Recent modernization awards underscore Octo's market strategy
- By Mark Hoover
- Dec 22, 2016
Last month, Octo Consulting Group won two contracts totaling $16 million to support modernization programs, and the awards reinforce the company's desire to be a premier digital services firm that leads with its capabilities in the mid-market space.
On one of the contracts, worth $11 million, Octo is supporting the GSA Integrated Award Environment (IAE) modernization effort that integrates cloud, open source technologies, security, agile programming and a DevOps deployment model to create a next-generation award management platform.
“GSA has been at the forefront helping a lot of different agencies start to modernize and look at modern approaches to do their work,” said Sujey Edward, Octo CTO, who joined the company in September, joining the other 270 or so employees.
At its heart, the IAE effort helps any agency or organization that seeks to do business with or on behalf of the federal government, said Octo president and CEO Mehul Sanghani. This is good for business for Octo Consulting as it tries to raise its profile in the market and differentiate itself from competitors.
“[The contract] allows us to use all of our technical skills to really build something that is important to agencies and critical to the government,” Edward said.
The company’s scope under the contract includes designing and developing functionalities of the Federal Business Opportunities website, the Electronic Subcontractor Reporting System and the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act Subaward Reporting System.
Under the second contract, worth $5 million, Octo is modernizing the military health records system electronic medical records for the Army’s Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care Product Management Office (MC4).
The Medical Communications for Combat Casualty program is a semi-ruggedized system of systems containing medical software packages fielded to operational forces worldwide, enabling health care providers to do their jobs more efficiently.
The contract is all about supporting soldiers and veterans health by making sure they and their health care providers have access to their data.
“You need to understand how all these different data sets and systems need to interact, and you also need to keep up with the pace of change,” Edward told Washington Technology. “If you don’t build your system in a way that accepts change, you really put the soldier at a disadvantage.”
User Experience Design
Dataa Analytics and Visualization
DHS Eagle II
Alliant Small Business
USPTO Ideal 2
Mehul Sanghani, CEO
Bob McCord, president and COO
Sujey Edward, CTO
Jim Vant, SVP, defense and intelligence portfolio
Mike Raymond, chief strategy officer
Jay Shah, EVP/Civilian Portfolio lead
Chris Greeney, Army Portfolio lead
Naina Leo, VP, civilian accounts
Another one of Octo’s goals on this contract is making the systems user-friendly. “The user experience is critical; people expect to be able to interact with their systems like the way they interact with any other applications on their phone,” Edward said.
On a deeper level, though, the two contracts fit into the overall company goal of being a differentiated, premier, mid-market digital services firm, Sanghani said.
The idea to stick to being a mid-size business was born after observing how, through a few notable mergers and acquisitions, the market was losing mid-size companies, opening up space for the company to shine through with its differentiated capabilities, Sanghani told Washington Technology in a previous interview.
While the private company declined to disclose its revenue, it does have 270 employees.
“Government buyers are still looking at firms who have the capabilities and the depth and breadth of the larger firms, but also have the agility and nimbleness and the ability to bring leading edge technology solutions as some of the smaller firms,” he said.
“If you look at a lot of companies in the marketplace that have graduated from being a small business into a mid-size business, they typically did it with growth in a particular market segment,” Sanghani said.
“Our business, for better or for worse, has been a business that has been exceedingly diverse,” he said, noting that the company’s customers fall areas ranging from the intelligence and defense spaces to the health care market to civilian markets.
The company’s focus is on trying to be differentiated in terms of the capabilities with which Octo goes to market, he said.
But it helps to be solid as a company internally. Octo just achieved a CMMI Level 4 certification, which Sanghani said has become the de facto benchmark for process efficiency in software development. That allows Octo to count itself among only ten other companies in the market with the rating, he added.
Additionally, Octo is gold-level certified in the Scaled Agile Framework, which similarly has become an important certification for providing Agile processes and approaches.
“We’ve approached [the market] from the perspective of achieving differentiation in a niche area of technology that we do exceedingly well—digital services—and I think we have had some success,” Sanghani 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.