Author Archives: Alexa Magdalenski

How Ashburn Became Ashburn

April 12th, 2018 | Posted by Alexa Magdalenski in Data Center & Cloud Infrastructure Committee - (Comments Off)

“Got data? Loudoun County does. Lots of it. With its expansive fiber networks and a swarm of tech workers, it’s a major traffic hub on the East Coast.” – CNN Money

By Vinay Nagpal
Leadership Board, NVTC Data Center & Cloud Infrastructure Committee


Some of us from the NVTC Data Center & Cloud Infrastructure Committee recently participated in a panel discussion at AFCOM Data Center World. The topic of the panel discussion was “The Making of Data Center Alley – How Ashburn, VA Became the Top Data Center Market in the World.”

Loudoun CountyOver the last two decades or so, Ashburn has clearly made its mark on the Internet infrastructure industry. It is indeed the leading data center market in the world – if you go by numbers, over 75 data centers, 10M sq. ft. of operating data center capacity, over 1 GW (1000 MW), with another 4.5M sq. ft. under development. Just to put things in perspective, 1 MW can power one single-family home, so that is enough to power 1,000 single family homes. Dominion Energy has done a phenomenal job of being a fantastic partner of the data center community. In addition to constantly adding capacity, they also have various renewable energy programs in place for the data center community to utilize.

Loudoun County takes the lead in all data center markets globally; however, Prince William County, Henrico County and Hampton Roads are regions coming up as well in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Data centers contribute over $180M annually in revenue to Loudoun County every year. There are over 3,000 technology companies housed in the Loudoun County data centers.

Ashburn VA EcosystemNorthern Virginia boasts a technically-skilled workforce. The huge presence of government technology contracting companies has also contributed to this pool of talented workers. Data center operators are continuing their buildouts at a rapid pace. Increasing investments in building new and upgrading existing data centers that support the provision of cloud services is among the main drivers of growth.

Other drivers of the data center forecast include growing use of big data analytics, Internet of Things (IoT) technology, and a growing need for data center colocation and managed services. Technologies like virtual reality, video, social media and banking are also leading to more data generation and data consumption.

Connectivity is a vital component of the data center business model. Whatever data comes in to the data center, must go out. The data may be brought in on 18-wheelers trucks with cabinets full of servers, with servers full of data, but it must go out over fiber optic cables, comprised of thin strands of fiber glass thinner than human hair.

Blog Image 4It is believed that over 70 percent of the world’s Internet traffic passes through Loudoun County. There are several hundred networks present in this region on which traffic is changing hands, in order to get to its final destination in the most optimum path. Loudoun County boasts the most interconnected location in the Northeast and is also home to several Internet exchanges that enable multiple parties to connect with each other and exchange traffic.

Northern Virginia is where the first commercial exchange was born called MAE-East (Metropolitan Area Exchange) by Metropolitan Fiber Systems (MFS) in Tysons Corner in 1992. Since then, several connectivity-centric companies have made a mark in the Northern Virginia landscape including UUNET, PSINet, AOL and Equinix, to name a few. Terrestrial fiber construction has continued perpetually; you constantly see fiber splice trucks, and road being dug up wherein new conduit systems and terrestrial fiber optic cables are being installed underneath the roads. We have seen the installation of 3,456 strand fiber cable installed in the Northern Virginia region. The region boasts some of the country’s most fiber dense roads as depicted in this image courtesy of NEFiber.

Blog Image 3Until recently, in order for the international Internet traffic to leave the state of Virginia and reach its destination in other parts of the world, it had to be first sent to New York, New Jersey or Florida. This is because the “landing stations” where the subsea fiber systems terminate existed only in these three states in the Eastern Seaboard. This changed in 2017 as Virginia got its first subsea cable, MAREA, connecting Bilbao, Spain to Virginia Beach. The second subsea cable coming to Virginia, BRUSA, is expected to be completed later this year connecting the state of Virginia directly to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Fortaleza and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The direct international connections will further give the data center community in Virginia more connectivity options for low-latency fast connection to various international destinations. There are also several other subsea fiber projects under consideration for Virginia Beach.

