From retail and restaurants to tech and media, contractors to coworking spaces, large, small, and everything in between, a diverse array of businesses call Alexandria home. In our blog series, Growing in Alexandria, we will sit down to talk with businesses around the City to learn more about who they are, what they do, and why they love it here. Have an idea for a business in Alexandria to talk to? Email us!


Right in the heart of Old Town, Decipher Technology Studios is a tech company that focuses on data. Their goal is to continuously transform everyday data into contextual glances, presenting the user with timely, relevant information when it’s needed most on multiple platforms and devices, wherever the user is. What does that mean, exactly? In June, we sat down with Brian L’Italien, VP for Product Research and Communications, to find out.


AEDP: To start out, can you tell us a little about Decipher?

Brian: Founded in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia in 2014, Decipher is a rapidly growing service mesh platform company. Multiple instantiations of our flagship product, the Grey Matter intelligent service mesh are already in use with several U.S. Government clients, with more government and commercial clients on the way.

It’s a very exciting time for us. We just announced the first full 1.0 of the Grey Matter platform. Our product, Grey Matter, helps large enterprises manage and operate the complexities of production scale hybrid cloud implementations. The platform simplifies decentralized network management for the enterprise. Grey Matter delivers reliable network performance, resource management, security, and cost efficiency in demand by today’s decision makers. With Grey Matter, our customers gain operational insight through intent-based automation and reporting providing maximum network reliability, performance, and resource control.

As you can imagine, there’s a lot that goes into launching a new product. Besides putting the finishing touches on our product, we’ve been doing a lot of market outreach on social media and press releases, but there’s so much more to do. It’s pretty intense but at the same time, it is refreshing and exciting.


AEDP: How did you get started?

Brian: Decipher was founded by CEO | President Chris Holmes. The bootstrapped start-up has always been focused on building the premier enterprise service mesh. Since 2015, Decipher has used early prototypes, beta software and expertise in the microservice and service mesh markets to solidify the needs of a large IT organization when it comes to the critical piece of enterprise industrial software now referred to as the “service mesh”.

Grey Matter originated as a service mesh platform grounded in real-world problems plaguing many enterprise businesses: facilitating active business growth while operating atop aging, monolithic IT infrastructure.

As our CTO and EVP Jonathan Holmes explains, “I previously worked for a company  supporting a client operating on a huge legacy tech stack. The client consistently asked for new capabilities updates at a pace way beyond what we could provide using their existing architecture. To meet their demands, we knew we would need a faster, easier way to upgrade their systems – one that made sense from a business and cost management perspective.”

Here the idea for the Grey Matter service mesh began to take shape. Holmes continued, “By that time, Decipher was in its early days. We routinely found ourselves dealing with clients that wanted rapid updates at a pace their infrastructure couldn’t handle. Netflix and Twitter had just released their microservice design details and we knew microservices had a lot of potential regarding modernization, modularity, legacy hyrbid cloud access and improved development speed – if they could be effectively managed. This led us to investigate the service mesh concept. We set out to establish a microservices platform on which others could quickly develop new capabilities, while ensuring IT management and executives had understanding and insight into what their money was being spent on. In the end, our clients became so pleased with the results that they decided to undertake a complete digital transform atop our platform.”


AEDP: Can you tell us a little about the next big project or goal you’re working on?

Brian: As mentioned earlier, we just launched Grey Matter 1.0, so the majority of our focus for the year will be on refinement of the core products with significant advancements for data security/movement within a service mesh and an AI enabled service mesh intent-based hybrid orchestration engine as part of Grey Matter. We don’t want to give too much away in those regards, but we’ve seen some very interesting results from our research and pilots thus far and look forward to seeing where things end up in 2019, heading into 2020.


AEDP: Looking out at the horizon- what’s the next big thing? The next big project or goal?

Brian: Workforce development done the right way.  I feel very strongly that the workplace of the future will not be driven by credentials or certifications or diplomas but rather curiosity, ingenuity, fearless iteration, and an almost reckless tenacity to solve humanities most challenging problems.  Current academia and educational pedagogy isn’t adjusting fast enough to keep up with industry workforce needs.


AEDP: We always ask this, because each business has a unique answer and we love hearing them all. So…why Alexandria?

Brian: Alexandria is a fantastic location for Decipher. Our current office, located at 110 South Union Street, is actually the second Old Town office we’ve occupied. We were initially based out of an office located on King Street, right across from City Hall. As the company expanded, we needed more space, necessitating the move to our current location. Many of our current clients are located within 20-30 minutes of our headquarters, so being centrally located makes getting to on-site client meetings a lot easier. Additionally, access to Reagan National Airport, public transportation and easy access roads were important. Of course, once our clients see our office, with its great views of the Potomac River, they often want to visit us instead, which makes things even better! We feel Old Town Alexandria is primed to become a hot-bed for start-ups- “Silicon Old Town”!


To learn more about Decipher Technology, visit their website or stop by their office at 110 S. Union Street, Floor 2, Alexandria