Gary Arlen | Come in, come ready
Making the team: Raytheon uses Web sites, integration centers to draw partners, but be prepared
- By Gary Arlen
- Dec 18, 2006
Sharon Bresin manages small-business partnerships at Raytheon Information Solutions, the federal IT unit of Raytheon IIS.
Raytheon Co.'s integration centers exemplify the company's approach to teaming. They let the company's partners, including Cisco Systems Inc., EMC Corp., IBM Corp., Oracle Corp., Systinet Inc. and Sun Microsystems Inc. demonstrate specific solutions to show capabilities to customers and prospective small-business partners.
Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems, the unit that oversees the centers, maintains centers in Arlington and Falls Church, both in Virginia, and online. (www.raytheon.com/businesses/riis/ris/ric/RIC_Partners/index.html)
Sharon Bresin, who manages small-business partnerships at Raytheon Information Solutions, the federal IT unit of Raytheon IIS, described the centers' goal as offering a way to demonstrate how customers and partners "will benefit from our technologies bundled with their capabilities and services."
Bresin also works closely with others around the company, forming what she said is a "champions of the small-business program" at Raytheon.
"We don't do things in a vacuum," Bresin said. "We're part of an integrated project team that works with the program office nationwide."
Using that infrastructure, Raytheon embraces both a broad recruitment effort and strict performance requirements.
"While the companywide goals may be based on negotiated, comprehensive subcontracting plans, each agency and program outside [the Defense Department] has its own goals," Bresin said. "One of our programs has a small-business subcontracting goal of 40 percent ? We're exceeding that goal at 98.6 percent."
To find what she called the right suppliers, Bresin said she uses a rigorous due-diligence process.
"The technology capability that the small subcontractor brings to the team is paramount," she said. "Past performance with a specific customer is definitely important, but not necessarily a requirement. It really is all about understanding customer requirements and providing a complete solution."
The level of due diligence "depends on the actual opportunity," she said. "If the subcontractor represents low risk to the program, our due diligence will be appropriate."
The company looks into past performance, financial capability and similar factors as part of its due diligence, she said. Raytheon has a risk mitigation process that "allows us to present a solution to our customers suited to their needs," she said.
Some small companies may be surprised by the insurance and indemnity requirements, but suppliers in this sector must be familiar with government contracting rules, she said.
Moving quickly also is important, but not always vital. Raytheon usually brings partners into a project during pre-bidding or bidding, but there are exceptions.
"We may team very early with certain companies to secure the technical solution, then determine later in the cycle that we can enhance the solution by subcontracting, and go into a sourcing mode to find the right subcontractor," Bresin said.
"This is a very competitive environment," she said. "Small businesses that do their research, understand what we're pursuing, the programs we're working on, our customers, the technology, and approach us with an opportunity to pursue as a partner are definitely going to get our attention."
The technology or approach "doesn't have to be entirely worked out," she said. With an entrepreneurial spirit, a company can come to Raytheon and say 'I need a partner' to implement the service, Bresin said.
"If they've got the initiative and bring it to us," Raytheon will pay attention, she said.
Several small businesses took that route. For the Science Data Systems Implementation and Operations project at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Coyote Technology Inc. of Canyon Country, Calif., a woman-owned company, handled engineering technical services for real-time hardware in-the-loop simulations.
Also working on the JPL project is Geologics Corp. of Alexandria, Va., a service-disabled veteran-owned company that specializes in engineering technical services. It focuses on systems engineering in development integration and test activities for the sciences operations systems program.
For another NASA project, Consolidated Information Technology Services, Raytheon teamed with two service-disabled and HUBZone partners: Genex Systems LLC and Analytical Services and Materials Inc., both of Hampton, Va. Genex Systems' tasks focus on surface modeling and grid-generation services, while Analytical Services' projects include high-performance computing, data visualization and mission software.
The National Nuclear Security Administration also is using Raytheon for a large project. Both Edgewater Technology Associates Inc. of Wakefield, Mass., and Planet Technologies of Germantown, Md., are supplying strategic and tactical consulting support and CIO advisory and policy development services.
Topping Raytheon's priority list is its Enterprise Acquisition Gateway for Leading Edge solutions (Eagle) task order contract with the Homeland Security Department. Raytheon has a Web site for Eagle, its only such dedicated site, at http://eagle-dhs.raytheon.com. Companies registering on the site should be specific about their technology and give complete information, Bresin said. Also, identify task orders and come with a strategy.
Bresin offered this final piece of advice: "Treat an opportunity with Raytheon the way you would want Raytheon to treat an opportunity with you: Come prepared."
Gary Arlen, president of Arlen Communications Inc., can be reached at GaryArlen@columnist.com.