Nearing five years as AllCom Global Services CEO, Bob Weatherwax can look back on a significant milestone: Since taking the helm of the federal technology infrastructure solutions provider in September 2013, Weatherwax has guided the 21-year-old company on a 500 percent growth spurt. By year’s end, the company is slated to almost double in size.
“The growth we’re experiencing is exciting,” says Weatherwax, speaking from AllCom’s Reston, Virginia, offices. “It provides value for our shareholders, opportunities for the employees, and it’s certainly fun to be part of.”
AllCom’s growth is driven by three core business units: technology infrastructure solutions, integrated security, and international secure construction. Collectively, these capabilities all support mission-critical technology infrastructure systems and facilities worldwide, and have taken center stage in recent contract wins — notably, a 5-year, $75 million IDIQ prime contract with the U.S. Air Force to upgrade power systems; and a $97 million subcontract to outfit military facilities in South Korea. AllCom’s employee base commensurately doubled in 2017 alone, to nearly 200; and is expected to grow again this year.
For Weatherwax, thinking ahead, toward AllCom’s next chapter, is never far behind.
“I would say that we are progressing up the path, further into the prime contracting position,” says Weatherwax, noting that AllCom now will be able to compete for larger and more complex opportunities. “While we continue to support large system integrators as a sub-contractor on major programs, we are seeing more and more new prime contracts to pursue and bid—we have about three or four in process now this year,” Weatherwax says.
‘Directionally Intentional’ Acquisitions
Prior acquisitions have bolstered AllCom’s position in the marketplace. In December 2016, AllCom acquired Delex Fairfax Integrated Security Systems, a provider of integrated electronic security systems for federal and large private enterprises. The year before, AllCom purchased ADAR Inc., which provides specialized equipment and infrastructure systems to the federal data center market.
AllCom’s acquisitions, Weatherwax says, have added talent and grown the company’s customer base, capabilities, and contracts — as well as the overall goal.
“Our acquisitions were directionally intentional and round out our strategy to deliver the technologies and expertise needed to protect and ensure continuity of operations for our customers’ facilities and systems. Customers today face growing threats to their technology infrastructure including cyberattacks, espionage, terrorism and even natural disasters.” Weatherwax says. The level of threat, he adds, is driving greater importance on securing infrastructure systems among federal customers, especially those supporting national security.
“Facilities and networks need to be upgraded for protection in this new threat environment,” says Weatherwax, noting, as one of many examples, Target’s massive cyber breach, via an HVAC network, as a sign that facilities, and accompanying infrastructure, are becoming more vulnerable across commercial and government sectors.
“It used to be that cybersecurity centered on user-facing applications and systems,” Weatherwax says. “Now, cyber security is driven down to critical component parts of our infrastructure.”
With a long view of customer needs and requirements shaped by executive experience both in the commercial and federal sectors, Weatherwax stresses the importance of keeping pace with unfolding threat vectors.
‘Organize and Rationalize’ Offerings
Beyond its previous ISO 9001:2008 certification, AllCom has ensured compliance with NIST 800-171 security controls, as well as Federal Identity, Credential, and Access Management policies required by the government for all security-related work.
Weatherwax is equally passionate about management and leadership — these are also essential ingredients, he says, to “organize and rationalize offerings, making sure what we’re offering makes sense to customers — and putting our best resources, on our best opportunities.”
Alignment of the organization around strategy and goals is also critical to success, Weatherwax adds.
“One of the things we did here, at AllCom, was to have a companywide incentive plan,” he says. “Everybody’s goals are intertwined and linked — [we]make sure we are all rowing in the same direction.”
“Leading an organization can be as hard as you want to make it — or in a lot of ways, as simple,” Weatherwax notes, reflecting on a critical leadership lesson insists leaders must be willing to “get their hands dirty” to learn and engage in all elements of the enterprise. “My father,” he adds, “told me long ago, ‘You can’t manage what you don’t understand.’”
Driven by that philosophy (“substance and thought leadership,” as he calls it), Weatherwax strives to spend as much time as possible meeting with customers both stateside and overseas; and the remainder, managing the business and contributing as a participant on internal projects and initiatives. That’s not the only philosophy that guides his role.
“You’ve got to break things down into manageable chunks, in ways that make sense — to employees and customers,” Weatherwax says. “Your customer is hiring you to accomplish something; as long as you focus on the mission and desired outcome, you’re going to be successful — that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy, but it provides clear focus and direction to the team on what is really important.”
Weatherwax, meanwhile, sees critical infrastructure needs only continue to escalate. That’s where AllCom plans to squarely keep its focus, he adds.
“For companies like ours that are responsible for putting in secure and reliable infrastructure, we will continue to find ways to anticipate and stay ahead of the threats our customers face,” Weatherwax says.
As AllCom maintains that focus, Weatherwax has this prediction to make: AllCom will double in size again within the next 24 to 36 months. Based on past performance, that prediction may not be so bold, either.