Q&A with RGi president and CEO Stephen Gillotte
Q: What does RGi stand for?
‘Reinventing Geospatial Inc.’ When we first started in 2009, you didn’t come across the word ‘reinventing’ very often, but at this point it’s a common concept. Every third commercial I see is reinventing this, reinventing that. It has really moved away from the negative cliché of ‘there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.’
I designed RGi to be a bold statement to drive the GEOINT Community to do better. Reinventing how we continue to achieve dominance over our adversary is a common theme for us. We believe our nation’s soldiers deserve the best through innovation and rapid delivery of capability. So many people in our community come to us with problems, not solutions. We need to reinvent solutions to existing problems to move forward.
Q: Who are RGi’s core customers and how does your technology make a difference?
Our primary customer is the U.S. Army as well as other federal agencies. We specialize in consulting and engineering services, focusing on C3I (Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence) and in operational and tactical environments. We specialize in how to make capabilities from the agencies accessible in the field across very low bandwidth. We’re making a direct impact by developing innovative GEOINT capabilities designed to operate in our Army’s austere, unclean environment.
Over the past few years we’ve improved soldiers’ abilities to share GEOINT data from our enterprise and cloud providers and brought that to them at the tactical level. We’ve also helped improve interoperability and the sharing of content among Army systems so the commander has better situational awareness. We take pride in improving the performance and usability of capabilities we’re deploying to the tactical edge, enabling soldiers to adapt to the dynamic tactics of our adversary.
Q: What are RGi’s current research and development initiatives?
We are pursuing a number of R&D initiatives. One is cyber terrain and how we define situational awareness. Our goal is to enable the commander to affect the battle space by giving him or her the ability to align both cyber and warfare tactics to create insight.
The second is predictive, activity-based intelligence planning. This is one of our two machine learning initiatives in which we’re developing a language processing algorithm that analyzes open-source intelligence and pairs it with tactical operational data to predict where and when an event will occur.
Q: RGi was named a “2017 Best Place to Work in Virginia” by Virginia Business and Best Companies Group. How would you describe your office culture?
We were honored with the award and attribute it to the fact that we hire great people that do great work, and make work fun along the way. We only hire the brightest and best engineers, and one of the key aspects of our culture is allowing employees the freedom to make a difference for the customers.
We also have a strong team culture in which employees are expected to push themselves to consistently deliver the best capabilities to our customers. We believe we’ve found the sweet spot of embracing and encouraging the natural creativity of our engineers, while keeping focused on the very real issues facing our defense and intelligence customers.
Q: What are some GEOINT trends you are witnessing and how are you responding to them?
The big trend in the Department of Defense (DoD) and Intelligence Community is an increasing reliance on enterprise and cloud-based infrastructures to store, analyze, and exploit an exponentially growing amount of GEOINT data. This is a huge issue, especially for the DoD and Army because of the austere and disconnected, intermittent, and limited networked environments. Our users, either by necessity, mission, requirement, or choice, need to operate in these environments. In the future, in terms of Army networks, tactical commanders will also require more bandwidth than what’s available. To address this challenge, RGi has prepositioned terabytes of users, systems, and mission-required data at the tactical edge.