IT Awards Blog

How a Stevie Awards-winning IT Company is Helping the National Association for the Blind

Posted by Liz Dean on Tue, Jul 02, 2013 @ 01:26 PM

Aslam Khan, President of Octaware Technologies in Mumbai, India, is Chair of The 2013 International Business Awards Final Judging Committee for the IT awards categories, new product awards categories, and product management awards categories. (The International Business Awards are the world's premier business awards competition. The final extended entry deadline for the 2013 IBAs is quickly approaching on 10 July. If you haven't already done so, you can request your entry kit here and it will be emailed to you right away. No additional late penalties or fees will be charged in association with the deadline extension.) 

Aslam Khan, President, Octaware Technologies Here we talked with Aslam about how his company is helping the visually impaired.

Aslam firmly believes that a business should not simply try to build assets for itself but for society as a whole. His credo is: “Success is not what you gain or possess, it’s in making others successful.” We asked him to explain one of the ways his company is achieving this.

Your company, Octaware Technologies, has an active CSR program. Which of the many projects in which your company is involved has given you and your staff the greatest fulfillment?
We successfully implemented the concept of employing blind or visually impaired people who have completed their studies and are computer literate. Senior QA consultants at Octaware developed courseware for the National Association for the Blind (NAB)’s Employment and Training program, and trained the NAB trainers at Octaware’s Mumbai development center.  The NAB trainers were then able to train visually impaired professionals at the NAB’s Manesar Center.

Our association with the NAB has paid great dividends. Introductory courses in software testing and Internet-based applications have so far been pivotal in creating employment for over 25 visually challenged agents. The NAB center is working actively to create employment for around 50 trained and skilled visually impaired professionals by the end of this year. (You can read more about this project on the Octaware website.) 

What item of news recently caught your eye and why?
The news of the courageous efforts of soldiers to rescue people stranded in recent devastating floods and landslides in northern India. The Indian Army’s selflessness and sacrifice has touched the hearts of our entire nation.

(If you want to help, the Indian Red Cross and the American Red Cross are organizing relief operations in the area.) 

If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
Teaching: this is a profession that allows people to make a difference, to do good things, and to make an impact on the world by helping people shape their lives. 

As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
The desire to fulfill the dream of building a successful organization that will contribute, directly or indirectly, to elevating and improving the quality of life for many people is what drives me to do better every day.

About Aslam Khan:
Aslam Khan is the President of Octaware Technologies. He is a business strategist who oversees the definition and execution of the company’s strategy. His aim is to establish Octaware as a major global player providing first-class IT solutions and services.

Aslam has over 17 years of experience in technology, strategy, business development, and entrepreneurship. Before forming Octaware, he was a Director of AskMe Software. He initiated the subsidiary of AskMe Corporation-USA in India, which became one of the most profitable and fastest growing IT companies in Pune. Prior to joining AskMe, Aslam worked at Microsoft Corporation in the USA, where he was a lead developer on the Windows 2000 family of products. Before that, Aslam worked at CitiBank N.A, Japan, developing software for the financial trading platform. Aslam holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Mumbai University. 

About Octaware Technologies:
Octaware Technologies is a software development, enterprise solutions, and consulting firm known for excellent project management, delivering high quality solutions, and exceeding the expectations of its customers. With offices in Mumbai, Seattle, Doha, Riyadh, and Lagos, and with development centers in Mumbai and Pune, Octaware is dedicated to helping its clients improve their business productivity by building and implementing comprehensive and cost-effective solutions.  For more information go to www.octaware.com.

Tags: International business awards, new product awards, it awards, product management awards, Aslam Khan, Octaware Technologies

Deploying the Cloud in Afghanistan: How a Stevie® Awards Winner Saves Lives in a War Zone

Posted by Liz Dean on Fri, Apr 05, 2013 @ 11:49 AM

Dynamics Research Corporation (DRC) of Andover, Massachusetts, won Stevie® Awards in both the IT awards categories and the new product awards categories of The 2012 American Business Awards for their support in building and deploying the cloud-based DCGS-A system. (The final entry deadline for The 2013 (11th Annual) American Business Awards, the top business awards in the United States, is April 24, If you haven't already done so, you can request your entry kit here and it will be emailed to you right away.) Here we look at how DRC is helping the U.S. Army deploy a cloud-based intelligence system.

