M&A

Booz Allen builds on Vision 2020 strategy with SPARC acquisition

Booz Allen Hamilton has acquired the software services unit of SPARC in a move that complements Booz Allen’s overarching company strategy, Vision 2020.

Spearheaded in 2013, Vision 2020 is a transformation initiative that commits Booz Allen to investing in growth and has resulted in the company restructuring itself and making a number of acquisitions in the last few years.

Historically, Booz Allen has not been big on acquisitions; however, “what became clear to us,” said Gary Labovich, Booz Allen executive vice president and head of the company’s systems delivery business, “is that if we were really going to capitalize on the trends in the market, we needed some kind of inorganic injection of expertise and experience.”

The SPARC unit fits well with the company’s Vision 2020 initiative. “The strategy that we’ve developed as a firm is that we want to start migrating our systems delivery work beyond the traditional operations and maintenance kind of work and move onto more contemporary technologies like agile development,” Labovich said.

Charleston, S.C.-based SPARC adds those agile development capabilities as well as its relationships with the Veterans Affairs Department, U.S. Postal Service, Defense Department, U.S. Marine Corps and a host of commercial companies who are focused on software delivery, said SPARC CEO Marc Murphy.

SPARC, which will exist within Booz Allen’s Systems Delivery business, brings with it 270 employees, all of whom will continue to operate out of the company’s Charleston, S.C., headquarters.

“This is really the first time for our systems delivery business that we actually have a regional capability,” Labovich said. “Over time, we think we can build this Charleston presence up so that we have a regional delivery model that we can leverage for the firm.”

The two companies became acquainted with one another about 18 months ago, when Booz Allen set up 65 employees in the vicinity. The two companies worked together to deliver as a team and integrate that team with its customer, which Murphy said was an approach that had worked for SPARC in the past.

“I think we’ve done very well on our own, evolving our business, but we were looking for an organization that we thought could give us some new perspective, that could enhance the work we were already doing,” Labovich said.

The McLean Group served as an adviser to SPARC. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

About the Author

Mark Hoover is a senior staff writer with Washington Technology. You can contact him at mhoover@washingtontechnology.com, or connect with him on Twitter at @mhooverWT.

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