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The Evolution of VIPER Labs

The Evolution of VIPER Labs

Over the past eighteen months, VIPER Labs has grown and evolved to become a key part of the culture of disruptive innovation at OGSystems. VIPER Labs began quite humbly by responding to customer financial management needs and by growing that solution into a commercial offering as ContractIQ. As a natural follow-on, the Lab has expanded to undertake projects aligned with customer needs in geospatial processing, security research, semantic analysis, open source analysis, system engineering methodologies, and acquisition reform. The culture at OGS and within the Lab creates a customer engagement environment that drives the creation of disruptive technologies.

This year we are focusing on increasing the technical range and depth of projects by engaging a greater community of creative minds to turn ideas into reality. The lab uses a backlog of ideas and measured-success process to help ideas progress and mature into demonstrations, customer engagements, and minimally viable products. While it seems like there are an infinite number of cool, exciting, or challenging experiments, it is our ability to gauge impact to mission and customers that helps prioritize projects and know when to accelerate, coast, or shelf activities.

Critical to the success of the Lab is a constant stream of ideas, an energized multi-disciplined group ready to find new solutions for customers, and a strong alignment with mission needs. VIPER Labs is staffed with a wide range of technical skills and experiences including software developers and technology integrators, data analysts with broad ranging technical and geopolitical backgrounds, image and signal scientists, security experts, IT professionals, and web designers. VIPER Labs hosts software and data analytics college interns from around the country. We believe in an active internship program where students augment their education with industry development and analytics practices. In the Lab, no one sits on the sidelines to draft documentation, everyone is an active and important team member.

VIPER Labs is more than just a development shop that cranks out software after software. The Lab is active in hackathon and capture-the-flag events providing technical participation and financial sponsorship. In 2014, we sponsored Global Hack II to prototype automated ontology generation approaches that address customer needs for advanced information retrieval. With $50,000 in prize money and 200 participants, the Lab ignited a solid technical foundation for future product lines. Equally important, the VIPER Labs Security Research team hosted our first Capture-the-Flag where 25 competitors worked 24 hours to test the security walls of over 38 security challenges on 10 different server configurations.

Technology is completely exciting, but just try to stay abreast of what’s going in industry! We recognize the need to engage, interact and test out new and updated technologies. To help our staff stay current and aware of industry advancements, we host in VIPER Labs weekly technology and education meetings, demonstrations, and webinars across a wide-open aperture of interests: renewable energy, machine learning, network applications, open source analytics, data analytics, and beyond.

What does the second half of 2015 look like? Imagine renewable power (solar), small ground and airborne sensors, advanced Security Engineering, new engineering paradigms, rapid integration of mission solutions using leading edge and beyond technologies, more hackathons, more capture-the-flags, mission applications of knowledge/semantic analysis.