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DC Tech Hits Big At SXSW
March 13, 2013

DC Tech Hits

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They came armed with sun glasses emblazoned with #dctech, and a strong message that the nation's capital is the place for tech startups. Lots of DC'ers made the trip to SXSW, the annual music, movie, tech... and anything else you can sneak in festival in Austin.

SXSW-dc tech
The DC tech evangelists included 1776 co-founder Evan Burfield, DC Mayor Vincent Gray, Blackboard co-founder Michael Chasen, iStrategyLabs CEO and DC Tech Meetup founder Peter Corbett, and SpeakerBox EVP Lisa Throckmorton. Other DC-area tech startups were exhibiting, competing in accelerator competitions, and meeting some of their tech brethren. And we hear some may be coming back to DC with new tattoos. (What's the over/under on it being Mayor Gray?)

Go Small, Contractors

bloomberg-brian friel
Turns out small is better. Fed IT contractors will fare better if they start competing for smaller contracts more frequently as the government changes the way it allocates its tech dollars, according to a study by Bloomberg Government analyst Brian Friel. This is true for contractors competing for GSA's Alliant work. Agencies like DOD, Energy, HHS, DHS, and State say they're boosting their spending on that contract. Alliant has $4.1 billion in task orders expiring through FY16 on four GWACs: GSA's Millennia, Millennia Lite, ANSWER, and COMMITS NexGen. And agencies are forecasting $30 million in task orders to be competed this year.

MOI Delivers: Office Furniture And Cost Savings

spon spot-MOI
MOI has three decades worth of solid relationships with the regional business community. The full-service commercial furniture dealership has its HQ in Baltimore, and its largest office is in DC (around the corner from our Bisnow HQ, and we depend on them regularly). More offices can be found in Richmond and VA Beach. In all, its 150 consultants (some of them pictured at their annual Crab Feast) handle a multitude of national and international requests. Being a large firm like MOI brings negotiating strength and garners manufacturer attention, and what manufacturers they are: Knoll, Kimball Office, DIRTT, National, Hon, Gunlocke, and AIS (just to name a few of over 300). MOI can service projects from a table/chair combo in a customer's home office to a 3,500-station corporate environment (and everything in between). It can also bring economies of scale to larger projects. For more information on our sponsor, click here.

Katherine Ferguson's New Gig at Callis

callis-katherine ferguson
A familiar face will be missing from DC tech networking circles. Cooley's former biz dev guru and MindShare's executive director Katherine Ferguson is now leading marketing and communications at Mobile, Ala.-based Callis Communications. (She moved there but is keeping her DC residence.) Katherine, who started this week, is also the company's chief culture officer. She'll be helping the $12 million cloud communications service provider maintain its entrepreneurial vibe as it doubles in size over the next two years.

Katherine says she'll stay connected to the DC tech scene as a frequent visitor and an honorary MindShare alum. She's one of several new execs the 50-person company has hired in the last year, including product management VP Kevin Demery who came from GE in February. CEO Dean Parker launched the company in 1999 and says the Alabama tech scene has transformed the region with Airbus moving its engineering and manufacturing operations to Mobile and the University of South Alabama establishing a tech and research park.

Want Government Work? You'll Have to Go Through Them

Any cloud service provider wanting to do work for the government should know these guys. Alexandria, Va.-based SecureInfo is one of 16 companies able to certify that providers are meeting FedRAMP's stringent standards. So far only two companies have passed FedRAMP's muster since last July. One of the them was Fairfax, Va.-based CGI Federal, which worked with SecureInfo since October to get the validation. But SVP Chris Fountain and CTO Yong-Gon Chon say 80 more cloud-based solutions are in the queue to meet FedRAMP's standards. The process is long, with nearly 300 controls ranging from password strength to contingency plans. 

SecureInfo, a Kratos division, is also able to help the provider through the continuous audits that FedRamp requires. It's been in the cybersecurity business since 2000, with customers like Microsoft and Amazon Web Services that had to meet NIST risk management measures before FedRAMP came along. The company helped Microsoft get certified to provide federal e-mail services in the cloud. Chris says the company will grow 20% in head count this year, hiring subject matter experts who understand some of the more technical measures behind security standards and how they apply to cloud computing and traditional computing models. 

Spring is around the corner. What products are you launching? Tell Bisnow's Tania Anderson.

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