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News

Cross agency data warehousing specialist takes on new CEO.

Chiliad : 04 March, 2008  (Company News)
Industry expert to take Chiliad through its next phase of growth to extend its real-time simultaneous multiple database analysis tools to a wider market.
For nearly 10 years Chiliad has been quietly working behind the scenes to develop some of the most powerful and innovative software in the US government's anti-terrorism arsenal. With the addition of Dan Ferranti, a veteran CEO with a proven 27-year track record in the information technology field, the Washington, D.C.-based company is preparing to extend the benefits of its ground-breaking technology beyond its already-impressive client base.

Chiliad's founders were influenced by the space shuttle Challenger disaster and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Investigations into both events concluded that information stored in incompatible databases and documents maintained by different departments and organisations could have allowed managers and officials to prevent those disasters. But there simply was no existing technology to "connect the dots"across so many incompatible systems and organisations. Efforts to solve this problem hastened development efforts within Chiliad and drove the first deployment of Chiliad's software within the US intelligence community to create a virtual knowledge environment across distributed information stovepipes, databases and applications.

"The phrase 'connecting the dots' is central to understanding Chiliad's principal software product, Chiliad Discovery/Alert," says Ferranti. Ferranti adds, "Chiliad Discovery/Alert is a comprehensive platform that provides search, information extraction, on-the-fly analysis, real-time knowledge fusion, dynamic navigation and real time alerting. Our key differentiator is the ability to seamlessly tie together all of an organisation's distributed 'stovepipe' applications and disconnected data repositories. In some of our US government deployments, we even go across different agencies to get at the heart of the '9/11 problem.' Our software makes all of these resources appear as a single virtual repository to any authorised user."

"We go much deeper than simply linking the user to multiple systems in a federated search environment," Ferranti continues. "Chiliad's software has the capacity and intelligence to analyse and compare data from a variety of networked repositories simultaneously. This means we can deliver the best information available to the user, and also uncover hidden connections in the data that would otherwise be missed."

"The company has operationally proven itself in some of the most challenging search, analysis and alerting deployments in existence within the US government," Ferranti concludes. "Chiliad has demonstrated the ability to solve challenges that have stumped vendors in the search, analysis, business analytics, and database management fields."

Both the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence - the lead US agencies in the war on terrorism - have seen the unique value Chiliad offers and have deployed the company's software to tame the mountains of data that must be sifted and analysed to accomplish their mission.

After an extensive evaluation of available technologies, the FBI turned to Chiliad to create its Investigative Data Warehouse. Not only did Chiliad succeed where other vendors had failed, but the FBI engagement has proven to be one of the shining successes in the war on terror. Chiliad's software helped the FBI earn the only "A" score on the "national counter-terrorism report card," issued by the bi-partisan members of the 9/11 Commission for efforts in tracking money laundering. The FBI reported that Chiliad's software reduced the time to process important counter-terrorism tasks from 32,000 hours to 30 minutes, saving the cost and time of 170,000 analyst hours over a four-month period, and representing a return-on-investment in productivity savings of 300 percent over the first four months of use.

Describing one of the company's largest installations, Ferranti says, "Today, Chiliad software powers the first-of-its kind, peer-to-peer comprehensive search, analysis, and alerting capability within the largest multi-agency distributed analysis and alerting counter-terrorism system serving the nation's lead agency for domestic counter-terrorism."

The customer Ferranti refers to is the FBI, with 8,000 active user accounts representing intelligence analysts and agents from FBI and multi-agency joint counter-terrorism task forces. These users execute one million searches and analyses each month to connect the dots across more than 700 million records and documents from more than 50 multi-agency, multi-format data sources, connected to the National Counterterrorism Centre and to databases of the Department of Homeland Security, the CIA, the NSA and the Pentagon, with an average execution time of four to six seconds.

"The performance achieved in this deployment represents just the 'tip of the iceberg' in the scalability potential of this system, and we now are rolling out a larger deployment that will dwarf this system," Ferranti adds.
On the strength of its success at the FBI, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence selected and funded Chiliad to create the first operational pilot to achieve and demonstrate effective, secure decentralized information sharing across US intelligence and law enforcement agencies - a direct and successful response to one of the 9/11 Commission's most pointed recommendations.

Based on success within the homeland security arena, Chiliad's board of directors made the decision in early 2007 to hire a proven CEO to lead Chiliad to the next level. Chiliad Chairman Terry Lutes comments, "Once we found Dan Ferranti, a CEO with the impressive track record of building five software and technology services companies from early-stages to mid-cap size, we decided to wait until Dan was available to join us." In June 2007, Dan was wrapping up the sale of DolphinSearch to another technology company. During Ferranti's tenure as CEO of DolphinSearch, it provided search-related software products and application services to the Fortune 1000, government and legal markets. Two days after completing the DolphinSearch merger, Dan took the helm of Chiliad.

Ferranti sees Chiliad's success in the intelligence and law enforcement field as only the beginning. In his years in the enterprise software field, Ferranti has seen many of the same problems Chiliad has solved for the intelligence and law enforcement fields manifest themselves throughout civilian government and large corporations.

"Major corporations in almost all industries, including pharmaceutical/life sciences, financial/banking, retail, marketing, energy, aerospace, healthcare, supply chain and many other fields face problems similar to the ones we have solved for the government," Ferranti recently told his management team.

"Business organisations throughout the globe are unable to effectively 'connect the dots' across decentralized and incompatible data collections - both internal and external to their enterprises - leaving much of the actionable business intelligence undiscovered and unused. This loss impacts both the top line and bottom line of our largest corporations every day. We can now empower them with what one government executive calls the 'holy grail' of actionable intelligence."

Ferranti says, "Companies that utilise Chiliad's software for real-time search and analysis across their decentralised and heterogeneous data collections will have an enormous advantage over their competitors. They will possess more useful and timely business intelligence, which will translate into quality improvements, reduced time-to-market, increased productivity, and increased market share."

Ferranti sums up Chiliad's strategy this way: "Our company's mission is to become the predominant technology platform underlying almost all business applications throughout commercial and government organisations. In just a few years, Chiliad will be known as principal arms supplier to the information age."
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