To our way of thinking, innovation maintains relevance only in the context of delivering solutions to hard problems. iNovex extends our core software engineering competencies with innovative approaches to design and deliver innovative solutions that solve our customers’ most complex business problems. The following examples illustrate the depth of our innovation capabilities.
iP3℠ Innovation Ecosystem
Our iP3℠ "Innovation Ecosystem" methodology features a four-phase software development approach (innovate—Prototype-Prove-Promote) aligned with industry-standard Technology Readiness Levels to provide all elements of the SDLC and accelerate the rapid fielding of new capabilities and incremental improvement of existing capabilities. Our process begins with user-centered innovation by pairing our expert developers with customer SME's "at the edge" to define high-level solution concepts. Using extreme-programming techniques, we iterate on the concept with wireframes, mocked-up interfaces and even hand-drawn illustrations. We make quick adjustments based on feedback from incremental delivery of working software—we make a plan, build a software increment, demonstrate it and obtain feedback, then make another plan based on what we learned. We add these concepts to our Agile backlog and mature them organically through iteration, providing highly-granular metrics for customer evaluation and action—informed decisions to direct our efforts. As a result we focus on development that provides the highest return on investment, delivering solutions that work, faster.
Semantic Service-Oriented Architecture (SSOA)
We explore the relationships in multi-source data to extract semantic value, and then combine that value with a service-oriented approach to systems engineering based on three principles:
- SOA for heterogeneous, componentized and distributed applications that interoperate seamlessly.
- Standards Based Design (SBD) for using open industry standards and protocols to add durability, rapid implementation and platform-agnostic automation.
- Semantic computing for connecting content available from distributed, independent contributing communities, forming a “Web of meaning”.
Through SSOA we combine practices such as data linking with open standards such as W3C Resource Description Framework (RDF) and Web Ontology Language (OWL) to describe resources including components, tracked entities, knowledge objects, services, processes and personnel. We use an organic and semantically-enriched hierarchical model, patterned after Complex Adaptive Systems, to create ad hoc, “situation based’ applications. Using this approach, we will build an inventory of discoverable, reusable, pre-built, pre-tested and pre-approved software modules and services. As this inventory grows, the time from “idea to solution” shrinks as we increasingly move from solution development to solution assembly.
We implement technology-agnostic, cloud-based solutions for aggregating distributed multi-source data and extracting enterprise knowledge and situational awareness through analytics. To reduce cost and eliminate proprietary lock-in we use full and open source software—examples include Twitter’s Storm for source streaming, Apache Accumulo or LinkedIn’s Voldemort open-source key-value store with Hadoop for the batch layer data store, Apache Cassandra for the speed layer data store, Apache Tomcat for the web server, and the Ozone Widget Framework (OWF) for the front-end visualization. Our architecture maintains compatibility with systems built using industry-standard hardware and software, is configurable to use data in existing repositories, and does not require data to reside in any proprietary format.
Platforms as a Service (PaaS)
iNovex develops, deploys and supports high-performance, scalable software systems with a standards-based Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS) model that adheres to open industry standards, such as the OSGi specifications, and provides a highly adaptive runtime for developing, deploying and managing highly modular software systems built from small, reusable, and collaborative components. The PaaS helps us to design, develop, deploy and support dynamic, distributed and composite software systems which are modular from the hardware to the user-interface—“metal to the glass”.
Independent Research & Development
We innovate through our Independent Research and Development (IR&D) efforts. Our IR&D centers on our iLab—an OpenStack cloud built on heterogeneous hardware that we use as a research “sandbox” to emulate our customers’ cloud-based environments and design new solutions. We also use our iLab to:
- Conduct trade-studies weighing the costs and benefits of custom and commercial product solutions, offing unbiased recommendations and solutions to meet customer objectives;
- Train our developers on virtual infrastructure and cloud-based semantic technologies and solutions;
- Test the integration and application of leading COTS and FOSS Semantic Web application platforms and tools, and the integration of structured, semi-structured and unstructured content from customer-defined sources.
iNovex promotes cloud technology through IR&D partnerships. We deployed a corporate OpenStack implementation in our iLab using heterogeneous hardware from various hardware vendors. We developed partnerships with Hewlett Packard to advance open, standards-based cloud solutions. An OpenStack Foundation Platinum member, HP is integrating OpenStack technology to deliver enterprise-grade solutions across its private, public and hybrid cloud portfolio. This commitment to OpenStack partnerships propels the open-source infrastructure as a service technology, and offers a superior level of expertise to our customers. We partnered with Cloudera as beta-tester for innovative developments in the open-source Hadoop ecosystem, including: their distributed Hadoop platform (CDH) to ease the deployment and management of Hadoop; Cloudera Manager for managing and administering Hadoop clusters; and Cloudera Navigator for providing valuable services for Hadoop clusters including data provenance, audit and access control, discovery and exploitation, and lifecycle management. We partnered with Cambridge Semantics to integrate their ANZO platform into semantic solutions for numerous customers, providing tools for defining ontologies and data linkages to semantically enrich their data. These important partnerships and services help us develop and deliver innovative high-performance and scalable solutions for our customers.