Hugh Campbell sees a one-word trend in his corner of the tech world: Collaboration. Campbell is president of Advanced C4 Solutions Inc. (www.ac4s.com), a Tampa firm that provides IT services to the federal government and Department of Defense. (MBR, November 2006).
“In the intelligence community, there has been a whole shake up and reform after 9/11 with numerous agencies – all of which we can’t talk about – now sharing information amongst each other at various levels,” he says. “There’s a constant drumbeat of collaborate, collaborate, collaborate. From a military perspective, we are forced to collaborate on a much greater scale with our coalition partners. From a homeland security perspective, again, you have agencies that have never shared information now collaborating. This stems all the way from the local municipal police up to the FBI and CIA, and everything in between.”
“Campbell says the “beating down of doors” is due to one thing: the Internet. “It is the culmination of decades of building these net-works, and now we’re truly collaborating on a scale envisioned 25 to 30 years ago.
”This leads to substantial opportunities for tech firms, he says. “There are numerous multimillion-dollar government-wide efforts to achieve ‘Collaboration Nirvana.’ The easy stuff has been done already. Now, it’s just the harder stuff. The classic problem is: You get a tidbit of classified information from a national organization, but how do you share that with the New York Fire Department that doesn’t have the network or clearances to see that info? People are working feverishly to fix those types of problems.”
Hackers in the House?
Here’s the problem: you’re hosting a big meeting and you want to provide online access for outsiders and their laptops. But you don’t have the IT staff to configure a connection. And, you don’t have firewalls to restrict those guests from snooping around your network’s private files. If a visitor turns out to be a hacker, you’ve got problems.
Enter Oldsmar’s IC Intracom and its new GuestGate product.
“GuestGate provides Level III security,” says Michael Thiel, the firm’s CEO. “Users are protected from each other and the internal network is protected from users. IT personnel love it once it’s installed because no further maintenance is required. It’s a solution for a wide swath of industries.”
IC Intracom brought the technology from Germany, where the 500-employee firm, with 70 positions locally, was founded. It relocated its headquarters to Oldsmar four years ago (www.icintracom.com).
The hacker-defying product retails for $250.“All you do is plug that baby in, configure it one time,” Thiel says, “and whoever comes to your office is online in seconds.”
Match Made in the HeavensCockpit
Cockpit glass, meet digital altimeter. Digital altimeter, say hi to cockpit glass.
In what execs are calling “a perfect marriage,” Clearwater’s Aerosonic Corp., a manufacturer of aviation products, is acquiring Beaverton, OR-based Op Technologies, a manufacturer of cockpit glass display avionics.
“We looked at our technology road map and saw that we have a good but old product,” says Mark Perkins, Aerosonic’s executive vice president. “Op’s product is sold to the experimental (aircraft) market but needed certification, which can be costly. The certified product is where the real growth is. They needed a big brother to take them through that process, and it happens that we needed that product for us to grow.”
Three Op execs and the company’s manufacturing operation are relocating to Clearwater. Aerosonic (www.aerosonic.com) has 160 employees at its headquarters and is bringing in 100 more after consolidating with its facility in Virginia. Another 30 jobs will be filled locally for manufacturing Op’s products. “We’ll be around 200 when we’re done,” Perkins says.
Major changes are on the horizon for the company’s leadership. CEO David Baldini announced he’ll step down as soon as a successor is appointed. “We’ve got a CEO to replace, a consolidation to complete, a new launch and we’re transitioning (Aerosonic’s product line) from a mechanical base to digital,” says Perkins. “We did a recent renovation to our 90,000-square-foot manufacturing space and we’re bringing in a wind tunnel and other testing equipment. It’s never been more exciting here.”
DetectiveSwapping music and movie files – i.e., piracy – is tougher now, thanks to technology created at the University of Florida and commercialized by Red Lambda in Orlando (www.redlambda.com). “Copyright infringement happens routinely. The intent of our product, Integrity, was to stop peer-to-peer file sharing,” says CEO Gregory Marchwinski. “The technique is unique and groundbreaking, a truly distributed approach to solving the problem.”
There’s lots of security software in the marketplace, such as firewalls, intrusion detection, anti-virus and anti-spam, but Integrity “covers the entire network,” Marchwinski says. “By beading all across the network, essentially loaded in many different locations, we create a collaborative grid. Only 15-20 percent of the server’s CPU cycles are actually used. It’s idle a majority of the time. We take advantage of that.”
Rapid Venture Funds
Building your own web site may be a little easier.
The folks at St. Petersburg’s RapidVector Web Technologies LLC (www.rapidvector.com) closed on $150,000 for a first round of funding to release Version 2.0 of their RapidVector web site-building software. “We’re now working on a $1-million round of funding, primarily from Florida investors,” say John Tuncer, founder and CEO.
Company COO Jim Shumate says the software, launched this August, is “extremely fast, flexible and easy to use. A designer doesn’t have to go to a programmer to do the web site structure and the end user can have access to make simple changes in the web site, such as changing e-mail addresses, which drives designers crazy. This soft-ware cuts the designer’s time by about two thirds to build a site.”
Version 1.0 of this software, released in August ’06, was used to build the sites for the Dagwood franchise corporate site, Legends Field Tampa Bay and the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce.
Winter Haven-based DocuLex (www.doculex.com) has released WebSearch Connector, a web-based program that enables secure document access from any location … Melbourne-based AuthenTec has shipped its 20-millionth fingerprint sensor, which it provides to such firms as Acer, Fujitsu, HP, Hitachi, Samsung and Toshiba … Tampa-based Sage Software Healthcare’s (www.sage.com) Intergy software has been selected by Arizona Pediatric Eye specialists in Mesa … Gainesville-based iWeb Track (www.iwebtrack.com) has launched Version 3.0 of its web analytics software … Enporion (www.enporion.com) in Tampa has been named to the Executive 100 list by Supply & Demand Chain Executive magazine for the second consecutive year.