ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Phase One (www.pocg.com) announced today that Malcolm Jackson has joined the global IT firm as the Vice President of Private Sector to increase its presence in the commercial arena and expand its strategic offerings. Jackson was previously appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as the Environmental Protection Agency's Assistant Administrator for the Office of Environmental Information and Chief Information Officer.
"Malcolm is a renowned IT executive, and a wonderful addition to Phase One's executive team. Malcolm's experience, wisdom, and significant industry knowledge will help him lead our efforts to revolutionize how IT is designed and deployed to serve our private sector clients," says Jerad Speigel, CEO of Phase One.
Phase One is committed to providing modern, platform and cloud based solutions to the African continent. In this effort, Phase One has signed a groundbreaking, exclusive alliance agreement with Africare, the largest Africa-centric NGO on the continent. This alliance agreement is designed to add information and communication technology (ICT) as a core service offering that Africare can provide to the 20 nations that it currently serves.
The marriage of Africare's local knowledge, and Phase One's technical solutions capability, will greatly enhance how solutions are designed and delivered. The alliance has taken shape as Africare ICT, a new arm within the Africare family.
For decades, software developers have struggled with the most efficient and effective means of managing software teams to deploy software that meets defined user requirements. In 2001, the Manifesto for Agile Software Development was published.
Unfortunately, in many circles Agile was used to justify a lack of planning. In these companies, Agencies, and industries; there has been an explosion of individual projects with little strategy and planning driving the integration of the many pieces to achieve the big picture goals. In short, the intent behind Agile has been misinterpreted, and organizations are paying the price.
The reality is that the authors of the Manifesto for Agile Software Development were not against planning. They were just against plans that never got used. In fact, they just wanted to focus more on the outcomes than the process ... makes sense!
Washington (March 31, 2015) Phase One, a global firm using technology to enable missions and businesses, is Africare’s newest corporate partner that will join a host of other leading international corporations as a sponsor of the Creating Opportunities for Development in Africa 2015 Corporate Summit in Washington, D.C., on April 18.
The annual Africare event, also known as CODA, gathers executive leadership from global companies and government officials to engage in discussion and celebrate achievements through corporate investment to strengthen Africa’s ascent on the world’s economic stage.
“Phase One joins a prestigious group of companies that includes Coca-Cola, ExxonMobil, UPS, to name a few, who share Africare’s mission to invest in the economic development, and more importantly, the individual health and well being of millions of Africans,” said Dr. Darius Mans, President of Africare.
Phase One specializes in bringing modern solutions to the needs of its Federal, Commercial, and International clients. I was recently in Palo Alto and found myself explaining the complexities of the Federal missions to a very prominent incubator. Their eyes widened as I explained the complexities of the Federal sector and the interconnectedness of the missions themselves. Bureaucracy and budgets are tough, but in many instances the complexities of these missions themselves are the very real challenge. Only through the use of modern technologies, and the finesse of a change and innovation oriented firm, can real progress be made.
We face these very real challenges in Federal, but what about International? In parts of the world, governance is a very real issue. The challenges we face in the U.S. market are often small compared to the macro governance challenges in some nations. I reflect today on Namibia's outgoing president, Hifikepunye Pohamba, who has just won the Mo Ibrahim Foundation's $5 million African leadership prize. This prize is designed to be awarded to a leader who has been democratically elected, has left office in the last three years, has only served their constitutionally mandated term, and has displayed "exceptional leadership". The prize has only been awarded 4 times, in its 8 year existence.
Phase One employees volunteered their time and knowledge to teach girls from 6th through 12th grades the variety of career opportunities available to them in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) at the recent “Girls in Technology: Sharing Our Success” event.
The evening began with interactive and engaging hands-on demonstrations from over ten companies in the DC Metro area. From a flying drone to a 3-D printer making game pieces, from a computer simulator locating missing assets to a bicycle to demonstrate energy efficiency, the girls had a great time experiencing technologies first-hand and learning more about what they can do to enter STEM careers. Phase One’s very own Ben Newell and Eddie McKulsky were on hand to teach girls basic cybersecurity skills, explaining with how to stay safe online and showing the importance of secure passwords.
Behind the scenes, Casey Linsey and Rachel Peck played key roles in hosting the event by serving on the event’s committee as the point of contact for all the demonstration companies and award presenter.
Lately, Phase One employees have been hearing a lot about the subject of “Domain Expertise.” Specifically, in the core Competency Area (CA) in which we specialize, what are we doing to ensure that we are continually growing in and demonstrating our knowledge of our core areas of specialty? Cybersecurity has been a rapidly growing competency area for Phase One, and for those of us in the cybersecurity field continually maintaining domain expertise is an extremely important part of our responsibilities. One of the things I love about working in the security industry is the never-ending challenge of new technology, new threats, new attacks and defenses. Everything is constantly changing, and we must keep up or else risk being left behind. If we don't know what’s happening in the field, then we cannot defend ourselves, much less help our clients. The good news for security professionals is that there are myriad resources available to help us maintain our domain expertise. There are news sites and blogs devoted to the latest security trends, technology, policy guidance, and events. There are security conferences year-round, all over the world. And there are numerous training opportunities for us to maintain our technical skills, or to learn new ones. Best of all, many of these resources are free!
I learned just a short while ago that the mobile phone I received so excitedly at Christmas is no longer the latest, greatest model. Only four months later and it’s already been surpassed by the next generation. It’s not as out-of-date yet as Windows XP. Unlike XP, which is no longer being supported by Microsoft as of April 8, 2014, my phone will be supported, at least one hopes, for years to come. But it’s out-of-date nevertheless. People are buying the new version, not the one I have.
These two occurrences—my phone and XP—remind me that the rapid evolution of technology is still hammering away at some of our critical information systems efforts, usually to the detriment of those projects.
Some years ago, Professor Richard Donnelly, my mentor at GWU, and I analyzed the effects of rapid technological change on a large, complex federal system effort. We knew that most significant system development failures come down in the final analysis to lack of effective management. But we also surmised that project managers have not been given the necessary tools for managing some of the more insidious challenges to project success. We concluded that effect of rapid technological change on projects is one of those challenges.
For years now, everything in Federal IT has been services. Software as a service, IT as a service, services as a service. You name it ... services are here and now. In 2012, OMB published their shared services strategy. It was a great moment, where shared services were getting some serious attention at the highest levels. But that was 2012! We are nearing the 2 year anniversary of that document and we must ask ourselves why shared services are not more pervasive around government.
The fact is that there are some well established shared service providers around town. The National Finance Center, DHS, and Interior Business Center come to mind. But what is holding up the massive proliferation of Agencies selling to other Agencies? Several things come to mind including the budget and movement of money issues. That being said, the issue that I think is not discussed enough is the standardization of the business of shared services.