In summary, Ashburn has attracted data center and connectivity providers from all over the country. Every major data center provider (retail or wholesale), every major cloud provider, every major terrestrial fiber connectivity provider is in Northern Virginia, and now subsea fiber operators are coming to the state of Virginia.

 

About the Author – Vinay Nagpal

Vinay Nagpal has over 23 years of global experience developing data center and connectivity solutions with a strong knowledge of subsea and terrestrial fiber systems. Nagpal has held several senior-level positions at Digital Realty, DuPont Fabros, Tata Communications, Verizon, MCI, Digex and UUNET, developing carrier-neutral connectivity and data center solutions in the  U.S, Canada, London, Singapore, Australia and India. Nagpal served on Open-IX board, leading the formation of standards for distributed Internet exchanges. Currently based out of Washington, D.C., Nagpal serves on the Leadership Board of the NVTC Data Center & Cloud Infrastructure Committee and is actively involved in the subsea developments taking place in Virginia Beach. Email Vinay Nagpal.

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High-Tech Meets High-Powered Giving

April 9th, 2018 | Posted by Alexa Magdalenski in CXO Auction - (Comments Off)

By Bobbie Kilberg, President and CEO, NVTC


resized-Bobbie-KilbergThe Greater Washington region’s technology business community is filled with influential leaders and companies. As one of the nation’s premier high-tech centers, every day we hear about another investment, development or partnership driving growth and innovation in our community.

Having been associated with the technology sector here for almost 20 years, I can honestly say that Greater Washington has the most impressive and passionate community of leaders I’ve ever encountered. Whether it’s a CEO who has successfully grown multiple companies, a trailblazer in an emerging field or an innovator whose early work set the course for our industry, our region is fortunate to be led by truly inspiring individuals.

I’m proud that these leaders choose to give back to the community in which they live and work as active leaders of NVTC. We value their guidance as Board members and volunteers who believe in our region’s potential, supporting the growth of our diverse technology ecosystem, and serving as mentors to entrepreneurs and startups.

For the fourth year in a row, many of these leaders also are giving back through their participation in the NVTC Foundation CXO Auction on April 24. During this unique event, industry C-level executives from companies like Amazon Web Services, CACI International and SAIC are auctioned off and winning bidders are guaranteed a meeting with their auctioned executive to gain insight or pitch future plans.

Best of all, all proceeds from winning bids goes to support the NVTC Veterans Employment Initiative, which connects Veterans and military spouses to employment opportunities and provides support to member companies in their efforts to recruit, hire, train and retain Veteran employees. Veterans are a vital part of the Greater Washington tech community. Many of the auctioned executives are Veterans themselves and understand how difficult the transition can be and how important it is to help a brother or sister in arms.

Doing well by doing good is a common refrain in many corporate circles and the generosity of this region’s technology business community is not just monetary. Our region’s most successful executives are willing to frequently and openly share what they’ve learned in their careers to those on their way up. To me, that’s the Greater Washington region’s competitive advantage – and the mark of a successful business community.

CXO Auction eNews Logo

 

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5 Reasons to Attend the 2018 NVTC Foundation CXO Auction on April 24

April 4th, 2018 | Posted by Alexa Magdalenski in CXO Auction | Events - (Comments Off)

CXO Auction eNews Logo

The NVTC Foundation CXO Auction on April 24 at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner is an exciting event during which regional and industry C-level executives will be auctioned off to raise money for NVTC’s Veterans Employment Initiative (VEI), which connects Veterans and military spouses to employment opportunities and provides support to member companies in their efforts to recruit, hire, train and retain qualified Veteran employees.

During the in-person auction, attendees will bid electronically to win one-on-one meetings with C-level leaders, during which they can gain insight or pitch future plans. Many auction packages go beyond a meeting to include unique experiences like sporting outings, wine tastings, and even a curling session!

Here are 5 reasons to attend the 2018 NVTC Foundation CXO Auction!

