Debrief: Three Takeaways From SOFIC 2019 May 30, 2019 Dan Brown, Marketing Manager Interoperability false Another year, another outstanding Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) from NDIA in Tampa, FL. The conference continues to be one of the best trade shows in the defense industry as evidenced by the show’s largest number of exhibitors ever (not to mention hotel rates and availability). This year, the show featured exciting new and emerging technology coming from industry to help sharpen the tip of the spear, so to speak. A longtime supporter of SOFIC, Hughes was on the exhibit floor showcasing some exciting communications solutions. From a private, deployable cellular network with VSAT backhaul to our well-known Comms-on-the-Move solutions for rotary and fixed wing aircraft and Class III and IV UAS. We also took advantage of the opportunity to meet with multiple special forces teams and industry partners at SOFIC, discussing their needs for communications support for warfighters and listening to what they had to say. Three themes were prevalent: Takeaway #1: Faster Acquisitions are Giving SOCOM an Edge This year, we saw new levels of excitement from both government and industry, thanks, in part, to concerted efforts to shorten acquisition cycles. The emerging technologies showcased at SOFIC hold game-changing capabilities but if it takes too long to get these innovations into the hands of our special operators, they offer no edge in the field. Initiatives like Other Transactional Authority (OTA) are helping operators get what they need – and perhaps just as important -- when they need it. Takeaway #2: Managed Services are on the Rise We’re seeing more and more of the XaaS model, especially with new software-driven technology. Managing new technology can get very complex, very fast. More organizations in the military sector are seeing an opportunity to grow their capabilities by outsourcing areas that used to be managed “in-house.” Multiple teams from SOCOM acknowledged this as instrumental to enabling operators to focus on the mission not managing their technology. Takeaway #3: The Future Calls for Open Standards & Modular Systems When it comes to networks and communications, the end users we met with at SOFIC were loud and clear: they want system solutions, not a box or component. Whether modems or antennas, cables or power sources, military customers don’t want to shop around worrying about which modular products will or won’t work with others. Instead, they are asking for standard interfaces that can be combined into complete, end-to-end, system solutions for mission requirements. It’s worth noting, some of the coolest technology on display on the exhibit floor SOFIC was found in the New Exhibitor aisle which was stacked with small businesses and startups. One of the booth demonstrations showed the ability to identify the emotion of individuals in the crowds based on facial recognition properties. Another booth showcased a small drone that was fully automated to seek and disable or capture other smaller quad-copter drones. SOFIC is different than some of the other conferences because of the overwhelming sense of community. The world relies on our special forces more than it ever has since its inception in 1987. The industry that supports them understands this and aims to bring the latest innovations to help meet the mission demands of today and tomorrow. Categories See All Connecting the Unconnected (33) Satellite is Essential (31) Company News (30) JUPITER System (24) HughesNet (23) HughesON Managed Networks (16) SD-WAN (15) Community Wi-Fi (13) Satcom (10) Interoperability (10) Cellular Backhaul (10) Emergency Communications (9) Mobility (7) HughesON Digital Signage (1) Popular Blogs The Promise of Flexible SatellitesOct 7, 2020 A Call for Spectrum Reform: An Issue We Can All Stand BehindOct 13, 2020 Adaptive Coding and Modulation Now Available for TDMA Return ChannelsOct 22, 2020 Mega-constellations, Multi-transport Networks and Managing the Hybrid, Connected FutureOct 27, 2020 Hughes Network Systems “Innovation Day” Highlights Edge Computing PossibilitiesAug 4, 2020 Related Posts See All Powering a Connected Future for Military Satellite Communications April 15, 2018 How Satellite is Helping the Fight Against COVID-19 April 15, 2020 Hughes Wins Contract for U.S. Army’s Gray Eagle Unmanned Aircraft System April 15, 2020 Flexible Satellite and LTE Solutions Expand Addressable Markets for Mobile Operators April 14, 2020 Marrying Satellite with Cellular/5G and IoT February 11, 2020 ENJOY THIS POST? This blog was featured in the September edition of our newsletter. Provide your email below to receive a monthly round-up of what’s happening in the world of connectivity! First Name Last Name Email Company Campaign ID CAPTCHA This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.