3rd Annual Federal Mobile Computing Summit Held Last Week: Over 50 Companies Represented, Well-Attended by Government

Dr. Rick Holgate (ATF) and Tom Suder (Mobilegov)

The 3rd Annual Federal Mobile Computing Summit, hosted by ACT-IAC co-Chairman Tom Suder, President of Mobilegov (industry) and Dr. Rick Holgate, CIO and Assistant Director for Science and Technology of ATF (government), was held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center last Tuesday, January 22nd and Wednesday, January 23rd.

Dr. Holgate, Lisa Schlosser, Deputy Federal CIO, Margie Graves, Deputy CIO of DHS, and Dave Peters, Assistant Deputy CIO for Development Management at the U.S. VA, kicked-off the Wednesday morning portion of the two-day summit to discuss the challenges and progress Federal CIOs have made in bringing mobility to the larger government enterprise.

All panelists agreed that the federal government is moving away from platform and device dependence dependence, to a more open, shared services structure.

Dr. Holgate specifically said that agencies are becoming more and more comfortable with cloud-based solutions, but are currently struggling with giving full life-cycle access to industry. “We see the groundwork,” said Dr. Holgate.

Schlosser used last year’s launch of GSA’s Federal Risk and Authorization management Program (FedRAMP) as an example of the federal government moving in the right direction of welcoming shared services and cloud providers, while also acknowledging that the full potential of these new technologies has yet to be reached in the federal space.

“FedRAMP was designed to set security standards for cloud providers and then to have independent parties come in and to evaluate those various cloud providers against security standards and set a level of trust for a vendor that they meet a certain level of minimum security baselines. That program has gotten off the ground, we actually had our first ATO issued at the end of the year and 78 more cloud providers in the queue in that program that we are evaluating, as partners to provide secure services.

I think once you see some of these programs really start to hit their stride, as you see more ATOs, I think you also are going to see federal agencies have a great trust and confidence in some of these cloud providers and you will see these agencies adopt these cloud providers, to provide and be of service, because there is a greater level of trust in the way they are securing our data. I think it is evolutionary, and I think programs like FEDRAMP are going to get us there and allow us to be more comfortable in adopting some of these solutions from commercial providers,” said Scholsser.

Between each panel, there was an opportunity for top industry mobile providers to showcase their technologies. Over 50 vendors signed up for the conference, ranging from Blackberry to the newly-formed mobile security device company Kaprica. Many vendors from the last summit came back to the summit, and plenty of new commercial mobile device management and mobile security companies attended, looking to make a play for the federal market.

“The Federal Mobile Computing Summit is a great event.  The session content is relevant and useful, while the attendees, from a vendor’s perspective, are the exact audience we want to have conversations with,” said Jeff Ward, Vice President of MaaS360 by FiberLink’s Federal division. Ward sat down with WashingtonExec last year to discuss the 10 Commandments for BYOD.

“I truly enjoyed attending the Federal Mobile Computing Summit.  It provided me an effective opportunity to interact with Government decision makers and industry partners.  Not only were the discussions informative and interesting, they also supplied me with valuable answers to critical questions that I had,” said Pawla Ghaleb, Senior Project Manager at ICF International.

“One of the big things that we have learned is that technology in itself does not make a deal, we know that we need to be where the rubber meets the road, getting the message into the hands of decision makers. Tom (Suder) has a knack for getting decision makers into place, so it made it an appropriate investment for us to make and we are happy to be here,” said Doug Britton, CEO and co-Founder of Kaprica. Look for WashingtonExec’s interview with Britton next week.

Other panels included: “Prospective on Mobility at the DoD,” “Can you Hear Me Now? The Challenges of Ubiquitous Wireless Connectivity,” and “Threats to Mobile Security”.

WashingtonExec was a proud media sponsor of this year’s summit. Find more pictures from the event by going to WashingtonExec’s Facebook Page.

Jeff Ward (MaaS360 by Fiberlink)

Owen Unangst, Mark Cohn (Unisys)

Comments are closed.