Delivering a Useful App Quickly to Front-line Users

Delivering a Useful App Quickly to Front-line Users

If you’ve read about Engility’s trusted app brokerage service, you know we’re taking a years-long process and turning around useful apps in mere months. One of my favorite examples was delivered just this year.

During a marketing and outreach event to IC and DoD users at Fort Belvoir, VA, we on the IGAPP program were introduced to a branch of the DoD that was trying to develop an “in-house” mobile app solution to notify a chain-of-command when a troop is lost, requires assistance, or needs to initiate a rapid response/recovery operation.

As NGA’s trusted broker, Engility captured the needs of the app design, vetted needs through the government agency, and introduced the app design to the private sector through a “Vendor Opportunity Package,” which was later included in the 2018 IGAPP Grand Challenge before the GEOINT Symposium.

The DoD organization was thrilled. Not only did they not have to provide any up-front development costs, but the agency was also able to request ad-hoc changes to the mobile app design and the developer went above and beyond to deliver a meaningful product. The mobile app that was delivered not only met, but also exceeded the expectations of the original mobile app request and, to this day, continues to evolve with new user needs and updates on a near real-time basis. The app was the 2018 Grand Challenge grand prize award recipient, with the award check presented by NGA and Engility leadership at the GEOINT Symposium 2018, in Tampa, FL.

In less than half the time it takes for just a FAR requirements-gathering process, IGAPP was able to:

  • Capture an initial app idea and user needs
  • Create an open call for developers
  • Invite multiple companies to develop an app
  • Receive DoD customer feedback on the initial designs
  • Iterate/improve the app
  • Make it available to DoD users via download
What’s even more impressive is that Aviation Mobile Apps, the developer of the grand prize- winning Position Reporting app, is a small business with only one employee who had never worked with the federal government due to the barriers to entry presented by the traditional FAR process. The Position Reporting app provides the ability for a user to instantly and discreetly send a distress message with an optional geo-location to a customizable contacts list via phone call, SMS, or email—without affecting mobile communication channels.

NGA Robert Cardillo Engility CEO Lynn Dugle Aviation Mobile Apps CEO Bill DeWeese IGAPP Grand Prize NGA Director Robert Cardillo and Engility CEO Lynn Dugle present Aviation Mobile Apps CEO Bill DeWeese with the $20,000 IGAPP Grand Prize.

What about the apps that didn’t win an award? They were also made available in the GEOINT App Store alongside the winning app, generating developer revenue and receiving ongoing updates. These apps are competing on their merits as determined by the active user community, not just a handful of evaluators, promoting a competitive and evolving app ecosystem.

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Posted by David Geiger

David Geiger is a strategic communications and multimedia specialist with experience developing new business marketing strategies, sustaining complex change management operations and leading public affairs campaigns within the commercial and U.S. federal government sectors. A retired U.S. Air Force Special Forces officer, he is part of Engility’s St. Louis team where he works to put effective mobile apps into the hands of DOD users. His heart for STEM has led him to implement first-ever academia focused outreach efforts, establishing collaboration and delivery of mobile apps from a 501(c)3 non-profit organization providing free coding classes to military veterans.