1. Support a great cause: Since the VEI’s founding in 2013, over 9,000 Veterans and military spouses have been hired by NVTC member companies. Help increase the VEI’s impact as it heads into its 5th anniversary!
2. Affordable minimum bids: With bidding starting at just $250, the CXO Auction is a great way to secure one-on-one facetime with tech industry leaders
3. High-powered networking: Executives being auctioned will be in attendance at the event. Take advantage of unparalleled networking!
4. Propel your business: Winning bidders are guaranteed one-on-one access to the brightest minds in industry within 12-months. Many of the companies represented are looking for their next partner or software!
5. Fun atmosphere: Enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres and drinks while you connect with fellow NVTC members, tech leaders and members of the military community in a relaxed setting — for a great cause!

Click here to register for the event and here to see all the exciting auction packages you can bid on!

Auction 1 Auction 2

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2018 Capital Data Summit: Venture Capital Panel

March 22nd, 2018 | Posted by Alexa Magdalenski in Capital Data Summit - (Comments Off)

Transp Data Summit Logo - TransparentDuring the 2018 Capital Data Summit’s  Spotlight on a Successful Local Big Data Firm and One of Its Local Venture Capital Investors panel, David Link, CEO of ScienceLogic, and Patrick Kerins, special partner, New Enterprise Associates, shared their unique insights into establishing and growing a successful big data firm in the Greater Washington region. Rodney Lusk, Director, National Marketing Division, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, moderated.

Scroll below for full video from the panel!

Among the key points arising from the discussion:

  • Passion for solving a specific problem is inherent to launching any tech company; investors need to share in that passion
  • The Greater Washington region’s strong product areas in cybersecurity, biopharma and deep history in the roots of the Internet provide top opportunities for investing
  • Venture capital organizations enable startups to “see around the corner” and accelerate engagement with external stakeholders in a vital way

Full panel video:

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You’re Invited: April 5 Tech Talent Employer Collaborative Meeting

March 21st, 2018 | Posted by Alexa Magdalenski in Tech Talent Initiative - (Comments Off)

Tech Talent Initiative Logo - For WebIn 2017, more than 20 NVTC member companies joined forces in NVTC’s Tech Talent Employer Collaborative (TTEC) to address their technology workforce needs associated with two specific positions: cybersecurity engineers and software developers. NVTC staff facilitated a series of meetings and activities, applying a proven supply chain management best practice-based methodology to help drive the development of a regional workforce with the skills our tech employers need.

2017 TTEC accomplishments include:

  • Forecasting of talent demands for both positions
  • Establishing a shared set of competencies and requirements
  • Analyzing the major sources of this talent and talent flows
  • Identifying local Preferred Talent Providers

NVTC is excited to announce the continuation of the TTEC and its expansion, both in focus and participation. In 2018, the TTEC will continue its work, adding data analytics and network infrastructure while maintaining focus on cybersecurity and software development. The goal is to assist participating tech employers by increasing the number of qualified candidates to fill open positions in the region.

Can your company benefit from networking and strategizing with other local companies to produce improved workforce results?

HR/talent acquisition leaders knowledgeable about their organization’s current human capital demand and future needs are invited to join our kickoff meeting scheduled for Thursday, April 5 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at a location in the Tysons-Dulles corridor.

For more information about our Employer Collaborative and meeting details, email NVTC Research and Strategic Initiatives Manager John Shaw.

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Big Data: A Vehicle for Value Creation

March 19th, 2018 | Posted by Alexa Magdalenski in Capital Data Summit - (Comments Off)

The second annual Capital Data Summit took place on Feb. 28, 2018 at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner. NVTC continues to share original content and video from the event.


Ruh v1Bill Ruh, CEO of GE Digital, and Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer at GE, opened the 2018 Capital Data Summit morning session with keynote remarks, discussing GE’s digital journey. Ruh highlighted how digitization is transforming business models across every industry, from automotive to industrial to telecommunications. He emphasized how digitization is driving new insights that enable companies to offer a more compelling user experience and deliver more value to customers.

