With new owners and a new CEO, NuWave eyes work in agencies' decision cycles
- By Ross Wilkers
- Aug 31, 2020
Now having new private equity ownership in place, NuWave Solutions is looking to expand its role in the decision cycles federal agencies go through when they look at data and determine what to do next.
AE Industrial Partners’ other major announcement in June alongside its acquisition of NuWave was the hire of a new CEO in Reggie Brothers, most recently Peraton’s chief technology officer and a former undersecretary of science and technology for the Homeland Security Department.
Regarding where today’s trends are, Brothers sees federal agencies and the business community as looking alike at how to use data in having those decision cycles go better but quicker. Organizations in both segments also want to scale that data through cloud computing and containerization tools.
Where Brothers sees NuWave’s core capabilities in making all of that happen and why he joined the company is somewhat one and the same, as he indicated to me earlier this month.
“I think it’s important to make an impact in some of these new and emerging technical areas,” Brothers said. “When you start looking at these areas around analytics, you start seeing this progression from descriptive to diagnostic, to predictive, to prescriptive.
“You get this whole sequence of complex analysis,” Brothers added. “In order to make the impact I mentioned, it’s important to have that kind of closely-coupled innovation cycle, where you are working directly with the customer and understanding their mission, and providing solutions to the way they do operations.”
One element of NuWave that stood out to Brothers -- and part of why he accepted the position -- is the NuWave Institute of Technology dedicated to training and certifications for employees in technology areas.
Learning is one part of that innovation cycle. So is where a company like NuWave invests its own resources and those of AE to broaden offerings for new and potentially future customers.
NuWave today predominantly works with defense and intelligence agencies through data management, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and cloud services to support anticipatory intelligence functions.
Aggregating and cleaning data happens on the front end of the decision and anticipatory cycle, while Brothers sees the analytics component as beyond just the algorithms themselves and especially regarding information warfare.
“We’re really here about how do we dominate the decision space,” Brothers said. “How do we take dirty data because so much of it is dirty, and quickly and accurately put it in an environment, put it through an analytics cycle that produces a cycle and gives the desired outcome.”
Brothers said that after getting other leadership team members in place, NuWave is looking at where it should prioritize internal research-and-development dollars and the strategy to achieve organic and inorganic growth.
On the AE side of the equation, Vice President Jeff Hart said in the same interview with Brothers that discussions with NuWave began in the December-January timeframe over last year and this current one.
Due diligence work did slow because of the COVID-19 pandemic that also impacted the financing markets. Regarding the merger-and-acquisition climate today, Hart said the diligence process is easier to work through now versus the April-May timeframe and financing markets are starting to loosen up.
NuWave though did present a unique opportunity for AE given what they do and who they do it for.
“When we look at how quickly the business had been growing, they’ve been doubling every 18 months and continued on that momentum, we didn’t see that big a risk from COVID given the high-end software development work they were providing,” Hart said.
What kind of acquisitions could NuWave be looking at with the backing of AE?
“Sticking to that theme of advanced analytics,” Hart said. “We don’t want to dilute that story, we really want to stay in that swim lane and help them broaden their platform from an information warfare standpoint.”
Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also connect with him on LinkedIn.