FAST 50: ApplyLogic's steady approach fuels growth

Jeff Ramella founded ApplyLogic as a solo business in 2004, but a focus on three core capabilities has brought steady growth and a second straight appearance on the Washington Technology Fast 50.

Jeff Ramella took a chance founding ApplyLogic Consulting Group in 2004. At the time, Ramella was a single dad and was frustrated by corporate roadblocks in his career.

“Over the years, it was mainly me for many years, and as time went on, customers started asking for more and more people like us,” he said. “We continued to grow and expand our base that way.”

Now, the veteran-owned small business has close to 40 employees and is ranked No. 26 on the 2016 Washington Technology Fast 50 list with a 74.15 percent compound annual growth rate over the last five years. The company was ranked No. 34 on last year’s Fast 50 list.

The company was also listed as one of Inc. magazine’s Top 5,000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in August 2015.

ApplyLogic is focused on three core areas: consulting, cybersecurity and data analytics and automation.

The company centers its consulting services on high-level consultants and subject matter experts in the areas of network systems, Ramella –now the company’s president- said.

“We have a recruiting approach and methodology that has been very successful for us in competing against those 800-pound gorillas out there,” he said.

In the areas of cybersecurity and technical project management, ApplyLogic works mainly within large enterprises within the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and the federal Judiciary.

ApplyLogic’s cybersecurity capabilities include security architecture and design, IT security assessment, IT security engineering and operations support and information security policy design.

The company also developed the ApplyLogic Data Analytics Portfolio Tool (ADAPT), which is a proprietary management suite that provides project management tools to ensure high-quality deliverables.  The tool offers an automated snapshot of each project, which helps to facilitate budgeting, scheduling and project monitoring.

“In a day and age where the budgets are shrinking and the costs of labor is having to go down with the LPTA -you know, being able to do more with less- we see some interest and activity in this particular proprietary tool we developed,” Ramella said.

In addition to providing these services, ApplyLogic has a prime contracting spot on GSA Schedule 70 and works as a subcontractor under DHS EAGLE II, FBI ITSSS, JMAS IV, TSA OASIS-II and SeaPort-e. The company also is ISO 9001:2008 certified, which means the company adheres to standards to ensure products and services are safe and reliable, according to the organization’s website.

ApplyLogic has a five-year plan for growth and tactical strategies to ensure that the five-year plan is successful, Ramella said.

“The goal is to focus on winning more prime contracts and establishing strategic partnerships that are of mutual benefit to our customers,” he said.

The company is also working on “maintaining our family feel and identifying options to get back to veteran-owned organizations and pay it forward through volunteering and offering more internships,” Ramella said.

Cultivating a close-knit company culture is important to Ramella.

“I come from an Italian background, so you know, you come into the company, you can try to check out but you can never leave,” he said. “We want to keep you in there.”

Ramella says he has instituted an open-door policy with his staff.

“It’s not uncommon for staff to text me or call me at all sorts of times in the day and have that type of rapport where I’m okay with that,” he said.

The company also offers professional training development to encourage employees to invest in themselves.

“Being a services company, one thing that’s important to us and it kind of feeds into our culture is investing in staff, because if we’re not investing in our staff, then we’re out of business,” Ramella said.