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FCW : August 15, 2014
30 August 15, 2014 FCW.COM From No. 1 OBXtek Inc. to No. 50 Unissant Inc., the 2014 Fast 50 is a testament to the diversity and strength of small businesses in the government market. Some of the companies thrive by o ering a wide variety of services to a broad range of agencies, while others have zeroed in on a particular set of capabilities or customers. OBXtek, for example, is one of sev- eral companies on the Fast 50 that is owned by a service-disabled veteran, and the company for the most part fits the traditional IT services mold for government contractors. It has captured the No. 1 spot for the second year in a row with a five-year com- pound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 281.38 percent. OBXtek o cials attribute the com- pany's success to a broad set of o er- ings that include IT engineering and support, software development, infor- mation security and testing, and proj- ect and program management. It also has a diverse set of customers, such as the U.S. Army, the Defense Information Systems Agency, the General Services Administration, the Labor Department, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Department of Veterans A airs and the Transporta- tion Department. Meanwhile, No. 23 Arma Global Corp. has sparked its growth with a laser focus on one customer: U.S. Special Operations Command, which is headquartered in the company's town of Tampa, Fla. Arma, a veteran-owned business, o ers professional services, defense and peacekeeping operations, and systems integration. Its focus has helped it earn a five-year CAGR of 87.04 percent. No. 48 Healthcare Management Solutions LLC is another example of focusing on a specific market rather than a broad set of customers. The company sticks to the market implied by its name: health care. But that focus is also what brought it into the IT world. "When we started out, we were purely a health care solutions kind of company," said Leah Heimbach, a principal at the company. "Healthcare Management Solutions is a small, woman-owned business, and we quickly realized the value of having an IT foundation to enable those health care solutions, so we were able to bring on a very strong IT section." The focus on a niche market and using IT to deliver solutions is a strat- egy many of the Fast 50 companies embrace. For example, Allegheny Science and Technology --- No. 7 with a five-year CAGR of 169.14 percent --- uses its IT skills to enhance research and software development e orts for customers such as NASA, the FBI and the departments of Defense, Educa- tion and Labor. Program manage- ment is another core capability for the company. Whether they qualify as veteran- owned, woman-owned, Historically Underutilized Business Zone, 8(a) or some combination, the companies on the 2014 Fast 50 demonstrate how to achieve tremendous success by bring- ing strong capabilities to market and focusing on their customers. ■ These small companies are achieving success through a combination of strong capabilities and customer focus BY NICK WAKEMAN Creativity in a changing market The annual Washington Technology Fast 50 list is developed through an applica- tion process in which companies submit five years of revenue data and then are ranked by their compound annual growth rates over those five years.
July 30, 2014
August 30, 2014