Douglas Grosvenor, DRCAmerican servicemen and women face daunting threats in war zones—insurgents, snipers, terrorist bombers—and access to accurate and timely information is a matter of life and death. Putting that information into the hands of these frontline fighters is the mission of the Army’s Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS-A) Cloud. 

Imagine a military intelligence brigade that needs to know all of the activities occurring in a village that might indicate unrest—for instance, who has met with the village elders in the past month, or what new projects have been started that are not funded by NATO. The U.S. Army has hundreds of intelligence feeds used to support operations in the field, including ground sensors, unmanned aerial vehicles, and human intelligence.

Too Much Information
As intelligence data-collection grows exponentially, so too does the corresponding complexity of information that end-users have to analyze. The Army’s computing platforms have to meet the increased demand required to extract useful information in support of a mission, whether it involves safely entering a village or capturing an enemy leader.

At the same time, the Army must make this capability available through a streamlined operational infrastructure in the field—the mechanism that allows the troops access to timely information where and when they need it.

Cloud In A Box
In 2011, DRC and its partners worked with the U.S. Army to build and deploy the DCGS-A Secret Internet Protocol Router cloud solution. Also known as DSC, this cloud solution is an Internet-scale ingest, processing, and storage infrastructure for intelligence data. It serves as the foundation for the Army's rapid adoption of next generation intelligence systems. DSC is literally a ‘cloud in a box’ that is deployed by shipping container to sites in the United States and overseas.

During 2011, DRC helped successfully deploy DSC in Afghanistan. This constituted the first cloud-based advanced-intelligence analysis to support the U.S. Army's mission and war fighter operations.

Boots On The Ground
To ensure the success of this cloud solution, DRC deployed one of their own experts, Douglas Grosvenor, to work closely with the Army on the ground in Afghanistan.  Because of this, Grosvenor was able to:

  • Deploy and implement software across 200+ machines located in the States and overseas;
  • Support the operational staff in Afghanistan by diagnosing and fixing problems;
  • Integrate custom, as well as third-party software, into the cloud; and
  • Ensure a strong relationship with multiple companies to help the program succeed: Grosvenor worked with the Army and six other companies, successfully navigating the logistics and cultures of so many different organizations.

Since Grosvenor’s work on the DCGS-A spanned U.S. and Afghanistan time zones, his working days stretched around the clock. His dedication has led to the development of an innovative technology that better meets the Army's intelligence needs.

Says Grosvenor: “During my six-week deployment in Afghanistan, I was able to work closely with the client and come back with more requirements to ensure the success of the system—putting more powerful and useful computing in the hands of our war fighters.” 

Exceptional Security
DRC was one of several contractors who developed the system as subcontractors to Booz Allen Hamilton. DRC had leadership roles in the development, architecture, integration, testing, and in system delivery. DRC’s team was critical in these areas and instrumental in creating the system.

Given the high sensitivity of military data, building exceptional security controls was vital to the cloud deployment. To that end, DRC designed and implemented the backend and interface of DSC, creating a secure cloud that can be accessed on the fly, and providing analysts with a means to share and enrich data.

This cloud solution is now helping the U.S. Army achieve mission goals and deter 21st-century threats. 

About Douglas Grosvenor:
Grosvenor joined High Performance Technologies, Inc., a DRC company, in 2009, straight from college and quickly became an expert in his field. In addition to his responsibilities under the DCGS-A contract, Grosvenor is currently working on a Master’s Degree in Computer Science and is active in corporate activities including community service, college recruiting, and developing initiatives to enhance DRC's employee programs. His efforts were recognized with the company’s Employee of the Year Award in 2011. 

About Dynamics Research Corporation
Dynamics Research Corporation
(DRC) provides technology and management consulting solutions focused on driving performance, process, and results for government clients. DRC offers innovative solutions and delivers rock solid results. DRC has large company capabilities and small company agility. Founded in 1955, DRC is a publicly held corporation (Nasdaq:DRCO) and maintains more than 25 offices nationwide with major offices in Andover, Massachusetts and the Washington, D.C. region. 

Tags: it awards, American business awards, DRC, new product awards, Douglas Grosvenor, cloud applications