Tips for partnering with vendors

In a field as cutting edge as pattern-recognition technology, where satisfactory shrink-wrapped solutions are few and far between, choosing which vendors and which promising products to work with can be challenging. To make this easier, experts recommend evaluating products as if they were more traditional business applications and letting vendors worry about the nuts and bolts. To do this:

1. Don't focus so much on whether pattern recognition can help you. Instead, concentrate on where the choke points of information are in your organization, said Sameer Samat, chief technology officer at Kofax Image Products Inc. "Federal agencies typically don't have expertise in pattern recognition, but they do know where their bottlenecks are," he said. "Figure out what the processes should look like to get the right information to the right people if you eliminated the bottlenecks. This will help you identify which vendors can help you alleviate the bottlenecks."

2.Resist vendor presentations that give a blow-by-blow account of a program's bells and whistles. "Say to vendors, 'I have this problem — detecting terrorism. How are you going to solve it?' " said Ernst Volgenau, chief executive officer of SRA International Inc. "If a vendor then begins to describe the arcane characteristics of their technology, say, 'Next!' "

About the Author

Alan Joch is a freelance writer based in New Hampshire.

Featured

  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

  • Census
    shutterstock image

    2020 Census to include citizenship question

    The Department of Commerce is breaking with recent practice and restoring a question about respondent citizenship last used in 1950, despite being urged not to by former Census directors and outside experts.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.