Here are some other key themes that emerged from Ruh’s keynote:

  • The digital shift and embracing big data cannot move forward without a cultural shift in organizations. This requires strong investment in employees and that may mean upskilling current employees
  • Data rights will become exponentially important as the amount of big data and the demand for real-time insights expands; who owns the data?
  • Data analytics is a vehicle for value creation

Video full video from Ruh’s remarks below:

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Applying Innovative Thinking to the Recruiting Process

March 15th, 2018 | Posted by Alexa Magdalenski in Tech Talent Initiative | Workforce - (Comments Off)

On March 14, over 100 members of the region’s technology, workforce, recruiting and education communities convened at CIT in Herndon for the NVTC Workforce and Education Committee and Fairfax County Economic Development Authority’s Best Practices in Talent Recruitment panel event and Talent Provider Showcase.

ABBTECH Professional Services President Threase Baker, Altamira Technologies Corporation Chief Human Capital Officer Ray Khuo and Deloitte Federal Talent Acquisition Leader Kendy Rusiewski headlined an engaging panel session which was moderated by Tonia Patt, Principal at My Talent Consultant. Panelists discussed their involvement in the NVTC Tech Talent Employer Collaborative which brings NVTC members together to explore the current and future talent needs of the region’s technology employers and instituting programs to positively affect the development of a workforce with the right skills and competencies.

Speakers shed light on some of the challenges they face in recruiting tech talent in the region. Some of these recruiting challenges include:

  • Long delays for secret clearance positions due to the lengthy security clearance process
  • Finding talent with the necessary certifications, especially in cybersecurity, and the difficulties candidates face with transitioning certifications from one position to another
  • Developing attractive benefit packages
  • Building a well-rounded recruiting team with passion and high-level communications skills

Panelists also highlighted their best practices for tech recruiting. Some of these include:

  • Referrals: the majority of panelists agreed referrals were a top pipeline for getting qualified candidates in the door
  • Utilizing innovative technologies like AI to find qualified talent and using technology to tap into the social and professional networks for high-performing current employees in order to “meet them where they live”
  • Engaging with the potential talent pool earlier through involvement in in high school STEM programs and college co-op and internship programs

The event also featured a Talent Provider Showcase where attendees connected with the region’s academic institutions and talent providers and learned about how their tech-focused programs producing graduates with the most in-demand skills.

March 14 panel v1

March 14 Showcase v1

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2018 Capital Data Summit: AWS Keynote

March 15th, 2018 | Posted by Alexa Magdalenski in Capital Data Summit - (Comments Off)

The second annual NVTC Capital Data Summit took place on Feb. 28, 2018 at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner. The Summit’s second keynote was provided by Alan Halachmi, Senior Manager, Solutions Architecture, Amazon Web Services, and Ben Snively, Principal Solution Architect, Data and Analytics, Amazon Web Services.

Halamachi discussed the rapid growth of the big data ecosystem through connected devices, cloud computing and more, and shared how organizations must have strong metadata management and accessibility in order to fully leverage real-time data insights. Snively shared how Amazon Web Services’ analytics solutions in artificial intelligence and deep learning are being put into practice to serve a variety of customers and causes. Snively highlighted the radical shift today in how people are interacting directly with systems, creating more data than ever, and driving demand for rapid insights at the edge.

View full video from AWS’ keynote below!

Snively v1 Halachmi v1

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Federal Tax Credit May Save Emerging Companies up to $250,000

March 15th, 2018 | Posted by Alexa Magdalenski in Guest Blogs | Member Blog Posts - (Comments Off)

Is your organization a startup or in its early stages? In their new member blog, Alvarez & Marsal Taxand shares opportunities around the 2018 Qualified Small Business (QSB) R&D Tax Credit for your small business. Read on to learn more!


AM_Taxand_Logo_Wordmark_color (2)Last year, many early-stage companies significantly reduced payroll taxes thanks to a new federal tax credit including many of our startups in the tech industry. The Qualified Small Business (QSB) R&D Tax Credit, passed into law in 2015, allows qualified small businesses to offset OASDI (i.e. social security) taxes with R&D tax credits originally claimed on federal income tax returns. The 2018 calendar year presents yet another opportunity for companies to realize these savings. How are these credits achieved?

