No. 1: FedBiz IT hits top spot on 2016 Fast 50
- By Mark Hoover
- Sep 13, 2016
In 2015, the federal government met every single small business procurement goal it set, except one—companies that operate and employ people in Historically Underutilized Business Zones, also known as HUBZone companies.
Part of this is because the government has a tendency to think that HUBZone companies only provide non-IT services like construction, grounds keeping and janitorial-type services, said Don Tiaga, president of FedBiz IT Solutions.
“I believe that the federal government is learning that HUBZones can provide IT solutions and have those capabilities.”
Proof may be in the pudding, FedBiz IT Solutions is the top billing company in the 2016 Fast 50 list with a compound annual growth rate of 254.99 percent.
Founded in 2011, value-added reseller based in Leesburg, Va., began by providing proposal and capture consulting services to other resellers and manufacturers. From there—about two years ago, Tiaga said—FedBiz IT Solutions morphed into an IT sales company.
Tiaga’s tenure in the public sector marketplace stretches back more than twenty years, when he served in the Air Force. “I was doing it from the government side for the Air Force—more on the technical side—so we [Tiaga and his wife, Nina] decided to start doing it for ourselves.” Nina Tiaga serves as both FedBiz IT Solutions’ chief executive officer and chief financial officer.
FedBiz IT Soltutions provides products and services from companies like Adobe, Brocade, Cisco, EMC, Fujitsu, Dell, HP Enterprise, Juniper, Lenovo, Lexmark, LGE, Samsung, Symantec and Toshiba, as well as others. The company has the ability to provide over 2.5 million products from original equipment managers, Tiaga said.
One thing that helped bring in more IT business for the company was being awarded a spot on NASA’s $20 billion Solutions Enterprise Wide Procurement (SEWP) V contract, or SEWP V, on which the company holds a position in the Group B HUBZone setaside category.
Aside from NASA though, FedBiz IT Solutions has a number of other customers including the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Labor, State and Treasury Departments.
“My strategy has always been: federal agencies buy from government contracts,” Tiaga said. “So we will continuously go after new contracts to expand our business.” The company also intends to become more services-focused. Right now, about 95 percent of the company’s business is product-based; in the future, Tiaga said, he intends for the business to be 75 percent product-oriented and 25 percent services oriented. Tiaga would also like to expand their markets to include state and local as well as commercial markets.
Having 12 employees means that the company has the ability to do what it wants to do in terms of company culture. “Even though we do have goals in our mission to make the company as successful as possible, we prioritize working together as a team and invest in our employees professional development,” Tiaga said.
This, he added, includes providing training, some of it coming from the company’s manufacturing partners, to FedBiz IT Solutions’ sales team so that they are continually learning.
Being small also allows the company to incorporate fun activities at the office. “I do brunch every Friday for the team,” Tiaga said. He also invites his team out to enjoy the Town of Leesburg’s First Friday event—a festival of sorts celebrated on the first Friday of each month that features live music, art exhibits, wine tastings, lectures, and other activities.
“We also try to pull students from local colleges who live in the HUBZone, and we try to schedule around their school hours so we can help them support themselves,” Tiaga said.
However, this does not mean that the company is any less professional than a large business “Even though we’re small, we try to do everything correctly as fi we were a large business. One of the first things we did was get ISO:9001 2008 certified,” Tiaga said.
Mark Hoover is a senior staff writer with Washington Technology. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or connect with him on Twitter at @mhooverWT.