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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Applied Insight targets broader cloud services with latest acquisition

As government agencies look to push deeper into all things cloud, Applied Insight saw growing opportunity for tools to manage the movement of data and applications between different cloud infrastructures.

That is what drove Applied Insight to develop its Altitude automated cloud platform as a service. The company built Altitude to help users combine management and governance functions to better control their cloud environments.

Now with its fourth deal in just under two years, Applied Insight has added a new cloud tool called SHIFT that came with this acquisition of Digital Age Experts.

DAE created SHIFT for developers to emulate high-security cloud infrastructures to test and understand how applications and data will act when they migrate from lower-security cloud environments to higher ones that interest defense and intelligence agencies.

Highly-secure clouds such as the government-focused regions Amazon Web Services and Microsoft have built for national security customers operate differently than most commercial clouds, said AI Chief Technology Officer Dede Dascalu.

Dascalu said moving applications and data from the “low-side to the high side” can be complex, costly and time consuming.

“But by emulating the high-side, developers can get a better understanding of how things will behave,” he said.

The acquisition of DAE was closed in August, but Applied Insight CEO John Hynes said the company delayed its public announcement as it worked on the integration.

DAE brought about 50 new employees to Applied Insight. In addition to the intellectual property surrounding the SHIFT technology, DAE also brought new customers in the national security space and highly skilled workforce.

“It’s a three-part strategy,” Hynes said.

He declined to disclose the purchase price for DAE, but said it brings Applied Insight’s head count up to 600 and annual revenue is now around $150 million. Applied Insight is backed by the private equity firm, the Acacia Group, which launched AI from the professional services business of Intelligent Decisions. Since 2018, Applied Insight has added four companies including Digital Age.

The plan is to offer Altitude and SHIFT as a joint offering and Hynes said that are plenty of signs in the market that there will be demand for those technologies.

Specifically, the Defense Department’s JEDI cloud infrastructure and the intelligence community’s Commercial Cloud Enterprise contracts that both could be worth billions represent the growing opportunities around the migration to the cloud. It doesn’t matter that JEDI is caught up in a protest.

Movement to the cloud will continue and government customers will need support and tools to migrate and manage how they use the cloud, Hynes said.

Applied Insight will target cloud program management offices that agencies are establishing. “They need to understand how the low-side plays with the high side,” he said.

The DAE acquisition fits with the strategy Applied Insight established when Acacia formed the company. “We want to enable our customers to leverage the cloud at scale,” he said.

Acquisitions have been a big part of that growth to date, but Hynes said they will be less of a priority going forward.

“That doesn’t mean we won’t make a deal if the opportunity presents itself,” Hynes said. “But our focus right now is integration and organic growth.”

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Feb 12, 2020 at 9:41 AM

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