Northrop Grumman sorts out contract options

When one established company takes over another, the result too often is something less than the original parts, but not in the case of Northrop Grumman Information

Technology.

Beginning life in 1998 as a merger of Northrop Grumman Corp.'s existing information systems business and Logicon Inc., the company has grown into a $4 billion IT giant, absorbing businesses well-known in the government sector, such as Federal Data Corp., Sterling Software's Federal Systems Group and Litton PRC.

What continued to be known as the Logicon group finally became Northrop Grumman IT in 2001. It's now a top-tier integrator for many of the larger federal agencies and a leading supplier of security solutions to the government. It is also becoming a major presence at the state and local level.

Northrop Grumman IT is also a major player in the General Services Administration schedules. In 2001, it posted close to $300 million in schedule sales, and more than $471 million in fiscal 2002.

"As we came together with a lot of legacy companies, we found that many of these had their own schedule contracts and governmentwide acquisition contracts," said Ed Naro, the company's vice president of GSA and indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity programs. "When we made the Litton purchase two years ago, we decided to take these very powerful vehicles and house them all in a program management office, where we could nurture them."

It was understood that these vehicles could become a "force multiplier" when added to the other services and solutions that the company had to offer, he said, but first agencies had to understand how they could be used. The rest of the company also had to be trained in how to use them.

But employees knew the new approach would lead to a range of excellent solutions that could be obtained quickly, Naro said.

"Now this program office manages these vehicles and makes them available to all parts of the company at the 'speed of need,' " he said.

It has meant emphasizing partnerships inside the company and externally with the agencies that oversee the various governmentwide contracts, "and that's all meant a significant realignment" for many people, he said.

Ultimately, however, he believes that's how you have to operate to be successful in the government market.

But such realignments make it easier for companies to handle the changes happening in government procurement. As agencies decide how to use the GSA schedules, governmentwide acquisition contracts and other vehicles, Naro said, the bigger challenge for companies will be to accommodate the speed at which procurements will start to happen.

"All the talk now is about how fast a turnaround you can make" on a procurement, he said. "There's no two-year wait anymore."

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.

Featured

  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group