I was reading a post from Bill Brantley on GovLoop where he asks “What is the ‘it’ in Gov 2.0?”.
I thought it was an interesting question, and I wanted to include here in GovWin.com. Much like “cloud computing” and other topics, people often do not have a clear explanation for what some of these new technologies and terms really mean.
So, what does Gov 2.0 mean to a government contractor? What does it mean to the government?
Is it all about data? Engagement? Social Media?
In my opinion, Gov 2.0 is about improving interaction and communication. More specifically, it is a mindset – a dedication to using technology to deliver more specialization to a customer / constituent base.
So, yes, conversation is key, because you cannot improve how someone interacts online (either with people or data) without a conversation.
Engagement is crucial to Gov 2.0. And the data or resource is another essential component.
But in my book, they all fall under that desire to use technology to deliver a service or solution that meets what the customer says they want.
What do you think defines Gov 2.0?
As part of the Virtual Executive Roundtable series that we started at GovWin.com, we have put together two outstanding panels of experts – one to cover the government’s cloud initiatives (February 16) and another to address the new programs and efforts to enhance cybersecurity (March 9).
But going beyond forming a panel of leading cloud and cybersecurity speakers, we decided to try something a little different with these roundtables. Instead of having the audience sit and watch a long series of slides and data, we have decided to get more people involved and help drive the flow of the conversation – before, during and after the event.
The process is simple. Just register for the events (registration is free). And then post questions in our Q&A forum. When the event is LIVE, submit additional questions and answer polls. Then following the event we will keep the conversation going with our panel, provide an event recap and video, and explore the topics and issues we need to address next.
TO THE CLOUD! GOVERNMENT CLOUD INITIATIVES
QBurst, a web and mobile application development company based in Fairfax, VA, has launched theapps.mobi, a searchable directory of iPhone apps ranging from Education, Business and Entertainment to Travel, Weather and Lifestyle.
Theapps.mobi provides a sophisticated web site that provides users the ability to browse through a detailed catalog of iPhone and iPod Touch applications, reducing the need to browse the Apple store for applications.
What’s more, the site provides iPhone application developers a chance to be recognized via search engines as well as through its changing “featured” and “latest” application highlights, which are shown prominently on the main screen beneath the app search bar.
The site was designed by QBurst to run on Google’s App Engine platform, and the company will manage the site.
QBurst, which also has offices in India and the UK, consists of a team of over 200 professionals that help design and develop custom applications for companies of all sizes.
Wireless Matrix, a Herndon, VA-based provider of software solutions designed to improve service fleet delivery metrics, and Colorado-based GeoNav Group International, announced yesterday their first client since establishing a formal business partnership several days ago that is designed to maximize data and navigation capabilities for their clients.
The companies new joint solution will be implemented for the Victory Electric Cooperative, which serves southwestern Kansas residents with electricity. The goal of the implementation is to combine Wireless Matrix’s in-cab navigation and messaging solution, TechConnect™, with GeoNav’s Utility Navigator – a solution that utilizes data in a Garmin Personal Navigation Device. The system to be installed will incorporate infrastructure data from the Victory Electric Cooperative and enable its fleet to see poles, meters, transformers and other critical infrastructure on a Garmin device.
According to a press release posted on their website, J. Richard Carlson, president and CEO of Wireless Matrix said that, “Utility companies like Victory Electric expect and demand more from their mobile resource management providers than dots on a map. Our solution has become an integral part of their day-to-day operations and by partnering with GeoNav, together we can provide valuable data to the utility marketplace, enabling them to better operate and drive bottom-line results.”
In a region more known for being the seat of the federal government and home to the Redskins, many companies are striving to be more innovative in developing technologies, solutions and best-practices that are environmentally sound, and conserve energy and resources.
The resulting emergence of companies increasingly focused on green IT and technology is starting to recast the region into a different mold – one of an incubator for businesses focused on renewable energy and more environmentally-sound technologies.
