From: Mike McCarthy
To: Scott Jenkins,
Subject: Your invitation to the Open Architecture Summit
Date: Fri Aug 01 13:09:00 MDT 2014

Letter from the Conference Chair

“Gentlemen, we have run out of money. It's time to start thinking.” That quote, or some variation of it, is often attributed to Ernest Rutherford, the New Zealand-born British nuclear physicist. It’s a famous phrase (Winston Churchill is believed to have borrowed it) about the need to innovate and has been repeated over decades, probably because there have been so many scenarios to which it has applied.

While the budgetary situation in the Pentagon may not be quite as dire, there is little question the military has fallen upon leaner times. The Pentagon’s leadership and that of the Armed Services have been taking hard look at acquisition programs and at finding ways to reduce spending or to spend more effectively. This also applies to managing the lifecycle costs of systems already fielded or on their way.

Many believe that one promising innovation lies in the development of open architecture (OA) systems. OA systems are a break from the legacy, or closed, systems alleged to burden budgets throughout their lifecycle because they cost more to maintain and upgrade. Open architecture systems are based on adopting open interface standards designed for rapid upgrades for the warfighter, reducing obsolescence, creating commonality, breaking vendor lock on proprietary data, and spurring innovation and competition throughout a program’s lifecycle. Combined, all of those are believed to yield significant savings over the course of a program.

Defense Daily’s annual Open Architecture Summit scheduled to take place Nov. 4 will mark the seventh time this publication has held the event to explore the implementation of open architecture systems in the Pentagon as well as in other areas of government. It’s an opportunity to hear from the leading civilian and military voices in the government, industry and academia.

This year we plan to build on last year’s impressive lineup that included keynotes from the Honorable Katrina G. McFarland, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition; Lt. Gen. Charles Davis, the Military Deputy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition; and Mr. Stephen Welby, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Engineering. Rear Adm. David Lewis, who was then the Navy’s PEO for Ships but has since received his third star and is now heading SPAWAR, spoke on our staple Flag Officer panel along with Rear Adm. David Johnson, the Navy’s PEO for submarines.

We are pleased to announce that Ms. McFarland has been invited to return this year. We have also extended keynote invitations to the Honorable Robert O. Work, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, as well as Vice Adm. James Syring, the Director of the Missile Defense Agency. For this year’s Flag Officer panel, we have asked Vice Adm. William Hilarides, the chief of NAVSEA, and his NAVAIR counterpart, Vice Adm. David Dunaway, to join the discussion. The Army’s PEO for Command, Control, Communications-Tactical (C3T), Brig. General Daniel Hughes, has been invited to join the panel, as has Brig. Gen. L. Neil Thurgood, the Army’s PEO for Missiles and Space.

In addition to the implementation of open architecture standards in acquisition commands and program executive offices, we will be taking a close look-for the first time-at the role of open architecture on systems operating on the increasingly critical Electromagnetic Spectrum. We are also pleased to announce that Nicholas Guertin, the Navy’s Director of Transformation in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for RDT&E, will be offering a sequel presentation on his online open architecture war gaming exercise. Mr. Guertin is conducting a second round over the summer, one focused on the contentious issue of data rights. To view the agenda, click here.

We hope you can make it out this year to learn more about the Pentagon’s effort to implement policies to expand the use of open architecture solutions in acquisition programs, and what the implications and business opportunities are for industry. Our Summit is designed to be a no-frills event focused on the nuts and bolts of open architecture to ensure attendees walk away with a better understanding of how they and their companies can contribute.

To learn more about the Summit and to register, visit

Mike McCarthy
Conference Chair, 2014 Open Architecture Summit & Reporter, Defense Daily


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