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SAIC buys Unisys Federal

News broke Thursday morning that SAIC, a leader in federal IT contracting, had struck a deal to acquire Unisys Corp's federal arm for $1.2 billion — a deal that will certainly expand SAIC's business helping agencies modernize their IT. According to a release, the acquisition, expected to close by May 1, will strengthen SAIC’s ability to provide “infrastructure modernization, cloud migration, managed services, and enterprise IT-as-a-service,” or EITaaS. Unisys Federal has a deep list of customers, including more than a dozen military and civilian agencies. Recent contracts include a $76.3 million EITaaS deal with the Air Force, and a $144 million cloud migration project with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Joe Warminsky on the deal.

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Low-code, high-powered missions

Sometimes, coding can be so overrated. An office within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is a proponent of using what are known using low-code platforms that map the software development process on an interface that allows developers to write apps with a flow chart — using drag-and-drop components and model-driven logic — rather than coding. Because NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service interacts with programs that have many different mission needs, giving those mission owners low-code tools is ideal, said Roy Varghese, chief information officer for NOAA Fisheries. Dave Nyczepir has the story on low-code.

Angerman lands at Slalom

After leaving government in November, Beth Angerman has landed at Slalom, a tech and business transformation consulting firm looking to expand its work with the federal government. She will join the company as a client service partner Feb. 10, helping agencies migrate legacy apps to the cloud through key partnerships with Microsoft, Tableau, Salesforce, Amazon Web Services and Google. Slalom already has customers in the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Smithsonian, Angerman said. Billy Mitchell has the scoop.

A 10x budget for DOD emerging tech?

Raj Shah, the former head of the Defense Innovation Unit, thinks the military should be spending as much as 10 times more for emerging technology initiatives, including the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, the Air Force’s Pitch Day and others. “Now is the time to supercharge DOD access to innovation,” Shah said during a hearing for the House Armed Services Committee’s Future of Defense Task Force. He described the current funding levels of less than $1 billion on “true AI research” to be not much more than a “rounding error” in the more than $400 billion annual acquisition budget the DOD gets from Congress. Shah’s comments come as Congress waits for the White House’s budget proposal for fiscal 2021. Jackson Barnett has this one.

ICE wants help tracking immigration violators

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is asking for help supporting an app that it uses to track leads in terrorism and criminal investigations of visiting foreign nationals who violate their visa status. ICE issued a request for information Tuesday for companies that might be interested in managing its LeadTrac system — the IT element used by its Counterterrorism and Criminal Exploitation Unit (CTCEU) to assist with investigations of suspected terrorists and criminals using the immigration system. Dave goes inside the RFI.

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