I came to DC back in 1980 to pursure a career in public affairs. I earned a Master of Science in Foreign Service at Georgetown University, with a concentration in international security affairs.
My first job outof graduate school was at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), at that time associated with Georgetown University. I started as a research assistant, then worked through the ranks to research associate and ultimately fellow in international security affairs. I wrote books and papers and spoke to conferences.
What a heady time it was, back at the beginning of the 1980s, especially for a foreign policy wonk. The United States had been battered overseas, and morale was low both in the defense and intelligence communities. It was exciting to see academic theories put into practice, and the gratifying results on the world stage.
I ended up entering the information technology field while I was at the think tank. I helped write a proposal to create an international network in the field of Soviet studies. I traveled around the country helping connect scholars to the network and worked on building databases.
In 1987, I started a company, Information Strategies (Infostrat), focused on software for the public sector. My first contracts were building custom databases, largely relating to defense programs. Next, I won some work with Smithsonian Institution and Pepsi-Cola. We ultimately ended up specializing in Microsoft solutions. Today our business is divided among federal, state and local, and commercial customers.
I couldn't get the think tank out of my blood, so I applied what I learned at Georgetown and CSIS to my business. I stepped up my publishing efforts and wrote a half dozen computer books and numerous articles. Best of all, I surrounded myself with technology and subject matter experts much more capable than me.
We have written a number of books on software and technology topics. The most recent was on Microsoft's portal platform, particularly SharePoint. We are also publishing white papers, such as a comparison of SharePoint and Dynamics CRM, and Using Dynamics CRM as a Development Platform.