Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Kevin Jackson, Esmeralda Swartz, Roger Strukhoff, Trevor Parsons

Related Topics: GovIT, SOA & WOA, Virtualization, Web 2.0, Cloud Expo, Security

GovIT: Blog Feed Post

Selling to Government (Especially DoD) – It’s Not All About YOU!

My job is all about finding commercial solutions that will solve government problems

By

My job is all about finding commercial solutions that will solve government problems. Some of my favorite work experiences have been when I can connect a new technology to an existing government problem! Talk about satisfying! Although every company is unique in what it offers, the process is often similar. First, I strive to understand what the company can do. Then, I translate that ability into something that is applicable to DoD. And finally, I look for the place within DoD where that solution is needed. That may sound obvious, but from the perspective of DoD, it’s 100% backwards. And that difference in perspective can often derail the process. So bear with me while I explain.

sellingDuring my years on Active Duty, I concentrated on requirements and capabilities. I knew that defining my requirements was the first essential step that would lead to my success as a war fighter. It was often tempting to jump ahead on the process and start listing the solutions I needed. But I knew that I would never get far that way.

First, I knew that I was usually several generations behind on what the “art of the possible” was. As much as the movies like to show DoD with up to date capabilities, what we actually had in the field was way behind. Given that DoD spends a fraction of what Industry spends on R&D, that makes sense. Keeping my requirements clear and factual ensured that I didn’t self-select a lower-grade solution.

Secondly, the acquisition folks would never let me get away with writing specifications based on anything but my basic, actual requirements. There are plenty of examples where military “requirements” went uncontested and after the acquisition process completed, the final purchase was for something MUCH more expensive than it needed to be. That’s a big NO-NO in DoD and there is lots of oversight to prevent that from happening. Now more than ever!

Linking these requirements to the resulting war fighting capability is the piece of the process that is most important when trying to get funding. As a C5ISR expert, I had to learn how to make my seemingly endless list of requirements make sense to the folks that had decision-making power over the funding. These folks are mostly interested in what these requirements bring to the fight: the capabilities that will be achieved. Getting my message across depended on linking my requirements to the capabilities that would enable success in a military mission.

Now, overlay on the above Company X, who is really good at making Widget Y. Widget Y does something really cool, and Company X wants to sell Widget Y to DoD. I learn about Company X and how to use Widget Y, and I find a place in DoD where they might need that capability. A meeting is set up, and Company X visits the warfighter and gets their chance to showcase Widget Y. But Company X can’t get the message across! Because Company X is so in love with Widget Y they can’t stop and look at the requirement objectively and offer their educated inputs on how to satisfy that requirement to achieve the capability that is needed.

Every parent that drops off their 5 year old on the first day of kindergarten truly believes that they have just done something really wonderful for that school. It’s not until the first parent-teacher conference that it even occurs to them that their child might not be a perfect, 100% value-added addition to the class! So it is for Company X. But unlike the parent, Company X is not guaranteed a seat in the class!

DoD really and truly wants to hear from Company X, because they know that Company X is smarter than they are about their particular type of technology. But DoD only wants to hear how that technology can apply to fulfilling their previously identified and prioritized existing requirements. DoD is NOT interested in helping Company X figure out where to stuff their solutions.

To make this type of interaction between DoD and Industry successful, the company needs to be prepared to do some homework BEFORE they go in. They need to understand, as much as they can, what DoD needs. They need to be prepared to really listen when DoD talks. And then they need to be ready to interact with DoD to brainstorm ideas and offer expert advice. Obviously, the desired outcome is that Widget Y might be a solution that can help. But that’s something that can only be determined by clearly addressing the requirements first!

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley, former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), is Founder and CTO of Crucial Point LLC, a technology research and advisory firm providing fact based technology reviews in support of venture capital, private equity and emerging technology firms. He has extensive industry experience in intelligence and security and was awarded an intelligence community meritorious achievement award by AFCEA in 2008, and has also been recognized as an Infoworld Top 25 CTO and as one of the most fascinating communicators in Government IT by GovFresh.

@CloudExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that SOA Software, an API management leader, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SOA Software is a leading provider of API Management and SOA Governance products that equip business to deliver APIs and SOA together to drive their company to meet its business strategy quickly and effectively. SOA Software’s technology helps businesses to accel...
Compute virtualization has been transformational, yet security policy implementation and enforcement has lagged behind in agility and automation. There are a number of key considerations when implementing policy in private and hybrid clouds. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Holland Barry, VP of Technology at Catbird, will discuss the impact of this new paradigm and what organizations can do today to safely move to software-defined network and compute architectures, including: How normal ope...
Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi, who headed the company's recent SmartThings acquisition under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovaction Center (OIC), answered a few questions we had about the deal. This interview was in conjunction with our interview with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson. IoT Journal: SmartThings was developed in an open, standards-agnostic platform, and will now be part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center. Can you elaborate on your commitment to keep the platform open? Jacopo Lenzi: S...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic • Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff hap...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Utimaco will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Utimaco is a leading manufacturer of hardware based security solutions that provide the root of trust to keep cryptographic keys safe, secure critical digital infrastructures and protect high value data assets. Only Utimaco delivers a general-purpose hardware security module (HSM) as a customiz...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ElasticBox is holding a Hackathon at DevOps Summit, November 6 from 12 pm -4 pm at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. You can enter as an individual or team of up to 10 developers. A New Star Is Born Every Month! All completed ElasticBoxes will then be sent to a judging panel - 12 winners will be featured on the ElasticBox website in 2015. All entrants will receive five full enterprise licenses for one year + ElasticBox headphones + Elasti...
Once the decision has been made to move part or all of a workload to the cloud, a methodology for selecting that workload needs to be established. How do you move to the cloud? What does the discovery, assessment and planning look like? What workloads make sense? Which cloud model makes sense for each workload? What are the considerations for how to select the right cloud model? And how does that fit in with the overall IT tranformation? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, John Hatem, head of V...
Cloud services are the newest tool in the arsenal of IT products in the market today. These cloud services integrate process and tools. In order to use these products effectively, organizations must have a good understanding of themselves and their business requirements. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Brian Lewis, Principal Architect at Verizon Cloud, will outline key areas of organizational focus, and how to formalize an actionable plan when migrating applications and internal services to...
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, will discuss how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP ...
Ixia develops amazing products so its customers can connect the world. Ixia helps its customers provide an always-on user experience through fast, secure delivery of dynamic connected technologies and services. Through actionable insights that accelerate and secure application and service delivery, Ixia's customers benefit from faster time to market, optimized application performance and higher-quality deployments.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calm.io has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of DevOps Summit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calm.io is a cloud orchestration platform for AWS, vCenter, OpenStack, or bare metal, that runs your CL tools puppet, Chef, shell, git, Jenkins, nagios, and will soon support New Relic and Docker. It can run hosted, or on premise and provides VM automation / expiry, self-service portals,...
In her General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing, at Verizon Enterprise, will focus on finding the right mix of renting vs. buying Oracle capacity to scale to meet business demands, and offer validated Oracle database TCO models for Oracle development and testing environments. Anne Plese is a marketing and technology enthusiast/realist with over 19+ years in high tech. At Verizon Enterprise, she focuses on driving growth for the Verizon Cloud pla...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue bu...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce t...
As Platform as a Service (PaaS) matures as a category, developers should have the ability to use the programming language of their choice to build applications and have access to a wide array of services. Bluemix is IBM's open cloud development platform that enables users to easily build cloud-based, creative mobile and web applications without having to spend large amounts of time and resources on configuring infrastructure and multiple software licenses. In this track, you will learn about the...
Blue Box has closed a $10 million Series B financing. The round was led by a strategic investor and included participation from prior investors including Voyager Capital and Founders Collective, as well as the Blue Box executive team. This round follows a $4.3 million Series A closed in December of 2012 and led by Voyager Capital. In May of this year, the company announced general availability of its private cloud as a service offering, Blue Box Cloud. Since that release, the company has dem...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Verizon has been named "Gold Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Verizon Enterprise Solutions creates global connections that generate growth, drive business innovation and move society forward. With industry-specific solutions and a full range of global wholesale offerings provided over the company's secure mobility, cloud, strategic network...
SimpleECM is the only platform to offer a powerful combination of enterprise content management (ECM) services, capture solutions, and third-party business services providing simplified integrations and workflow development for solution providers. SimpleECM is opening the market to businesses of all sizes by reinventing the delivery of ECM services. Our APIs make the development of ECM services simple with the use of familiar technologies for a frictionless integration directly into web applicat...
The only place to be June 9-11 is Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo 2015 East at the Javits Center in New York City. Join us there as delegates from all over the world come to listen to and engage with speakers & sponsors from the leading Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data companies. Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo are the leading events covering the booming market of Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data for the enterprise. Speakers from all over the world will be hand-picked for their ability to explore the economic...