Top 100 newcomer no stranger to fed market

V3Gate, a Colorado-based valued-added reseller, has leveraged its strong ties to the VA and DHS to grow and crack the 2021 Top 100. One of its leaders explains its strategy and the opportunities ahead.

A newcomer to the Washington Technology Top 100 list, V3Gate is no stranger to the federal marketplace. The IT solutions provider has been supporting the departments of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security throughout its 14 years in business, and has spots on two major contract vehicles: NASA’s Solution for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP) V and DHS’s FirstSource II.

“The VA is half of our business today, and Homeland Security is about a quarter of our business,” said Guy Nielsen, an executive vice president and principal. “The rest of it is other agencies that are very important to us and growing rapidly,” including the Justice, Defense, Energy, and Health and Human Services departments, and the Internal Revenue Service.

A service-disabled veteran-owned small business, V3Gate brought in more than $481 million in prime contracts in government fiscal 2020, earning it the No. 56 spot on the 2021 Washington Technology Top 100. It is one of only about a dozen small businesses to earn a spot.

Among the most meaningful work in 2020 was V3Gate’s support of VA’s COVID-19 emergency response, Nielsen said. As of early June, the department had spent $1.5 billion on contracts related to the pandemic, with $113 million going to V3Gate, mainly for laptops, desktops and monitors to support VA’s remote workers and temporary hospitals.

“We were pleased to be the prime to lead that effort,” Nielsen said. “That was pretty much an all-hands-on-deck operation that started in March of last year and concluded about four or five months ago.”

In September 2019, VA awarded the company a $680 million contract under SEWP V as part of a Salesforce enterprise license agreement, and just last month, it awarded V3Gate a $268 million Splunk enterprise license agreement. Last September, it awarded V3Gate a contract potentially worth $4.3 million for a radiology reporting and dictation system.

DHS’s Transportation Security Administration awarded V3Gate last August a five-year, $14 million contract under SEWP V for SAP NS2 software-as-a-service licenses.

“The SEWP contract has been fantastic for us,” Nielsen said. “We’ve done over $1 billion (in task orders) to date on SEWP V and of the 140 or so contract holders, I think we’re ranked in the top 10 from a revenue-generation standpoint.”

In February, the General Services Administration announced that V3Gate was one of 79 vendors to win the Second Generation IT blanket purchase agreement, which was built for the Air Force to replace its Network-Centric Solutions 2 contract.

Although most of what V3Gate does today is software and management of enterprisewide license agreements, the company is looking to build on its success by shifting its focus to other agencies and core competencies.

“We built our business around infrastructure solutions, where we’d resell and provide services around infrastructure,” Nielsen said. “We’re pivoting more now towards a services model where we’re going to get more into addressing the government’s complex services needs. To do that, we are currently doubling our engineering team.”

To that end, V3Gate is investing in identity and data management. For example, it has helped the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services modernize its identity management architecture, and led VA’s rollout of eTokens to enhance security at VA hospitals through two-factor authentication.

Examples of V3Gate’s work in data management include helping U.S. Customs and Border Protection convert and reconstitute container data into a readable format and move that data to a disk storage area, and helping the Transportation Security Administration build a modern, integrated enterprise application to support its complaint case management systems.

In support of its effort to grow in the defense space and other areas, the company bid on the Navy’s SeaPort-e, the service’s electronic platform for acquiring support services, and hired two executives, plus four more in the past 18 months with the goal of extending its reach.

Nielsen also called out a March 18 announcement that the company was appraised at Level 2 of the CMMI Institute’s Capability Maturity Model Integration. Because that recognizes V3Gate’s quality controls, the certification will be a boon to its effort to pivot toward services, Nielsen said.

Although the biggest challenge of 2020 – the COVID-19 pandemic – affected V3Gate, it was well-positioned to continue operations when work-from-home orders came down. Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., the company’s office-based workers there were already equipped for remote work, and the company’s Northern Virginia-based workers are always remote, “so transition was no issue,” Nielsen said. “That’s in line with our ‘taking care of our employees’ culture.”

But it’s the company culture that truly sets V3Gate apart, he added. “We treat each other like family, and we put the well-being of our employees above everything else,” he said. “We create an environment that is very productive, constructive and positive…. When you have a workforce that’s happy and accountable, it really translates with our clients.”

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