Hot markets rev up Top 100 engines

No. 37: Datapath

Leaped nearly 60 spots, landing at No. 37 with $327.4 million in prime IT contracting revenue.

Each year on the Top 100, a few companies make moves that are especially eye-catching.

Sometimes it's just the luck of the draw. A contract or two heats up beyond expectations, and a company pops onto the list. The contract cools, and the next year the company disappears.

On the 2005 Top 100, DataPath Inc. of Norcross, Ga., made its debut at No. 95. The company caught fire when the government increased spending on satellite communications.

But if you thought DataPath would fade away, think again. On the 2006 list, the company leapt nearly 60 spots, landing at No. 37 with $327.4 million in prime IT contracting revenue.

While DataPath's move might be the most dramatic, it isn't the only fast mover on this year's Top 100.

Verizon Communications Inc. rushed from the bottom half of the 2005 Top 100 ? it was No. 57 ? to No. 14, thanks to its acquisition of MCI Inc., which was No. 18 last year. An acquisition also propelled DRS Technologies Inc. of Parsippany, N.J., from No. 75 last year to No. 28 this year. It acquired Engineered Support Systems Inc., which was ranked No. 43 in 2005.

MTC Technologies Inc. of Dayton, Ohio, (No. 34) and NCI Information Systems Inc. of Reston, Va., (No. 71) each made upward climbs of better than 20 spots from last year. QSS Group Inc. of Lanham, Md., moved up 19 spots to No. 63.
Two companies, Gateway Inc. (No. 88) and Government Micro Resources Inc. (No 98), return to the Top 100 after an absence of several years.

Making acquisitions, particularly in DataPath's case, is just part of why many companies soared higher on the list.

Earlier this decade, DataPath was in an attractive segment of the market as a result of the government's need for satellite communications services to support operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and other hot spots. The military also had begun to change the way it operated and had a growing need for more mobile, high-bandwidth communications. But DataPath was small and needed more resources to take advantage of the trend.

Enter White Oak Capital Group, an Atlanta private equity group, which acquired DataPath in 2004 for an undisclosed amount. With White Oak's backing, DataPath was able to expand beyond providing Earth satellite terminals to also offer broader network services, said Andy Mullins, DataPath's CEO.

Since 2004, the company has made acquisitions and invested in people and technology to bring on offerings such as mobile satellite solutions and switches and routers that connect satellite-based communications to ground-based networks. The company also has developed software and outsourcing services.

"The core of our business is satellite Earth terminals, but we've built out from that core," Mullins said. "We've had a lot of expansion in the breadth of our solutions."

Logistics services are an area that DataPath plans to continue to invest in to meet customers' needs for operations and maintenance of satellite terminal sites, he said. The company has 150 engineers, mostly in Europe and southwest Asia, supporting customer sites.

Training and wireless capabilities are other services DataPath is developing, he said.

"We've also rolled out software in the past year for remote management and control of networks, especially the satellite components," Mullins said.

Now that the company has revenue in the hundreds of millions of dollars, it doesn't expect its growth to double or triple each year, he said. "But demand has not peaked in our market, and we expect it to be there for quite some time," he said.

Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

What is your e-mail address?

My e-mail address is:

Do you have a password?

Forgot your password? Click here
close
SEARCH
contracts DB

Trending

  • Dive into our Contract Award database

    In an exclusive for WT Insider members, we are collecting all of the contract awards we cover into a database that you can sort by contractor, agency, value and other parameters. You can also download it into a spreadsheet. Read More

  • Is SBA MIA on contractor fraud? Nick Wakeman

    Editor Nick Wakeman explores the puzzle of why SBA has been so silent on the latest contractor fraud scandal when it has been so quick to act in other cases. Read More

Webcasts

  • How Do You Support the Project Lifecycle?

    How do best-in-class project-based companies create and actively mature successful organizations? They find the right mix of people, processes and tools that enable them to effectively manage the project lifecycle. REGISTER for this webinar to hear how properly managing the cycle of capture, bid, accounting, execution, IPM and analysis will allow you to better manage your programs to stay on scope, schedule and budget. Learn More!

  • Sequestration, LPTA and the Top 100

    Join Washington Technology’s Editor-in-Chief Nick Wakeman as he analyzes the annual Top 100 list and reveals critical insights into how market trends have impacted its composition. You'll learn what movements of individual companies means and how the market overall is being impacted by the current budget environment, how the Top 100 rankings reflect the major trends in the market today and how the biggest companies in the market are adapting to today’s competitive environment. Learn More!