I hope to see you at the Synergy Conference

The second annual Synergy Conference and expo will be held 12-15 August 2008 at Marco Island, FL.  Last year's conference provided a great way for participants to learn from each other and interact with speakers from both operational and intelligence backgrounds.   I sure enjoyed it. It was one of my last official events before leaving DIA.    I had a couple speaking parts, so I got to solicit feedback on my views of the future of technology, and I really appreciated that.  But it was also really enjoyable to be on a panel led by Col Montgomery that let me interact with John Marshall of JFCOM, LTC Mahoney of NRO and Ms. Lynn Schnurr of the USA G2 (she is the CIO for G2).

I also spoke on a dinner panel with General Clapper and Rita Bush.   What an honor to be seated next to them.

And then I ended up on a third panel moderated by Lewis Shepherd that included Rita Bush, Gayle von Eckartsberg and David Chaffee.  I enjoyed that panel the most.  Ten minutes before the panel Lewis reminded me that I should have graphics.  No worries, I said, I'm a trained Naval Intelligence officer, I can produce graphics almost instantly.  The result was the attached.
A key graphic in the presentation is shown here.  This graphic is my list of who is wired and who is tired in enterprise technology.  On the tired list, Acquisition Executives.  They have a hard hard job that is thankless most of the time, largely because of the constant mission demands, the horrible government system they have to work in, and the fast pace of technology that is making them less relevant.

In my comments I mentioned that because of the rapid pace of technology and the increasing tech savvy of power users and the ability for users to "mashup" their own solutions, "Acquisition executives are becoming increasingly irrelevant to the delivery of capabilities to end users."

I didn't mean for that comment to generate drama, but it seemed to do just that!  Friends/allies/associates in the audience went wild with the remark.  Then my comrade and community leader Kevin Meiners asked me for my handwritten notes and used them in introducing Jennifer Walsmith, the Acquisition Executive for all of NSA!   Much to my surprise, Jennifer agreed with me that things are getting harder on the acquisition community and there is a great need for change.

This year I'll be spending most of my time watching/listening/visting the expo floor, but I do have a few brief moments on a panel and look forward to seeing how I can insert some drama/controversy to the proceedings.

Anyway, if you can make it to Synergy, please come.  If you can't make it, please stay tuned to the blog.  I'll try to capture interesting parts in future entries.   I'll also plan on posting to Twitter while there, so please sign up for your Twitter account and connect to me there at http://twitter.com/bobgourley

More on Synergy:

The 2nd Annual Synergy Conference and Expo will provide a unique forum to highlight advances the Intelligence and Operations communities have made in support to military operations in a tactical wartime environment and how these may reform national-level processes. It will give front line Operators, Key Decision Makers, Intelligence professionals, Technologists, and Academia the opportunity to learn fro  and work with experienced tactical-level representatives.

In conjunction with U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), the Government Emerging Technology Alliance (GETA) is planning an event that will focus on:

  • Changes occurring and envisioned in the relationship between Operations and Intelligence as a result of lessons learned from current wartime activities.
  • Each of the Uniformed Services sharing their front-line experiences and providing thought provoking ideas about the critical need for change in an agile operational environment.
  • Insight into activities at the Commands and National Intelligence Agencies with the critical
    challenges of better integrating Operations and Intelligence activities during a period of Irregular Warfare.

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Bob Gourley

Partner at Cognitio Corp
Bob Gourley is a Co-founder and Partner at Cognitio and the publisher of CTOvision.com andThreatBrief.com. Bob's background is as an all source intelligence analyst and an enterprise CTO. Find him on Twitter at @BobGourley
Connect Here
About Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley is a Co-founder and Partner at Cognitio and the publisher of CTOvision.com and ThreatBrief.com. Bob's background is as an all source intelligence analyst and an enterprise CTO. Find him on Twitter at @BobGourley


  1. Ha ha – Bob, if anything you're understating the impact of your statement – it was a hilarious moment, and a rightful come-uppance for the AE's of the world. God forbid we actually allow warfighters and their analysts rapid access to important technical capabilities…
    Please do twitter from the conference, I won't be there and would like to keep up. You may remember that on your panel, I asked how many people had a blog, and remonstrated those who didn't :-) This year I'd do the same thing about Twitter….

  2. Bob, looking forward to hearing all about it from you. I'd hoped to join one of the panels, but apparently we were a few days late on the submission deadline.

  3. Bob Gourley says:

    Lewis, thanks for comment. That is a good point about blogging and twitter. I'll let you know what responses I get (although there are some lead Web2.0/Social Media users speaking prior to this panel, so hopefully others will hit this point too).
    Daniel, It will be great to catch up again in person.
    For other readers: Few people on the planet have made the difference in the ISR world that Daniel has. I guess I could also state that few people in the planet have had such a significant impact on ecommerce. Daniel blogs at http://thenoisychannel.blogspot.com Check his blog out and I think you will see what I mean.

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