As a techie the most fun at DIA's DoDIIS Conference is usually on the expo floor. This is always a great place to learn about interesting new technologies or about how key integrators are adding value to solutions for some very interesting missions.
A fun challenge is to see as many of the 200 organizations on the expo floor as possible. I try to spend at least a couple seconds with all, but then circle back for quality time with those that have something unique. It also pays to have a tech learning goal and focus strategy before the conference. My goal is to learn as much about new enterprise IT as possible, specifically to learn about firms that can cause the biggest positive disruption in current approaches. My personal approach is to review the list of firms who will be on the floor, filter them through what I already know and what I want to know, and come up with a target list.
Below is my personal target list. I'm sharing in the hope that it will help optimize your time at the conference. But I would also love to hear your thoughts. The more brains we have thinking about what is disruptive the better we will all be able to accelerate positive tech disruption. With that said, here is my short list of firms to visit at DoDIIS:
- AWS: They are continually innovating so if you think you know them you are wrong! You It is always worthwhile spending time with them learning the latest (every organization I encounter in the commercial space is either undergoing a cloud transition or is contemplating it).
- Anomali: They are operationalizing threat intelligence in ways that can find bad guys faster and help teams prioritize defenses.
- Apple: Not sure what they are doing at at conference like this so I'm going to meet with them for the curiosity factor.
- Atlassian: Every developer I meet who uses Atlassian loves their software development and collaboration tools.
- Bluecat: Now the leader in enterprise grade networking including security, virtualization, cloud, IT as a Service. Masters at optimizing and securing DNS.
- Any firm in the Carahsoft collection: Ok this actually adds dozens of other firms to your visit list, but Carahsoft always comes with a great portfolio of new technologies.
- Cloudera: Continuously innovating around data and security and analytics. I'm hoping they bring information on Apache Spot.
- Confluent: Question to ask anyone: "Have you ever used Kafka?" If they answer in the negative tell them it is key to LinkedIn. If they say they don't use LinkedIn let them know Kafka powers Uber, Yahoo, Twitter, Netflix, Square, Box, AirBnb, CloudFlare, and just about every other firm that requires high speed, highly reliable stream processing.
- Evident.io: Making configuration control and compliance in the cloud much easier. We love these guys and refer them to clients all the time.
- Frame: You know they are hot right now, this will be a great chance to see why. What they do is like magic. Run any software in a browser.
- Hootsuite: These guys have contributed to the success of my firm in ways that are hard to express and I'll definitely visit to say thanks in person. But I wonder what they hope to get out of this conference.
- One Identity: Enterprise grade identity management and privileged user management is important to any organization. They are not the only players in this space and a couple others are on the expo floor but this quest company seems to have some new and very scalable approaches.
- Palantir Technologies: They continue to invest in solutions that help organizations tackle their hardest information challenges, including knowledge creation
- SkyHigh Networks: One of the hottest new technology categories in IT is the cloud access security brokers. Skyhigh is a market leader here.
Integrators to spend time with include:
- AxioLogic: Great teammate and proven past performance.
- Berico: Fantastic mix of government and commercial experience.
- BAE Systems: Service to every IC agency
- CSRA: Service to every IC agency
- EagleRay: Widely known for excellence in program management and engineering
- Leidos: Service to every IC agency
- Northrup Grumman: Service to every IC agency. Always investing R&D for solutions
- General Dynamics: Service to every IC agency, big focus on IT
- Invictus: Led by proven performers who have delivered for years.
- Fulcrum: Mission focused teammates who serve global missions
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