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Sequestration & the Advantage of COTS Software

Mark Alonzo
In recent years, remotely-sensed data and easy-to-use geospatial analysis tools have become more widely available.  This increased access  has increased our nation’s ability to accurately perform complex target and change detection processes and support  the war fighter community and natural disaster responders with rich analytical support. In a time when the nation is concerned about government spending cuts and the looming potential of sequestration, the geospatial industry is also concerned that we could lose our ability to provide the same level of software capabilities, support,  and services to our government users. Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) Software provides an opportunity for continued delivery of complex capabilities to our users domestically and abroad.  COTS software capabilities can support critical missions for much lower up-front and maintenance cost without sacrificing accuracy or efficiency. COTS tools are available today and offer a broad suite of capabilities that work with any available remotely sensed data (satellite, airborne, and ground base sensors).  Additionally, costs for improvements to the COTS software are supported by a large group of customers with similar requirements.  And when necessary, custom modifications and capabilities can be developed for a fraction of the development and maintenance costs of a new software system.  Finally, in recent year’s software vendors have had to develop interoperability with outside systems to allow their users to attain best in class analytical functionality without paying additional development costs needed to build custom workflows. The integration between ENVI and ArcGIS is an example of how interoperability between vendors can improve the end geospatial products for users. Watch this video to see the how seamlessly ENVI and ArcGIS integration works. [youtube=http://youtu.be/XHpROx-eiws] How do you see COTS tools impacting the work of your organization?
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