COMPANIES

DataPath CEO talks federal expansion and being a 25-year-old startup

Earlier this month, DataPath appointed Kevin Benedict to the position of senior vice president of the company’s U.S. government sales, a move which fit into the company’s strategic initiative to increase its presence in the Washington, D.C., area.

“Datapath sees the Washington, D.C., area as the epicenter of the satellite communications industry and the center of most government communications procurement projects,” DataPath CEO David Myers told Washington Technology.

It was for that reason that the company decided to make the push to open a Sterling, Va., office in early 2017, with Benedict at the helm.

DataPath provides satellite communications in remote, distributed or at-risk environments in the government, emergency response, industrial and other markets. The company sits at about $100 million in revenue, Myers said. Though the business itself is 25 years old, DataPath was spun out of Rockwell Collins in July 2014.

“At that time, we really had to rebuild a new company around the manufacturing plant and some of the product lines and customer contracts that we bought,” Myers said. The company was not a free standing business when it was spun out.

“Part of that two to three year expansion plan was to rebuild the brand and rebuild ourselves,” he said. For that reason, Myers sometimes refers to DataPath as a 25-year-old startup, he added.

This is not the first move forward on the company’s expansion strategy, though; DataPath last year opened an office in Aberdeen, Md., to be closer customers at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds and to the Army, Myers said.

In addition to being a geographic expansion, the Sterling office will also serve as a service and repair center for its customers—particularly those in the federal civilian space—who, before, would have to ship their equipment to another DataPath location in Atlanta. "Our customers can literally swing by and drop off their equipment, or we can come pick it up," Myers said.

So far, Myers anticipates around a dozen employees setting up shop in the Sterling office. In addition to Benedict, sales and solutions engineers and service technicians will work out of he service and repair center.

Going forward, the company wants to deepen its customer relationships as well as grow new ones. The government contracting landscape is partly up in the air with the looming administration transition, but Myers said he is cautiously optimistic—though, right now, the future is unpredictable.

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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