ManTech’s return to continued revenue growth has been in operation for five years but the fundamentals that have made that happen are far behind.
The current plan that guides ManTech is its 2023 strategy that can be partially told by the tag line on the company logo – Bringing Digital to the Mission.
Five key areas of focus for technology fall under that umbrella as described by Chief Operating Officer Matt Tait, who said they were the ones that ManTech considered “the most important and would make the biggest difference in supporting national security work.”
Tait has listed the four areas such as mental security monitoring, IT and business IT, state-of-the-art information, and intelligence systems engineering. The fifth location is called the “A-cubed” space for everything in automation, artificial intelligence and analytics.
Back to the tag line however: what is the big picture idea in bringing digital to the machines as ManTech sees it?
“We’re on the edge every day when you look at our business,” Tait said. “Bringing that digital capability to that strategic limit and making a difference in the concept of machines is what we are trying to do.”
The company’s strategy has helped it reach number 26 in the 2021 Top 100 with $ 1.3 billion in major contract obligations during the 2020 government’s fiscal year. In the 2020 calendar year, ManTech recorded a 13 percent increase in total to $ 2.5 billion and 11 percent of that increase organic. The current company direction of Herndon, headquartered in Virginia this year, shows a growth rate of between 5 and 9 percent.
Tait identifies the 2020 calendar as a “good year in terms of launch process” with its current three-year plan and which is somehow defined by three key wins.
Winning the first Tait number was announced for three and a half years, a $ 265 million contract announced by the company in December to help the Department of Defense develop and implement cyber operations infrastructure.
Known as the Joint Common Access Platform or JCAP, that program is part of a larger structure to help DOD cyber operators connect to their target across friendly glasses. ManTech will also provide specialized procurement assistance to the department at JCAP and help manage the types of skills installed.
The second prize Tait revealed came from Customs and Border Protection, which selected ManTech for a $ 273 million service contract.
That five-year “BISS” award sounds very broad when given its name, but it is focused on helping CBP move forward and prevent criminal and terrorist acts across the U.S. About 17,500 miles of borders and coastal areas.
Tait said ManTech would focus on helping CBP increase its use of technology and analytics techniques to support its work. Data identification is also part of that effort to help CBP staff have the practical wisdom in their hands.Tait’s third book and Navy reservation is for intelligence systems engineering: right in the middle of ManTech’s plan.
“All of those are aligned with the five areas (of technical focus) in terms of how they come together and how they differentiate,” Tait said. “I see it as a happy failure of our 2023 strategy.”
No story about ManTech can be told without looking at its most recent acquisition, where the company completed twice last year and both are highly prone to cyber security.
In November and December 2020, ManTech closed its acquisition of Minerva Engineering and Tapestry Technologies in quick succession. One thread between the two programs was that ManTech was able to deepen its cyber talent list, which Tait said “came in and made a real difference from discovery.”
Tait said Tapestry stood out for its work on building trust structures that could be used by the Department of Defense and other agencies. As for Minerva, there was not much Tait could say about what the company was doing other than “being happy with its capabilities and how it delivers.”
But what he can say about the two companies is that they are part of ManTech’s ambition to be a cyber company full of mirrors that they see themselves as.
Now what is the complete cyber definition of the spectrum as ManTech sees?
“That’s all from policy on making sure people do things the way cyber looks, protects cyber and gives it the power to attack again, and everything in between,” Tait said.
Another aspect of ManTech’s 2023 strategy is to ensure that the company looks at everything that drives today’s market, but with a keen eye forward to what will create an environment for many years to come.
So in the bigger picture where does ManTech want to go and be more?
“A top engineering and technology company in an organization that focuses on national security,” Tait said. “We want to be the best at this job, we are making great strides in that. But even as we get to 2023, there is no planting of any winning flags. This is just a step in the right direction as we move forward. ”
(A future episode of Project 38 will include my full discussion with Tait including his views on the future of the work behind the beams in the public market, broader technologies and what ManTech is doing to win the battle for skills and retention)