1. Assess Eligibility – Companies must have less than $5MM of revenues and no revenues prior to 2013. The credit is most applicable to companies with early and high expenditures in R&D before starting to generate revenue. Common examples include companies in deep technology, biotech & life sciences, and manufacturing. Further, companies with at least $300K in annual payroll are most-likely to realize a material benefit.

2. Plan Ahead – Companies seeking QSB R&D Credits this year must first claim the credit on 2017 federal income tax returns. Since a company may not amend an income tax return for the credit, it is important that companies interested in this credit NOT file federal income tax returns without first assessing whether or not they qualify for the credit. Remember, savings cannot be realized until one quarter AFTER the income tax return is filed. Thus, if you’re planning on taking advantage of the QSB Credit opportunity DO NOT WAIT! 2017 Returns must be filed before March 31st, 2018 if you want to bank these savings by the second quarter of 2018.

3. Seek Assistance – While QSB Credits often produce significant savings, they are not a “free lunch.” Not only do companies without experience in this area run the risk of leaving savings on the table, but they could also incur interest and/or penalties related to payroll tax mistakes. Reach out to an advisor for assistance in assessing if QSB Credits make sense for your business.

Our team at Alvarez & Marsal Taxand is ready to assist any company interested in these savings. For more information, please click here.

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Accenture Technology Vision 2018 — Intelligent Enterprise Unleashed

March 13th, 2018 | Posted by Alexa Magdalenski in Member Blog Posts - (Comments Off)

NVTC’s latest guest blog post is by Michael J. Redding, Managing Director – Strategic Technology Innovation, Accenture Ventures. Accenture is a professional services firm that answers real business challenges for their clients through innovation and deep industry knowledge. Find out how on March 22, 2018 when Redding presents Accenture’s 2018 Technology Vision trends at a special networking event with NVTC and Accenture.


By Michael J. Redding

Accenture-Marquee-TV18 (1)

We’re moving into a time where continuous technology innovation and acceleration is the new normal. Technology is reshaping our daily lives, and it’s shaping society as a whole.

For companies to weave themselves into the fabric of peoples’ lives requires a new level of trust. It’s not just business. It’s personal. And leading companies are seeing strong correlations between trust and growth. They’re thinking beyond their direct business goals, to how they connect with their communities and the people who live in them.

Accenture’s annual Technology Vision looks at the top trends that will have the greatest impact on enterprises over the next 1-3 years. This year’s report, themed Intelligent Enterprise Unleashed, looks at the following trends that leverage disruptive technology to build the types of connections being sought by customers, citizens, employees, and business partners. The type of connections that can lead to business growth.

Trend #1: Citizen AI: By “raising” AI responsibly, businesses will create a collaborative, powerful new member of the workforce.

Trend #2: Extended Reality: Immersive experiences are changing how we connect with people, information, and experiences.

Trend #3: Data Veracity: Businesses must adapt existing capabilities to combat a new kind of vulnerability: inaccurate, manipulated, and biased data that leads to corrupted business insights.

Trend #4: Frictionless Business: To fully power the external technology-based partnerships they depend on for growth, companies must first move on from internal legacy systems and re-architect themselves.

Trend #5: Internet of Thinking: Enabling intelligence for the next generation of technology demands an overhaul of existing infrastructures.

TechVisionDemo-Dallas-3Bringing the Accenture 2018 Technology Vision to life through engaging demos. 

 

Technology is the enabler to a bigger role and better partnerships for your Intelligent Enterprise–and a brighter future for us all.

Do you know how you will reimagine and reinvent your business? How will you use these trends to drive growth and differentiation? How will you partner with people, and what expanded responsibility do you have in society? Join me on March 22nd for a deeper dive into these trends, hands-on demos, and discussion about the new opportunities technology can bring.

Mike Redding-DrDemo-Dallas Caption: Michael Redding and Ben Holfeld a.k.a. “Dr. Demo” of Accenture, both will be at NVTC and Accenture’s March 22 event at the Center for Innovative Technology in Herndon. 

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