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NARI and OpsCompass Announce Strategic Relationship

The Nebraska Applied Research Institute (NARI) and Nebraska-based cloud management company OpsCompass, LLC announced a strategic relationship to develop technology solutions for enhancing cybersecurity and cyber-physical systems support for the growing cloud industry.

The joint effort will include applied research, design, and commercial development agreements between the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) affiliate and OpsCompass.

Manny Quevedo, president of OpsCompass, has over 30 years of experience working in the industry watching the migration to cloud technology. When OpsCompass started discussing the dynamics of cloud use with Microsoft, the subject of security kept coming which led to OpsCompass seeking out a security partner.

Quevedo said OpsCompass is excited for the chance to work with NARI and their team of applied researchers and engineers that also have a deep understanding of the evolution of cloud technology and security needs.

“I come from a security background, most recently as the Chief Security Officer for a global security company but this was different,” said Quevedo. “This was about security in the near future and specifically, the Microsoft Azure Cloud because it is growing so fast right now.”

Azure is used by more than five million organizations globally, including most Fortune 500 companies.

The partnership’s first project, OpsCompass Helm, is set for a commercial release in July 2017. The software will provide cloud monitoring controls for cybersecurity and compliance within the Microsoft Azure cloud.

“When we got involved, we were aware of NARI and what they were building,” said Quevedo. “It was an opportunity for us to work with world-class security people in our hometown to develop products for a world-class cloud. […] We were off and running with them in a couple of weeks and we’ll be in full phase development with them by the [July] timeframe.”

The OpsCompass software has been in pre-commercial use by clients for several months and the incremental design features will be released on a continuous schedule. The Novotics CPS project, focused on cyber physical systems, IoT (Internet of Things) analytics, and cloud enablement, will be released in following quarters.

OpsCompass will continue to work with NARI into the future and purchase capabilities from them for the next couple of years.

“We definitely see this as a longterm partnership,” said Terry Reinert, Director of Cybersecurity Research for NARI. “The whole world in general is very behind in terms of cyber security. […] From a defensive standpoint, it’s incredibly difficult to stay ahead of the curve [of emerging threats] because the technology the threats are based on is moving so fast. You always have to be one step ahead.”

Bev Seay, Executive Director of NARI said the project perfectly fits into NARI’s mission to build advanced solutions that are applicable to the marketplace and extend the capabilities and influence of the academic environment.

“OpsCompass is one of the right partners because they understand our team is purpose-built to tackle the rapid challenges inherent in this epoch of digital transformation and cyber threat,” said Seay.

Together, NARI and OpsCompass would like to make Omaha a center for cyber security.

“Our mission is to make Omaha the center of excellence for cyber security within the building control system, and power and utility control system, domains,” said Quevedo. “Lots of local businesses are going to be able to benefit over the next several years of having this kind of capability and as a community, we need to support it because it’s going to do some great things.”

Christine McGuigan is the Associate Editor of Silicon Prairie News.

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