16 hot companies to watchBy John Moore
Sep 20, 2013
The to-do list seemingly never stops growing for federal IT managers. They must keep up with developments in mobile technology, comb through data for key information nuggets, and evaluate cloud computing options — to name just a few challenges.
On top of that, they also need to find tools to help their agencies better manage technology assets and human resources in a time of budget constraints.
FCW's annual list of companies to watch emphasizes products and services that address the government's key challenges. We chose the 16 companies based on a number of factors, including how well they were represented on contract vehicles, their ability to make strategic alliances with other companies and their efforts to reach out to the federal market.
Big data and analyticsBig data, which has been on the federal radar for a while, is becoming almost mainstream. The technology is being put to more and more uses, with applications ranging from marketing to meteorology. Companies making moves into the federal big-data space include Sqrrl Data, Kognitio and Kapow Software.
Sqrrl Enterprise is a big-data platform for creating analytical applications. It runs on Apache Accumulo, a database developed by the National Security Agency and now an open-source project. Accumulo integrates with Hadoop, a software framework that enables organizations to process very large sets of data.
"We are seeing Accumulo adoption rapidly spread across the federal government," said Ely Kahn, Sqrrl's co-founder and vice president of business development.
He said Accumulo spread from NSA across the Defense Department, the intelligence community, and civilian agencies such as the departments of Homeland Security and Justice.
Kognitio, meanwhile, offers a big-data analytics platform that uses memory instead of disk space for storage. The company's technology debuted in the financial sector, but it is also carving a niche in the federal government. Kognitio and DMG Federal, an IT consulting firm with a specialty in business intelligence, joined forces earlier this year to provide cloud-based data analytics to federal agencies and other public-sector entities.
Kapow Software's area of emphasis is big-data integration. The company said agencies increasingly use its software for open-source intelligence tasks, such as gauging public sentiment and tracking illegal online sales of pharmaceuticals, and to provide critical infrastructure protection. The Department of Health and Human Services and other civilian agencies, meanwhile, tap Kapow Software to help them migrate content to new standardized or enterprise content management systems.