtedly difficult to find the right office to help build out systems, so when a small agency such as the GSA comes out with a large initiative, you better be on your toes. Since the majority of agencies are facing funding cuts — in a world of ever evolving technology demands — the GSA has submitted an RFI on Federal Business Opportunities for a new procurement vehicle pertaining to agile software development. This BPA (blanket purchase agreement) will shorten the software acquisition cycle for agile software procurement to less than a month’s time — making it comparable to SEWP’s timeliness and readiness. The procurement vehicle will be developed in-house and used to expedite the purchase of products and services. The development of this BPA will include streamlined processes, agile demonstrations, onboarding support, flexibility, and small business friendliness.
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Navy Creating Waves of Change in IT Security, Infrastructure, and Mobility

Lloyd McCoy_65x85by Lloyd McCoy Jr., Consultant

Recently I attended an AFCEA luncheon with Janice Haith, the deputy CIO for the Navy; her remarks provided valuable insights on where the Navy stands with IT reform, specifically in the areas of security, infrastructure, and mobility. From possibly doing away from NIPRNET to challenges in consolidation efforts, I thought I would share some highlights with you:

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