In many ways, I feel like an expectant father as Washington Technology launches its Insider membership program.
Months of planning and anticipation, idealism, hopes and dreams are about to meet reality.
I feel confident that the combination of our website, exclusive content, market research and discounts will prove appealing. The early response to our marketing has been very positive.
But I’ve had a few flashes of panic. I think that’s human nature whenever you take an organization in a bold new direction.
What I’m confident in is that we’ll continue to deliver the kind of news and analysis that has made Washington Technology such a success with its readership.
Click here to become a Washington Technology Insider.
But we also have plans to do more than that. We’ll be stepping up our aggregation around topics such as cybersecurity, cloud computing, big data and health IT. Our goal is to become more of a one-stop shop for the news and content around the hot issues of the day.
Our new e-letter will be more robust including feature stories, breaking news and aggregation.
And, as I said in an earlier blog, I’m very excited about our in-depth research reports. The first will look at the partnering attributes of the Top 100. We’ll publish the first report in late May, and at least one more this year.
I think the reports themselves are worth the price of admission to be a Washington Technology Insider.
We’ve approached this project with the thought that we want to better serve our readers, and the membership model is the best way for us to dedicate resources to do that.
I’m anxious to hear people’s feedback. As always, I love suggestions on topics we should be paying attention to.
So whether you are reading this on April 15 or on April 16 (the official launch date of the Insider program), the adventure has begun.
Posted on Apr 15, 2013 at 12:48 PM1 comments
The body count surrounding the Nova Datacom-Army Corps of Engineers bribery and kickback scandal continues to grow, reaching 15 guilty pleas on Thursday.
This time it is Min Jung Cho, the president of the now defunct company, who admitted to her role in a conspiracy that saw nearly $30 million in bribes and kickbacks paid.
The contracts in question were for work in Iraq.
The count is likely to grow as the U.S. Attorney for Washington, D.C., said that the investigation continues. Other Army contracts might be involved, the Washington Post reported.
Court documents refer to a “Public Official C” as the target of the investigation. Two former Army Corps of Engineer employees have already pled guilty.
Prosecutors said that Cho and her brother and company founder, Alex Cho, are cooperating with investigators.
The company also entered a guilty plea to pay more than $15 million in bribes and $790,000 in kickbacks.
The same investigation also sullied Eyak Technology, which fired one employee for his involvement.
The scheme also involved a father-son combination; Kerry Khan was an Army Corps of Engineers program manager, and so was his son Lee. They pled guilty last year to their role, which included creating multiple companies to hide money and purchase real estate, the Washington Post reported.
Kerry Khan admitted to funneling work to companies in exchange for bribes.
Prosecutors have called the conspiracy one of the largest bribery schemes in federal contracting history.
It’s a sad chapter for government contractors.
Posted on Apr 12, 2013 at 12:07 PM4 comments
I read and mostly dismissed the headlines from earlier this week that PC sales slumped in the last quarter, falling 13.9 percent.
International Data Corp., the market research firm that tracks these things, said it was the biggest quarterly drop ever.
Obviously, PCs and laptops aren’t the technology driver they once were. The power of smartphones and tablets has usurped that role, but the rise of mobile devices is more about the network than the device.
What the folks at Sun Microsystems preached for years has come true: The network is the computer.
An article at BloombergBusinessweek points to troubles at Dell and Hewlett-Packard for the drop in PC sales for those companies.
That could be true, but I’m skeptical.
But the declining PC sales had to be a disappointment for Microsoft. Traditionally, a new operating system leads to increase in PC sales, but the launch of Windows 8 just didn’t do it.
I’m not writing Windows 8 off, by any means. The thinking behind the new OS is sound, and very alluring. In the demos that I saw, it was trying to bridge the gap between consuming information, which smartphones and tables are good at, and production of information, a strength of PCs.
That’s a worthy goal, but perhaps Microsoft is stretching too far in trying to make its OS the mechanism for bridging that gap. Perhaps it should have been more at the application layer.
But the bigger question is what shrinking sales of PCs really means for how IT services are delivered. That’s what brought me back to this news.
The first thing that comes to mind is that not everyone needs the computing power of a PC, and with the power of smartphones and tablets increasing, the PC will only become more irrelevant for more users.
That shift should create some opportunities to look at how people work with information, and what they are using their devices for.
Fewer PCs mean the infrastructure will change. This could reduce costs, but it also could be an opportunity to fine tune how computing power is used and distributed. Perhaps there is a way to save costs but increase productivity and effectiveness.
If everything is cloud-based, either private or public, do computing devices become more disposable? If so, what does that mean?
Perhaps fewer PCs mean that the ones being sold are expensive and more specialized. This could be a good thing for the margins of manufacturers and service providers.
Management headaches will increase with more variety of devices and operating systems and apps. We’ve already seen that, so helping an agency get their arms around that should be a great opportunity.
I think the decline in PC sales will stabilize, just as the growth of tablets and smartphones will level off.
But, now is the time to be thinking about what the ultimate balance of the ecosystem will look like, and what challenges that ecosystem will present.
Fresh thinking here could create golden opportunities.
Posted on Apr 11, 2013 at 1:17 PM4 comments