By Andrea Siedsma
December 2000 - Integrated Information Technology Corp. (IITC) may end up doubling its work force in the next year. The military contractor, based in Greenwood Village, Colorado, specializes in information technology services for systems integration, military satellites, and information security. Seventy employees already have been added this year – for a total of 150 – and the company has plans to expand into Ohio, Virginia, Arizona, Illinois, and Utah.
Why the breakout success? Francisco Garcia, IITC’s founder, president, and CEO, made a conscious decision last year to go after large military contracts as a subcontractor rather than as a prime contractor. As a result, the firm has been awarded more than $50 million in contracts just since March.
Although IITC still does prime contracting work, Mr. Garcia has found that winning subcontracts is easier for a firm his size.
“We have played on both sides of the fence,” he says. “But those [military] contracts are so large that we can’t go after them by ourselves.”
IITC is a subcontractor for companies such as Harris Corp., Lockheed Martin, OAO Corp., Lucent Technologies, Hughes Electronics Corp., and Science Applications International Corp. The company also does work for the Air Force, the U.S. Army, and federal agencies such as the IRS and Defense Information Systems Agency.
In October, IITC began work on a $28 million contract with Harris Corp., under which IITC will provide technical support and waste-management services for the Air Force Space Command’s Operational Space Surveillance System. IITC also is working on a $2 million, five-year engineering and installation services contract from OAO Corp.
IITC is part of a team that will provide information technology services to federal agencies under the General Services Administration’s Federal Technology Service Millennia contract. Raytheon is one of the prime contractors for the 10-year contract, which could reach $25 billion.
“We have become very creative in how we maximize the opportunities within the government,” says Mr. Garcia, a retired U.S. Air Force captain who specialized in software development and satellite communications. “There’s a real future [in military contracting] if you can identify niches. If you do that, you’ll have a reason for them to come to you.”
Business has not always been so good for IITC. Mr. Garcia launched the firm in 1991 with $1,000. Initially, he was a one-man show, handling the accounting, marketing, business development, and engineering by himself. He had five employees by the time he netted his first contract from Colorado Springs-based Command Sciences Corp. the following year. The $1 million, five-year contract, which called for IITC to install systems and engineering communications links for the U.S. Air Force Space Command, enabled the company to take on four more employees.
IITC hired another 30 people in 1993 as a result of a $4 million, two-year software development contract from Lockheed Martin Corp. Four years later, the company’s fortunes took a turn for the worse.
“It seemed that the military was bundling all the contracts we used to chase after, so we had to change our approach. But we did not react fast enough,” says Mr. Garcia, named one of Denver’s “Top 40 Under 40” by the Denver Business Journal.
The slow reaction resulted in the layoff of 10 people and a decline in annual revenues from $8 million to $6 million. Mr. Garcia tried his hand at commercial work, but it wasn’t in the cards.
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