16 hot companies to watch

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By John Moore, freelancer, Federal Computer Week

The to-do list seemingly never stops growing for federal IT managers. They must keep up with developments in mobile technology, comb through data for key information nuggets, and evaluate cloud computing options — to name just a few challenges.

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On top of that, they also need to find tools to help their agencies better manage technology assets and human resources in a time of budget constraints.

FCW’s annual list of companies to watch emphasizes products and services that address the government’s key challenges. We chose the 16 companies based on a number of factors, including how well they were represented on contract vehicles, their ability to make strategic alliances with other companies and their efforts to reach out to the federal market.

The 16

Accellion

Adobe Systems

Atlantis Computing

Autonomic Resources

CommVault

Fixmo

Jamcracker

Kapow Software

Kognitio

Koolspan

Kronos

Mobile Reach

Monster Government Solutions

Sqrrl Data

Verivo Software

Verizon Terremark

Enterprise mobile app development

Mobile technology is the way to go if federal agencies truly want to reach citizens — and support employee productivity. Gartner forecasts that worldwide shipments of mobile phones and tablets will surpass 2 billion units this calendar year, while PC shipments will decline 10.6 percent during the same period.

Against that backdrop, a number of companies are actively addressing agencies’ interest in developing mobile applications for employee use in bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environments.

Adobe Systems is the key developer behind PhoneGap, a framework for developing cross-platform mobile apps based on the open-source Apache Cordova. The company purchased PhoneGap’s originator, Nitobi Software, in 2011.

A number of government entities use PhoneGap, including the U.S. Agency for International Development, NASA, and agencies at the state and local levels.

Brian Paget, technical director of content and analytics at Adobe, said PhoneGap “keeps the cost of BYOD initiatives down by allowing agencies to develop an app once and deploy that app to Apple, Android, BlackBerry, etc., which cuts the cost of developing cross-platform apps by half or more.”

In addition, PhoneGap lets agencies take advantage of in-house skills in HTML, Cascading Style Sheets and JavaScript, Paget said.

tl-neffVerivo Software, which offers an enterprise mobile app development platform, counts the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. among its government customers. The company also has a presence with state and local agencies.

“We have seen most federal organizations recognize the BYOD trend, and that has led them to focus on identifying and developing enterprise mobile apps that increase workforce efficiency and leverage the computing horsepower now available,” said T.L. Neff, executive vice president of global client services at Verivo.

“It has also led to a rise in the use of enterprise mobility platforms to gain further control over the mobile app development process,” he added.

Mobile Reach, a provider of enterprise mobility software solutions, has made the military and government systems integrators key markets for its products. The company has found government business in asset and equipment management projects in which smartphones or bar code scanners are used to update a central asset repository.

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