The End of No Child Left Behind Brings Technology Back to the Classroom

EduImg_100x100Rachel Eckertby Rachel Eckert, Consultant – SLED

As the No Child Left Behind Act draws to a close, the education market is seeing a shift in focus that will bring about much-needed change in school curriculum and learning approaches — all with an eye towards technology integration.

The No Child Left Behind Act, signed into law in 2002, provided an avenue for teachers to identify where students were progressing and where they might be falling behind. Gradually, its requirements became too limiting for teachers and ultimately ineffective. In its place is the Every Student Succeeds Act, signed into law December 10, 2015. This relatively new act fundamentally changes how content and curriculum are developed for schools. Rather than mandates and broad-brush minimums required by the federal government, the new Every Student Succeeds Act puts the states and then each school locality system in control of the decisions and benchmarks that make sense for them. Read more of this post

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

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

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.

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

Market Segmentation Pivotal to Navigating the SLED Market

Compass_RERachel Eckertby Rachel Eckert, Senior Analyst

Navigating the SLED market at times can be like embarking on a journey through 50 individual fiefdoms — and moving from state to state sometimes requires a translator. Each state likes to use their own nomenclature and naming conventions; the Department of Health in one state is Department of Public Health in another or Department of Healthcare & Family Services in yet another.

While each state has its own dialect, identifying a shared language can make it easier to find opportunities, leverage successes, and grow your business in the SLED market. Fortunately, there is a common language: Market Segmentation. Standardized market segments allow us to draw comparisons, see trends across states, and make smarter decisions by focusing on specific government functions that exist regardless of the state.
Through this segmentation, success in one state will translate to success in
neighboring states for a targeted campaign. Read more of this post

New Funding Tied to Obama’s Smart Cities Initiative

SmartCity_TOTom O'Keefeby Tomas O’Keefe, Consultant

On September 14th, President Obama announced his Smart Cities initiative that would dedicate over $160M in federal research and development funding to technology solutions designed to help communities “reduce traffic congestion, fight crime, foster economic growth, manage the effects of a changing climate, and improve delivery of city services.”

Most of this money will fund projects at the federal level, which will then trickle down to state, local, and education municipalities. Technology companies can piggyback on these projects by identifying states and localities primed for newer technology innovations. Read more of this post

Virginia’s Need for a Uniform Case Management Solution

Mark Wisingerby Mark Wisinger, Analyst

Judicial systemsVirginia’s Need for a Uniform Case Management Solution exemplify the ideal environment for case management software, as legal cases require incident management at various stages in the litigation process — with a multitude of possible outcomes. Legal case data is the perfect example of where analytics can help judicial systems identify typical actions for specific cases, as well as guide policy decisions at the top level. Case management software has the ability to arm and empower judicial systems with management and analytic capabilities, however state governments have underexploited case management tools.

The state of Virginia, for example, has a state-wide case management system for circuit courts, but with limited reach and capability. In terms of reach, the case management system is used in a limited amount of courts, excluding the major circuit courts of Alexandria, Fairfax, and Virginia Beach. Virginia Beach ceased contributing to the system in 2009, opting to employ its own case management system. Alexandria and Fairfax previously implemented their own systems, with their own enhancements.

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3 Areas State & Local Agencies Are Looking to Transform IT and Healthcare Management

Choice health or money. Caduceus and dollar signs on scales.Rachel Eckertby Rachel Eckert, Senior Analyst

In this new resource-constrained environment of “doing more with less,” state and local governments must find ways to increase delivery of Health & Human Services (HHS) to citizens without a corresponding increase to their budget. As state budgets continue to recover from the crippling 2008 recession, HHS agencies – while still holding a dominating share of the budget – are being encouraged to reform their approach to IT and healthcare management.  As such, states are looking to the COTs community to help them transform IT and Healthcare Management in three core areas:
Read more of this post

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.

Read more of this post

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