One company blazing the new trail is Power Loft. Nestled in Innovation Park in Prince William County, Virginia, Power Loft, a northern Virginia-based company that specializes in the development and ownership of high-density, high-security data centers, has built a facility that will not only allow for increased computing capacity, but uses 30% less electricity in the process.
In fact, Power Loft’s data center is expected to generate an annual environmental savings equivalent to 270,000 barrels of oil or enough electricity to power over 12,000 homes for one year.
“We wanted to do something different,” said James Coakley, Power Loft’s president and chief executive officer. “In every facility we’ve seen, the more you increased demand at the rack the more your non-IT and IT equipment compete for space, power and cooling.”
So, with that traditional data center challenge in mind, Coakley and his team set out to solve the scaling of IT systems and resources. Along the way they sought out best practices to reduce power demands from almost every industry imaginable, and worked to design a data center that is set to leave one of the best environmental footprints in the nation without sacrificing computing power.
In the end, Power Loft built a two-story complex that allows for high densities and incorporates numerous green technologies, from forced air cooling and water cooling, to state-of-the-art air ventilation systems and a green wall that scales the building to reduce the impact of outside temperatures. The design has garnered Power Loft numerous accolades, including the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s Green Award.
Such an accomplishment sets a new standard in data center development certain to be studied and replicated throughout the country. But the fact that such an environmental trend-setter has come from the metro-DC area and not out in the west coast or in Europe has helped raised the profile of Washington, DC as an emerging leader in environmental technologies and practices.
“A lot of the early green movement is rooted in technology,” notes Art Stewart, President and Chief Strategy Officer at Stewart Strategies Group, a strategic consulting firm that helps companies hone their corporate and social responsibility policies.
“Now corporations include green technology as part of their overall strategy around corporate responsibility. Corporate responsibility is now the broad, connecting platform that ties green and other company initiatives together.”
Stewart sees the strong technology base in the metro-DC region as an excellent launching pad for more green technologies and environmental-friendly business practices.
“I do agree that in many instances technology is driving a new consciousness for green strategy, for sustainability strategy and for responsibility strategy,” Stewart said, pointing out that a few area technology companies are now developing software to help businesses better measure their carbon footprint and implement more sustainable office policies.
One of the regional leaders in developing green business practices for their corporate operations has been CSC. Headquartered in Falls Church, Va., CSC is a global leader in providing technology-enabled solutions and services, and was credited with implementing corporate-wide efforts to reduce energy use and recycle waste and technology during the NVTC TechCelebration banquet. CSC, like Power Loft, also won a Green Award and has been recognized in other journals for its efforts.
Turtle Wings is another company that is striving to shift the traditional paradigm of how companies do business. Based in Capitol Heights, MD, Turtle Wings is a woman-owned business that helps companies reuse and recycle their electronics hardware.
According to Elizabeth Wilmot, president of Turtle Wings, “Green technology encompasses a total life-cycle of all equipment.” She notes that a lot of companies talk about recycling computer equipment and hardware, but said it is important for businesses to be diligent in their recycling efforts to ensure that the materials turned over are going to go back “into circulation or recycle it here in the United States.”
In addition to the many companies that have focused on local markets, corporate-wide efforts or strategic planning, Catch the Wind, a high technology company headquartered in Manassas, Virginia, is carrying the Washington, DC mantle across the country and overseas.
A developer and manufacturer of laser based wind sensor systems that help guide wind turbines, Catch the Wind is focused on developing technology to serve the wind power generation industry – a market strategy that gives it quite a powerful reach throughout the world.
“There are more than 80,000 1 mega watt, or larger, turbines globally,” David Samuels, chief financial officer for Catch the Wind noted. Samuels added, “We are looking at retrofit right now on older turbines as well as installing new systems.”
Many other area companies also have received accolades for their development of green technologies, as noted by the wide range of finalists in NVTC’s recent Green Awards.
As businesses recover from the current recession, all indicators are that technology, and more specifically – green technologies – are going to help lead the way. With a growing tech surge in the metropolitan Washington, DC region, this should mean more area businesses will end up growing green.