DLT Solutions: Leading by Example

Brian Strosser, COO Founded in 1991, DLT Solutions stepped into a radically different landscape of government technology with the intent of leading it into the future. Back then, business was a lot simpler. Companies like DLT would hire some of the best engineering talent they could find and draw up contracts with government clients that allowed the latter to acquire new technology. As technology changed, the focus of business in the public sector shifted, and the company was faced with the all-too-common challenge of evolving with the market.

DLT set themselves apart as innovators by taking risks. In 2000, they were first in their market segment to partner with Red Hat, who were looking to expand their services to government clients before the development of their famous Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system. Four years later, when Linux came to be, DLT was at the frontlines helping to spread the message as an extension of Red Hat’s sales team. Not too long after, government clients, who at the time were relying on mainframes, open systems and proprietary hardware technologies, found that Linux was a cost-effective way of adding x86 servers with impressive performance metrics.

With DLT’s help, Red Hat broke into the market and continued their expansion well into the future. DLT capitalized on the opportunity they had created for themselves, speaking to consumers about deploying and managing their workloads with private and public cloud as well as how they could deploy more densely in their computing environments with container technology. Red Hat, on the other hand, made a number of valuable acquisitions which included names like JBoss and Qumranet.

New Technology, Even Newer Problems

Fast forward to the present, the government space is still ripe with opportunities. According to a report from the Government Accountability Office, nearly 75 percent or $60 billion of the federal IT budget is dedicated to maintaining existing systems while only 25 percent of it is spent on new development. “There’s this major challenge within the government space to take these legacy systems, modernize them and take advantage of things like cloud computing and other types of technologies such as DevOps and so forth,” explains Brian Strosser, COO, DLT Solutions.

“In our space with the government, unfortunately, we see things in our industry where they are trying to create a centralized fund that agencies can tap into to modernize their infrastructure and pay it back over time with the savings they realize, or there is another bill where they might give that money out for the agencies themselves to manage,” adds Jim Propps, VP of Enterprise Platforms and Data Management Divisions, DLT Solutions.

Companies like Red Hat understand our capabilities and at times will engage DLT to help them with government opportunities

Many of these problems appear to center around data growth. There is a profound increase in cyberthreats and legacy IT systems that now define the government space.

With government budgets shrinking, DLT emerges as an industry leader who helps these clients face their biggest challenge of modernizing, optimizing, and securing in a cost effective manner. They develop joint solutions using technology from Red Hat and another one of their early partners, Amazon. The firm also has other vendor partnerships that give them the access to different toolsets such as source code repositories, CloudBees’ Jenkins software, GitHub, NetApp’s FlexPod solutions and more. With these integration points, the possibilities of what DLT can create are practically limitless.

Staying Successful and Being Different

“I’m very competitive in terms of nature,” continues Strosser. This is a trait that can be observed in DLT’s mindset. In fact, the company has a philosophy to always be the number one in every market segment or they don’t play in those segments at all. For 25 years, the firm has set its focus on the federal, state, and local governments as well as the education market space as their overall customer base. To ensure success, they partner with key market leaders across each industry, and currently have very few partnerships, all of which they consider to be meaningful.

These partnerships also bring about new opportunities by themselves. “Companies like Red Hat understand our capabilities and at times will engage DLT to help them with government opportunities,” elaborates Strosser. If not on a contract with a well-connected company like DLT, sometimes it can be harder for government clients to acquire new technology. In fact, another selling point of these partnerships is that it is easier for clients to get their hands on technologies like Red Hat through DLT as opposed to anywhere else. In addition, the company prides having a strong and broad portfolio, which widens their appeal in the government space.

Making an Impact

DLT has made some big strides to reach their 30,000+ transaction mark with government clients. Some of their accolades can be observed in their case studies. For example, a couple of government agencies that do scientific research needed to consolidate their buying power. They had small purchases that they were losing track of and did not understand the technologies they were deploying. Through a contract with DLT, they centralized and streamlined those processes, allowing them to keep up with their purchases more easily.
“We’ve been at this for a long time with Red Hat so there is a long litany of customers—there are customers with three letters in their agency name that we have worked with. They are always looking for innovation, trying to be on the cutting edge and stay ahead of our market contenders in the world,” says Propps. These customers are mission-oriented they aren’t commercial businesses looking to make a profit. Given that Red Hat Linux is a common integration point in DLT’s technology, this ushers in questions about a new trend which the company has been on the frontlines of helping to introduce—the adoption of open source.

Staying ahead of the Pack

“Open Source is probably safer than any other thing out there because of all the people looking at it, solving for problems, and fixing issues that may be in the software,” adds Propps. Much of what DLT and Red Hat have done has been an effort toward changing the traditional attitudes toward open source methodology. In one case, DLT helped a government agency properly open source and maintain a new technology they developed but couldn’t manage because they weren’t a software company. In another, they were able to help a customer that wanted a PaaS environment, deploy privately in Amazon’s public cloud with OpenShift.

"Open Source is probably safer than any other thing out there because of all the people looking at it, solving for problems, and fixing issues that may be in the software"

Another aspect that is driving DLT’s future operations is the Megabyte Act, a bill aimed at centralizing and creating transparency in the management of software licenses by federal agencies, as well as shaving down the annual $9 billion figure that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reports the government as their spending every year. “They need to understand what software assets they have and its sage. Also, they need to acquire it more effectively,” explains Strosser. In response to this, DLT released version 3.0 of the DLT Customer Portal, which is aimed at giving agencies visibility into their software assets and demonstrating cost avoidance to avoid duplicated spending.

As far as the future is concerned, DLT has no plans of turning its focus away from its government customers. As a matter of fact, they’ve created a CTO office to focus on creating disruption and finding new ways of doing business in the government space. One area that has the company’s interest is managed services. “One of the keys with the shift to cloud and public cloud is that the government is now more focused on managing their mission versus managing IT,” explains Propps.

Regardless of the company’s plans, DLT has established as a beacon of innovation in the public sector, and will remain an inspiration to tech startups and young CIOs across the globe as they celebrate their 25th anniversary.

DLT Solutions

Herndon, VA

Brian Strosser, COO and Jim Propps, VP of Enterprise Platforms and Data Management Divisions

Leverages its partnership with Red Hat to deliver solutions that are dedicated toward solving IT challenges in the public sector

DLT Solutions