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IBM Ecosystem Grows in Federal Market

By Katharyn White | IBM Ecosystem, U.S. Federal
March 15, 2022

IBM invests in new collaborative initiatives to address cross-government challenges New initiatives to use data, automation and cybersecurity technology from multiple contributors, fueling a broad...

IBM invests in new collaborative initiatives to address cross-government challenges

New initiatives to use data, automation and cybersecurity technology from multiple contributors, fueling a broad federal business of like-minded collaborators to tackle priorities at scale

Today’s federal government faces significant challenges ranging from an exploding demand for citizen services and a burgeoning skills gap to ongoing cyberattacks and global supply chain issues. These challenges will grow in their urgency and complexity. Recent Executive Orders related to improving the nation’s cybersecurity, supply chain resiliency, transforming federal customer experience and service delivery and mitigating the impact of climate events illustrate how seriously the government is taking the situation, and also highlight the need for innovation and quick action from industry.

Complex, big and urgent issues like cybersecurity and implementing a zero trust framework are systems issues that can broadly affect government. Cybercriminals are capitalizing on global uncertainty, weakened supply chains and unpatched vulnerabilities to conduct server access, data theft and fraud attacks against governments.

Yet, those of us who provide technology and services to the federal government often address these larger issues with a point by point, company by company approach instead of holistically. We must stop approaching systems problems with point solutions. The Executive Orders should be a wakeup call for industry to work together, differently, to address these complex issues systemically.

The case for change is clear: systems challenges require solutions through partnerships.

New initiatives support whole of government thinking and accelerated problem solving

Today, IBM is announcing two new initiatives to address federal government challenges:

  1. A new federal initiative to support systems integrators (SIs) and technology providers that includes deep IBM technical expertise and further market investment. We will pair IBM federal technology resources, including distinguished engineers, experts on Red Hat technologies and IBM’s AI and hybrid cloud offerings, directly with SIs and technology providers to pull together   combined solutions to address federal government challenges.
  2. A new small business initiative focused on helping small businesses access skills, mentoring and teaming opportunities to aid in their government business development efforts.

Additionally, issue-focused working groups consisting of SIs, small businesses and IBM representatives will be formed to help pull together integrated solutions to address the broad challenges facing federal government agencies.

These initiatives and working groups represent the latest expansion of the IBM Ecosystem, which IBM CEO Arvind Krishna describes in our recent Annual Report as “delivering value to our clients, our partners and IBM.” The Ecosystem speaks to IBM’s fundamental belief in the power of leveraging joint strengths to help solve the most complex challenges in business and society for clients with hybrid cloud and AI.

How might these new initiatives work in practice? Using the zero trust framework as an example, IBM has already created a Zero Trust Field Guide. We will proactively engage our and other technical professionals across the ecosystem with businesses that have zero trust strengths, such as Jones Group and Virsec, to pull together combined solutions to address federal government challenges. To further the impact, we developed a zero trust curriculum through IBM SkillsBuild and are accelerating the opportunity for small businesses to build contracting expertise in partnership with George Mason University. We can support small business access to government opportunities that highlight their capabilities, including zero trust certification, via our IBM Business Partner Directory.

No single company can solve today’s federal government challenges. We welcome all IBM ecosystem partners to join the federal dialogue and collaborate with us. To begin the dialogue, I've included a few initial comments from companies that we collaborate with below:

  Jones Group, General James Jones, CEO

To address the current cybersecurity and supply chain issues facing the nation, Jones Group believes a strong government - industry partnership is critical. Industry must partner to address security holistically and systemically to better serve this mission. 

AWL, Sara Thomas, CEO

As a catalyst behind IBM’s small business program, and a small women owned business, we believe access, skills and mentoring will help companies like AWL grow our federal business and impact.

Emerald One, LaVerne Council, CEO

Small business is the heartbeat of government/industry partnership. We applaud IBM's thought leadership toward government 2.0, and Emerald One supports government procurement transformation to streamline complexity and the procurement timeline.

DigiFlight, Inc. Stanford Oliver, CEO 

Ecosystems and industry partnership are critical to addressing the complex challenges facing our federal government today. IBM's Ecosystem approach has brought huge value to DigiFlight’s ability to effectively partner with the federal government. We look forward to continuing our work with IBM as they adapt and evolve in today's dynamic environment.

Four Inc., Jeff Nolan, co-founder 

Four Inc. is committed to and excited to support IBM in enabling SBA designated 8a’s and other socio-economic disadvantaged organizations in the areas of product enablement, operational infrastructure and government contracting in an effort to fast-track issue-based federal solutions. As a strategic IBM public sector business partner and a former 8a small business, we look forward to providing guidance and expertise to assist these organizations in delivering solutions to their customers.

Voltican, Eric Elewokor, CEO

As a minority small business, Voltican has benefited from being an IBM small business partner by gaining mentorship to help enter the federal market and views this U.S. federal initiative as an enabler of growth. 

Document Systems, Inc. (DSI), Joel Limerick, CEO

DSI utilizes IBM’s unparalleled digital business automation platforms to help make our federal clients more secure and more data driven. We have accomplished this by capturing documents and records into secured modern digital repositories enabling faster decision making through intuitive searches, browser-based team collaboration, business process automation and sophisticated information governance. DSI will continue to benefit from being part of IBM’s small business technology skills enablement and access programs.

XOR Security, Dan Waddell, chief growth officer 

XOR Security is excited about leveraging the benefits of the IBM ecosystem to both help deliver additional value to our existing cybersecurity clients and forge a relationship to help with our new federal clients. We are particularly interested in IBM’s zero trust framework approach to help accelerate the current initiatives underway with the federal government.

Virsec, Ray DeMeo, co-founder and SVP strategic partnerships

Virsec is excited about the growth prospects of our partnership with IBM, together bringing runtime workload protection, a pillar of the zero trust model, to IBM's zero trust cyber resiliency strategy. IBM recognizes the importance of providing a unified security posture across on-prem, hybrid and cloud/container environments, new or legacy - essential for success of the multi-cloud and strong common ground.

George Mason University, Maury Peiperl, Dean, George Mason School of Business 

The School of Business at George Mason University (Mason) is committed to being a valued partner to IBM and the small business government contracting ecosystem. Mason provides world-class thought leadership to the government contracting sector through industry-specific research, degrees and certificates, and executive development programs. Mason is also home to the nation’s only Center for Government Contracting, which brings together industry, government, and expert faculty to analyze and help chart the future of this critical sector.

IBM, Victor Brown, vice president and chief technology officer, U.S. Public and Federal Market

“Let’s create” is not just a phrase within IBM. It’s time to work together differently to address federal government technology at scale.


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