Creating a disruptive force in our industry by combining Radiant with DigitalGlobe

The Radiant GroupSince DigitalGlobe announced its planned acquisition of The Radiant Group, I have held dozens of conversations with customers, partners and team members about the significance of this combination. While DigitalGlobe is widely recognized as the industry leader in high-quality Earth imagery, the Radiant acquisition demonstrates our commitment to broaden our capabilities to deliver solutions that extend along the entire geospatial intelligence value chain. Given all the terrific questions I have received over the past two weeks, I would like to share more information about our Services strategy and the role that I expect Radiant to play in accelerating realization of that vision.

Before sharing where we are going with Services, let me provide background on where we come from.

I joined the DigitalGlobe leadership team as a result of the GeoEye combination. I entered this industry after spending much of my career leading product teams at Cisco, IBM and several venture-backed startups focused on helping organizations discover and analyze their unstructured content to facilitate collaboration and extract valuable information. In fact, I joined GeoEye on the same day it closed the acquisition of SPADAC, an innovative provider of geospatial analytics primarily focused on supporting U.S. Special Operations. SPADAC provided embedded analytics for several military intelligence customers and had secured a number of funded R&D programs to help the Intelligence Community explore the potential of applying emerging technologies and geospatial data sources to the national security mission. At the time, I saw enormous potential to apply these capabilities against our imagery to create unique solutions for our government and commercial customers.

Fast forward nearly six years. I now lead more than 200 amazing team members who make up our Services business at DigitalGlobe. DigitalGlobe Intelligence Solutions is based in Herndon, Virginia and also operates an office in Tampa, Florida. We continue to support U.S. Special Operations, and have significantly expanded our work across the Intelligence Community to develop geospatial big data solutions that extract information and insights from DigitalGlobe imagery and other sources of geospatial information. We are helping our customers derive intelligence from data generated from DigitalGlobe satellites, emerging small satellite constellations, social media, and public mapping databases like OpenStreetMap. Our business is growing rapidly in 2016, fueled by winning two new advanced analytics prime contracts in the Intelligence Community and successful collaboration with The Radiant Group.

Radiant is a trusted mission partner across the U.S. Intelligence and Special Operations Communities with a strong track record of delivering innovative geospatial big data solutions that are source agnostic, cost effective, and embrace open architectures. The business is growing rapidly in a competitive government contracting environment because it has assembled the right capabilities at the right time.

Today we are teaming with Radiant on a major program for a U.S. Intelligence customer that is making our Geospatial Big Data Platform (GBDX) accessible to analysts to enable data analytics at scale. We are also teaming with Radiant to apply deep learning algorithms against DigitalGlobe imagery and radar data sources to automatically discover patterns of activity that can enable smart tasking of government and commercial assets so analysts can make faster decisions. We have been able to build on this combined mission success to cultivate our SpaceNet open innovation initiative with CosmiQ Works and NVIDA. We are making training data, tools and educational resources freely accessible to the public to advance the application of machine learning against remote sensing data. This week we are launching the SpaceNet Challenge to further stimulate development of new algorithms against DigitalGlobe imagery.

Upon successful completion of regulatory review and closing of the deal, combining Radiant with DigitalGlobe Intelligence Solutions will bring scale to our Services business by:

  • Growing our customer base: Radiant will broaden our customer relationships across NGA, establishing a meaningful new customer relationship with NRO, and augment our strong presence at DIA and U.S. Special Operations.
  • Broadening our capabilities: We will be in a position to offer customers a broad portfolio of cloud-enabled solutions that extend across the entire geospatial intelligence value chain to enable smart tasking, collection, processing, data analytics and delivery of insights.
  • Expanding our talent: We will bring together hundreds of developers, data scientists and analysts with expertise in applying geospatial big data to the national security mission. Combined, we will have over 350 software developers with expertise in geospatial big data.
  • Fostering our ecosystem: Providing our new team members from Radiant direct access to DigitalGlobe imagery and platforms will create new opportunities for us to build open source solutions that bring innovation to our U.S. government and commercial customers

Hopefully, this post helps you better understand our Services strategy, our rationale for the Radiant acquisition, and the important role our team plays in helping DigitalGlobe realize its purpose of Seeing a Better World®. I am super excited to lead this combined organization and am confident we will create a disruptive force in our industry that will unlock tremendous value for our customers and create exciting career opportunities for our team members.

The transaction, which is expected to close by end of 2016, is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including expiration or termination of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act. Until those conditions are met and the acquisition is closed, DigitalGlobe and The Radiant Group will continue to operate as two separate companies. For a more comprehensive set of risks related to the planned transaction, please see DigitalGlobe’s October 11, 2016 press release.