On November 17, Netreo had the privilege of being a Diamond sponsor for the immixGroup’s Government IT Sales Summit. We’re accelerating our push into the Federal, State and Local Government (FED/SLED) space and sponsoring the immixGroup conference is a huge part. While our ultimate goal was identifying the best partners to work with at the Federal, State and Local levels, we were equally excited about the opportunity to showcase who Netreo is and our views on the market.
I had the pleasure to sit on two panels at the event. The opening panel, “Mission Control: That State of the Industry,” included Bill Burnham, Chief Technology Officer, U.S. Public Sector from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Katharyn M. White, Vice President, Federal Ecosystem from IBM. The second panel was a breakout session entitled “Managing ‘as-a-Service’ for your Solution Stack,” that included Mark Bubb, Senior Director Technology Specialist from NetApp, as well as two experts from the government – Brian Merrick, Deputy Director, Solutions Deliver Staff, U.S. DoJ, and Matthew Millar, PhD, Technical Project Manager at the Office of Business Transformation.
Mission Control: That State of the Industry
IBM, HPE and Netreo were on the keynote panel hosted by Tamara Ells, Vice President and General Manager of immixGroup. IBM and HPE shared an expansive and overarching view of the industry and how FED/SLED consumes and utilizes technology across (arguably) all technology stacks. Netreo also has an expansive and overarching view of the industry, but the big difference is our focus is narrow by comparison and exclusively on Infrastructure Management and Application Performance Monitoring.
Both Bill Burnham (HPE) and Katharyn White (IBM) were knowledgeable, and their companies are trying to do right by their customers. But, because they are so big, their approaches are different. Netreo focuses on selling amazing IT infrastructure management (ITIM) solutions to organizations who need them, and that’s pretty much it. Of course, we do all the things that come along with that – best practices, services, etc. But when it comes down to it, we’re laser focused on selling ITIM solutions. For the big guys, ITIM may only be a small part of what they are doing. In my opinion, this enables us to be more specialized and provide better solutions, services and support around ITIM.
During the opening panel, we spent around 45 minutes discussing that state of the industry and where things are going. Of course, we discussed a bunch of other things as well, such as who will win the Super Bowl or what federal agency’s IT budget will get the biggest increase next year. But the primary conversation was on technology. I greatly enjoyed the conversation and hope that my perspective, while different from the others, was helpful to those listening.
Panel 1 Takeaways
Some of the key takeaways from this conversation (beyond the Super Bowl) include:
- During the pandemic there was a headlong rush to acquire technology to deal with remote work without too much thought about the technology. That is now undergoing a rationalization to sort things out
- The government is continuing to try and improve their technology acquisition process. Whether that is by combining efforts or speeding the process, the objective is to get newer, better technologies deployed faster
- The government is recommitting to increasing opportunities for Small Business Enterprises in various contractor roles
Managing ‘as-a-Service’ for your Solution Stack
The second panel on Managing ‘as-a-Service’ for your Solution Stack was equally stimulating. Unlike the opening panel, which consisted entirely of industry people, this one had two industry veterans (myself and Mark Bubb) as well as two government experts (Brian Merrick and Matthew Millar, mentioned above).
Having two FED/SLED experts on the panel lent to a very different perspective than the morning session. Instead of just seeing things from the industry perspective, we were able to discuss what the government needs from an IT perspective. This was especially interesting for the “as-a-Service” discussion, since aaS is one of the up-and-coming areas ripe for government investment. Our discussion included a variety of issues around where aaS is headed and what the future of aaS may look like. One thing I found especially interesting is that in addition to discussions around how great aaS is and how much benefit the technology can provide, we also discussed some of the challenges that aaS could present, especially in the government space.
Panel 2 Takeaways
Some of the key takeaways from this panel focused on:
- The numerous advantages as-a-Service deployments have over on-premises software, allowing government organizations to stay current with software releases with minimal or no internal effort, for example. However, there are numerous hurdles to overcome. For example, air-gapped networks are unable to take advantage of most as-a-Service offerings
- Cost control is a major issue for FED/SLED when it comes to as-a-Service
- Control of and access to data is another major issue, especially at the federal level
I deeply appreciate the opportunity to be involved in industry discussions and really enjoyed hearing the FED/SLED perspectives. As our society slowly returns to in-person events, keep an eye out for Netreo at more conferences where industries need highly secure, full-stack infrastructure monitoring solutions. Better still, register for my upcoming webinar, Monitoring Trends – Where Is It All Going?, coming to your desktop Dec 8.