Wednesday, 11 July 2012
AFCEA PlugFest Consortium (PFC)
Exhibit Hall, 1100 Aisle
Open during exhibit hours
The government’s inability to deliver Information Technology on pace with industrial best practices as has been documented repeatedly in the press and various watchdog reports. Some leaders in the Defense and Intelligence communities are particularly frustrated by this situation. After all it is impossible to achieve “information superiority” if your adversary has up-to-date information systems available at Best Buy, while you’re stuck with archaic legacy equipment and lots of promises in the slow-as-molasses procurement pipeline.
Hence, these leaders are determined to revolutionize the way they do business. Clearly, harvesting the power of rapidly evolving Information Technology (IT) is key to the strategy. That is, a key Defense IT Acquisition to-be objective is to harvest the innovation and rapid evolution of COTS IT within a plug-and-play Modular Open Systems Approaches (MOSA.)
Some issues are that there are generally no real incentives in Defense acquisition strategies to support agile, MOSA; there are no objective, testable, certifiable definitions of “open,” i.e. “interoperability” to support MOSA; status quo Information Assurance (IA) technologies and certification models do not allow agile MOSA; meanwhile deep seated government acquisition culture keeps the experts in COTS IT, i.e. COTS IT industry, at arm’s length.
To address these issues, AFCEA is working with government to execute an Industrial Outreach thrust aimed at incentivizing COTS focus on government requirements via a Rapid Innovation Integration Process (RI2P). AFCEA is demonstrating RI2P via a series of rigorous demonstrations, i.e. “PlugFests”, of how plug-and-play open standard COTS and GOTS IT offerings can add value to government, especially military, use cases…from both capability delivered and acquisition efficiency perspectives.
Generally a “PlugFest” is an industrial best practice wherein solution providers are incentivized to demonstrate how their offerings “plug in” to a Common Computing Environment (CCE) via open standards and add value to customer-defined use cases. In our case, COTS vendors will plug their offerings into prototype CCE that will comply with open standards and include high assurance, lightweight IA components. Standards include especially those emerging from the Defense Intelligence Information Enterprise. Participants demonstrate how their offerings add value to use cases provided by, for example, uniformed war fighters. The government intends that soon Plug Fest demos will achieve real certification, i.e. “Pre-approved Product” status, and availability via convenient, low barrier contract vehicles.
HQMC Intelligence Department, the Distributed Common Ground Station (DCGS) Enterprise, Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC), and the Multi-Agency Collaborative Environment (MACE) sponsored the first PlugFest at the AFCEA TechNet Land Forces Southwest event in Tucson 27-29 March 2012. It included a “mash up challenge” wherein three software developers rapidly programmed applications focused on Marine Corps tactical edge Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance.
PlugFest at TechNet Land Forces (TNLF) South will shine a light on the conflicting issues of perceived need more bandwidth in the face of already overwhelming “information overload.” Therefore, the premise for TNLF South mash up challengers will be that the true objective is to use whatever bandwidth exists to share the most critical information. Because global drug trafficking is tightly correlated with state and non-state sponsored international terrorism, and because it presents a cross-agency information sharing challenge, the TNLF South PlugFest use case will address Joint and Coalition Counter Narcotics operations.
Young AFCEAN Networking Reception
Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm (Immediately following the Welcome Reception & Exhibit Hall Grand Opening)
Join the Tampa Chapter Young AFCEANs* and AFCEA International for an evening of networking and fun! Admission is FREE – just register using the link below. Space is limited, so sign up NOW! https://www.afcea.org/dynform/forminp.jsp?fid=4873
* The Young AFCEANs are AFCEA members under the age of 40. The Young AFCEAN program was created to provide young professionals access to career development and leadership development activities, plus unique access to senior leaders in industry, government, and academia. Find out more about how you can join AFCEA and get involved with a Young AFCEAN program in your area by attending the Networking reception. If you are already a Young AFCEAN, please come and share your experiences with our future members!
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