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YIR: Integral Systems, Inc.
by John Higginbotham, CEO and Director

2008: It's important to take a look forward to the opportunities and technologies for 2009 for both the company and, even more importantly, our industries. Taking the macro-view, the space industry has gone through several waves of growth.

The first wave began in the mid-1940s, lasted through the 1960s, and established the fundamental industry architecture. The 1970s ushered in the second stage of growth with the development and deployment of technologies such as satellite telecommunications, geo-positioning (GPS), and remote sensing.

Today, we stand on the edge of a third wave. We are entering a period where we will see mature commercial business models integrated with the advanced capabilities of the industry. The result? Customers across all markets and in virtually every developed economic sector will see new levels of usability and efficiency in their operations.

2009: From a technical perspective, we see the convergence of SATCOM with telecom systems, the rise of intelligent networks, and the advent of converged media. While from a market perspective, the current economic environment will push customers to seek to increase efficiencies in their existing assets, both platforms and bandwidth.

The business model of this industry will — and must — change. The companies that will excel in this environment are those, like Integral systems, that are able to combine strong systems engineering skills with commercial best practices to drive new levels of productivity and capability to the customer.

About the author John Higginbotham is the Chief Executive Officer of Integral Systems. He was formerly an active individual investor and the founder of SpaceVest providing strategic and management guidance to a number of early-stage and middle market enterprises. Mr. Higginbotham was the founder and former managing general partner of SpaceVest Capital (now Redshift Ventures), an institutional venture capital organization managing approximately $270 million of investments in more than 50 high technology companies. Earlier in his career, Mr. Higginbotham co-founded Intec (now AXA Space) a globally recognized underwriting management leader for insurance and financial risk management services for aerospace companies, satellite communications operators, and national space programs. Mr. Higginbotham initiated his career with Hewlett Packard Company as Product Manager for HP's successful initial entry into the microcomputer marketplace. He was formerly Chairman, now Director Emeritus, of the Space Foundation, a premier non-profit organization supporting space activities, space professionals, and education. Mr. Higginbotham is also a member of a number of professional organizations including the IEEE, ASCE, and AIAA and received the 2007 National Space Society Space Finance Award. He received his B.S. in civil engineering from Virginia Tech with Honors and his M.B.A from Harvard Business School.