Agilex: Built for a new way of doing business
Success shows shift in government sector
- By Richard W. Walker
- Mar 10, 2011
Agilex Technologies Inc.’s name is meant to convey precisely what its executives tout as its predominant skills: agility and expertise.
“We’re focused on solving problems, not working on them forever,” said Agilex Chief Technology Officer Tim Hoechst. “Since we have a cadre of such good people, we bring them to bear rapidly with the agility of a little company, but with the expertise of a big company.”
Launched in March 2007, the company based in Chantilly, Va., was created to provide expertise in a government IT market moving toward a skills-based, rapid-response and more commercial model.
“I’d like to think we foresaw the change you are seeing in the government market [or at least] foresaw that it should happen,” Hoechst said.
Agilex’s business model recognized that many government IT projects were languishing and that government officials were “increasingly frustrated that they were spending more and more on IT, but getting less and less from it,” he said. “Our goal in building Agilex was to provide expertise that knew better and knew how to solve those problems.”
Agilex was formed by chief operating officer Jay Nussbaum, who had held leadership positions at Citibank and Oracle, and the late Robert LaRose, who had previously founded Advanced Technology Inc. and Integic. For Agilex, they built a tripartite base of expertise from the technology vendor, systems integrator and government IT sectors.
The federal IT officials who joined the company included Robert Otto, former CIO and CTO at the U.S. Postal Service, and Melissa Chapman, who was CIO at the Health and Human Services Department.
“All that expertise sitting at the leadership table from the day we opened our doors is in part what made us special,” said Hoescht, who spent 19 years at Oracle, most recently as chief technology executive for the company’s public-sector division, before moving to Agilex.
Among its services, Agilex offers program and technology management, software development and systems integration. Federal customers include intelligence agencies, the Homeland Security Department, the Veterans Health Administration, the Health and Human Services Department and the Postal Service.
Agilex officials have concentrated the company’s expertise and services on areas in which they anticipate significant growth in government markets: national security, health care, intelligence and enterprise mobility. “We think those areas are the fuel for our continued growth,” Hoechst said.
The company recently won a Veterans Affairs Department industry innovation award, which will fund a pilot program to extend elements of VA’s electronic medical records to mobile computing devices.
With 300 employees, Agilex saw three-year growth of 372 percent and was named the Washington region’s fastest growing company in 2010 by the Washington Business Journal. Its total revenue for fiscal 2009 was $38 million. Hoechst said the company expected to report a fairly significant increase on that figure for 2010. Agilex officials have set revenue goals of $200 million in business in about two years and $500 million in seven years.
The company prepared for rapid growth from the start by securing a large headquarters building and putting in a technology demonstration center and an auditorium, providing its experts with the infrastructure to serve clients and build the business. “We put in all the kinds of things that a midsize systems integrator grows to need over a long time,” Hoechst said. “We put them in quickly from the outset because we had every intention of needing them quickly.”
Richard W. Walker is a freelance writer based in Maryland.