Challenges A fast-tracked US defense contract required SIONYX to quickly demonstrate secure, auditable management of all technical data throughout the product lifetime within a compliant platform architecture.

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Establishing a Compliant Foundation for Defense Product Development


SIONYX’s mission is to provide the most accessible digital night vision technology in the world. As a silicon-based photonics company with proprietary ultra-low-light CMOS image sensor technologies, SIONYX designs solutions for commercial, industrial, medical, law enforcement, and defense markets. The Aurora, small and lightweight, is the company’s commercially available and award-winning night vision camera. SIONYX also works with OEMs who need advanced imaging technology for custom applications. Now, the company is proud to be working with the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Army for delivery of digital low-light level cameras for the highly publicized IVAS (Integrated Visual Augmentation System) program.


Business Challenges

With an approximately $20M contract from the U.S. Army, SIONYX launched a product program that required not only the team’s innovation and technical competence but also control of all technical data and design for government regulatory compliance. “We needed to demonstrate that we have a formal set of industry-standard controls around how we do things and how we manufacture,” stated Steve Anderson, Vice President of Operations for SIONYX. “We had manual processes early on and our government customers required us to implement a PLM system with embedded best practices and automated workflows—aligned to ISO9000 standards.”

The defense contract brought SIONYX the compliance requirement for proper handling of technical data, including access controls, full audit history, and a compliant platform architecture. Arena’s AWS GovCloud platform solution provided a low-overhead solution for SIONYX to meet the business and regulatory needs with significantly reduced risk.

An additional hurdle to the project was time, or lack of it. “We kicked off this project in January and we needed to demonstrate to the government by August that we had a compliant setup between QMS and document controls,” shared Anderson. “We had a very tight timeline.”

The Solution

SIONYX searched for a solution and found Arena. “Arena hit all the requirements,” Anderson remembers, “including best practices on how to implement and the ability to keep pace with our schedule.” The SIONYX team was motivated for success with the new product program, the processes that needed to be built, and the deployment of Arena. “This was a significant change management effort but our team saw the value and were very results oriented. In addition, Arena's experienced implementation team led us through a well-thought-out framework with a set of milestones we needed to achieve in order to meet our 'go-live' timelines. The solution architect pushed us to stay focused and, as a result, we beat our timeline by two weeks.”

With Arena’s AWS GovCloud platform, SIONYX provided their defense customer with a road map of what they would be putting in place. After implementation, SIONYX did a remote verification process with the customer. “We checked all the boxes of what we said we were going to do. They were quite happy,” shared Anderson.

“We needed to demonstrate to our government contract customers that we established a best-practice PLM platform and a QMS that were aligned and working together in support of our ISO9000 effort.”

-Steve Anderson, Vice President of Operations, SIONYX


With Arena, SIONYX has a cloud-based secure system that will scale with the company and product lines. With the core product management, document control, and quality processes like corrective action and preventive actions in place, the team has the foundation to expand both depth and breadth as needed. “Arena operates as defined. We are looking to scale and Arena is a central component. From my perspective on both the platform and the implementation, I give it two thumbs up.”

Bottomline Impact

Meet defense customers’ compliance requirements and ensure quality product deliverables

Key Benefits

  • Enables formal PLM and QMS processes in one platform
  • Provides accelerated corrective and preventive action processes
  • Transparent AVL management
  • Fast, expert implementation resources
  • Secure cloud-based solution scales with the company
  • Compliant with ISO requirements