GMSI plans long-term growth

The rise of integration giants such as Lockheed Martin Corp. and changes in federal procurement policy have left a number of small companies scrambling to sell.

Global Management Systems Inc. Bethesda Md. provides one example of a small integrator that is working to buck this trend. The company does not want to get bought it wants to get bigger.

Hilton Augustine Jr. GMSI's founder and chief executive officer plans to grow the company to $100 million in 2000 the year the company graduates from the 8(a) program. In 1996 the company had $17 million in revenue mostly in the federal market. GMSI which focuses on such fields as networking and document management plans to grow through a combination of acquisitions and internal growth. The company also plans to expand in the commercial market. "This is clearly a long-term venture " Augustine said in a recent interview.

'Nothing Is Off Limits'

Paul Dinte president of Dinte Resources Inc. a McLean Va. executive search firm that has done business with GMSI finds GMSI's growth strategy not at all surprising given the nature of its CEO.

"Hilton is a very entrepreneurial aggressive business builder " said Dinte who has consulted GMSI on executive placement. "He brings a very healthy perspective to building a business. Nothing is off limits."

In the federal market GMSI plans to continue to pursue prime contracting revenue through the 8(a) program but expects to derive an increasing portion of its business through subcontracts to prime contracting integrators. In general 8(a) businesses are seeing a shift from prime contract to subcontract work said Steven Yahr president and chief operating officer of GMSI.

GMSI already is a subcontractor on major information technology programs. GTE Corp. for example called the company in last year as a subcontractor on GTE's Justice Consolidated Office Network project with the Justice Department. On that deal GMSI assists with applications integration document management and help-desk operations according to Ken Lemons director of corporate development at GMSI.

In another subcontract role GMSI is creating a correspondence-tracking program for the Immigration and Naturalization Service under Electronic Data Systems Corp.'s Information Technology Partnership pact. In addition GMSI is a subcontractor to IBM Corp. on the National Institutes of Health's Chief Information Officer Solutions and Partners contract.

But GMSI also is landing prime contracts. The company last year was awarded a $2.5 million Defense Department pact to manage an Asynchronous Transfer Mode network as part of the Pentagon's multibillion-dollar renovation program said Mike Tercy director of GMSI's federal business unit. The construction and management of complex networks is one of GMSI's core businesses company officials said.

In another prime project GMSI developed a call center for the Federal Communications Commission. GMSI created a call center solution customizing Software Artistry's Expert Advisory call center automation product. The project also involved integrating Expert Advisory with Novell Inc.'s Groupwise groupware product and a network fax server. The call center which opened last June in Gettysburg Pa. can handle up to 1 000 calls a day.

GMSI employs about 160 people in support of its project portfolio. The company places a premium on making each customer a reference account and has created a biannual "Top Gun" award in which it recognizes top performers in terms of customer service. Award recipients receive a leather bomber jacket and $500 dollars.

Another GMSI employee effort is to get an employee ownership program in place according to Augustine. The company is working with Science Applications International Corp. to create its program which Augustine expects to have in place by the end of this year. Employee-owned SAIC Augustine said is serving as a "model mentor and sounding board."


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