ManTech International and a small business, Research Analysis & Maintenance Inc., are embroiled in a bid protest fight for an Army training contract to support the Operational Test Command at Fort Hood in Texas.
The $50 million contract was originally awarded in April to Combined Technical Services LLC, a joint venture formed by Westech International and Trax International.
ManTech and Research Analysis & Maintenance, which goes by the acronym RAM, filed separate protests shortly after the award was made.
According to Deltek, RAM of El Paso, Texas, is the incumbent on the contract and has pulled in $191 million in task orders since 2007. The solicitation for the new contract says that the contract has a ceiling of $50 million over three years.
The Army withdrew the award to Combined Technical Services, so the Government Accountability Office dismissed the protests.
In November, ManTech and RAM again filed protests presumably after the Army awarded the contract again to Combined Technical Services.
This week, GAO again dismissed the protests. So, it looks like the Army is again taking a second look at its award decision.
Interestingly, Combined Technical Services was formed solely to support the test command at Fort Hood, according to its website.
The joint venture makes no bones about going after an incumbent contract, saying that it “looks forward to meeting with all incumbent employees.”
The contract in the dispute is for data management, data collection, instrumentation and logistics support to “operational tests events,” according to the solicitation.
Posted on Feb 13, 2014 at 9:37 AM1 comments
I had the opportunity this week to hear Mike Daniels speak about his new book on Network Solutions Inc. and the early days of the Internet.
Network Solutions is one of the great success stories of any industry. Daniels, who was a Science Applications International Corp. executive when SAIC bought Network Solutions in 1995 for $4.7 million, was its chairman and CEO.
At the time of the acquisition, it was a small company with a five-year, $4.2 million cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation to manage Internet domain names.
These were the pioneer days of the Internet, and while SAIC sensed it would be a good growth opportunity, no one had any idea that it would turn into the blockbuster it was, Daniels said.
He and SAIC founder Robert Beyster co-wrote the book about those heady days called Names, Numbers and Network Solutions: The Monetization of the Internet.
I haven’t read the book, but I know enough that “monetization” is an understatement.
Think about that $4.7 million purchase price in 1995. Over the next five years, SAIC recouped that initial investment manyfold. Network Solutions became a public company in 1997, and on the day of the initial public offering, SAIC made $9 million.
SAIC also retained a 76 percent interest in the company. In 1999, SAIC sold 9 million shares, reducing its stake to 45 percent and raising $776 million.
A follow-on offering in early 2000 raised another $2.3 billion, and then, on March 7, VeriSign announced it was buying Network Solutions for $19.3 billion. SAIC’s stake was worth $3.4 billion.
Beyster and Daniels modestly write in the book that the deal with VeriSign provided an “excellent return on investment for SAIC’s employee shareholders – and one that was not anticipated when the company acquired Network Solutions.”
I layout this rather long-winded description of Network Solutions’ and SAIC’s financial success because it’s powerful backdrop for one of the messages I think Daniels was trying to deliver when he talk to a group of IT executives gathered by the real estate firm CBRE, the accounting firm Baker Tilly and Marymont Group, an executive search firm.
Network Solutions' success wouldn’t have been possible without the federal government. First, the Defense Department and what was then known as Advanced Research Projects Agency built the foundation of the Internet.
The National Science Foundation spearheaded the privatization of the Internet.
Close cooperation between industry and government officials including, yes, Al Gore, and Secretary of Commerce Bill Daley laid the foundation for how the Internet is managed today -- a management structure that is under threat today, but that’s a whole other story.
But Daniels’ message was clear: Without the cooperation between government and industry, many of the technological advances we take for granted today wouldn’t have happened, not to mention the tremendous economic growth we’ve experienced over the last 15 years.
On one level, it’s a no-brainer message, but in today’s environment where anti-government and anti-industry rhetoric is so high on both ends of the political spectrum, it is always good to be reminded how powerful cooperation can be.
And when you think about the serious issues we face globally, from economic growth to environmental issues to health care to security threats, there has probably never been a better time for that kind of cooperation as there is now.
Posted on Feb 13, 2014 at 9:09 AM1 comments
On the surface, Lockheed Martin’s new partnership with NASCAR and the American Council On Renewable Energy might seem pretty simple.
Lockheed gets to market itself to a broad audience in NASCAR’s 100 million fans. The partnership with ACORE bolsters the company’s “greenness.”
But, as I listened to Frank Armijo, vice president of energy solutions for Lockheed, and Michael Brower, ACORE’s president and CEO, and Mike Lynch, NASCAR’s vice president of green innovation, I could tell that there is something bigger going on here.
I see this partnership as part of an ongoing shift at Lockheed Martin as it moves more aggressively into new and adjacent markets.
The partnership gives Lockheed and ACORE access to NASCAR’s fan base where it can promote renewable energy policies and businesses. Part of that promotion will be encouraging young people to move into science and technology fields.
For NASCAR, it continues the organization’s push into green technologies, particularly biofuels. The race cars now burn fuel with 15 percent ethanol produced by American grown corn. NASCAR kicked off its green program five years ago and is seeing success in both awareness among its fans as well as in concrete changes at its racetracks, Lynch said.
The Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania has a solar farm that produces three megawatts of power for the track and 250 homes in the area. The goal is for all of NASCAR’s racetracks net producers of energy when not in use and zero consumption on race days, he said.
The partnership with Lockheed and ACORE will further those goals, he said. “We’ve got ideas all day long.”
After the presentation, I had a short one-on-one with Armijo to see how the partnership fits with Lockheed’s growth strategy, and what it says about the kind of company it is becoming.
Energy is one of the adjacent markets Lockheed has publicly identified as a growth area. That much I knew, but what I didn’t know is that the business has been growing 40 percent a year.
Another aspect of the business that I found interesting is that it draws on capabilities from across the company, including the IT, command and control, big data and analytics and heavy engineering.
The company is involved with energy management for facilities as well as the power grid. It’s also deeply involved in power generation and distribution. It includes wind, solar and biomass energy.
Traditionally Lockheed is synonymous with defense and military systems, and its approach to energy shares a similar ethos.
“Energy is a national security issue,” Armijo said.
It’s also a global issue which widens the potential marketplace for Lockheed, potentially bringing new government customers as well as commercial customers.
In China, the company is working with a developer of a new resort to build a power generation facility using thermal currents in the ocean.
Armijo said the company has been providing energy-related solutions to customers for decades, but no one has ever really connected that back to Lockheed’s identity as a company.
If the energy business continues to grow as he describes, then Lockheed’s identity is going to change. This partnership with NASCAR is just one early indicator of that evolving identity.
Will Lockheed ever stop being a defense contractor? I don’t think so. Its sights are set on the government market, but it won't be limited by that market.
Over the last 15 years, the company has built a huge IT business. Over the next 15 years, energy might emerge as the next big sector for the company.
Or, it could be something else. The bottom line is Lockheed is changing, and we should pay attention.
Here is a link to more on the NASCAR-ACORE partnership.
Posted on Feb 11, 2014 at 11:54 AM0 comments