Government agencies and military organizations have decades of organizational and constituent data. And the veritable mountains of data that they already have are only growing as agencies embrace next-generation digital transformation initiatives and begin to aggregate sensor and device data.
It’s long been the dream of government and military organizations to put this data to use – analyzing and dissecting it to find actionable insights that could be used to improve operations, increase efficiency, or otherwise enable them to accomplish their missions. But what many federal agencies and military organizations have been missing is an industry partner that can help them identify the best ways to store, manage, aggregate, and analyze their data to drive measurable results for their organization.
One of the organizations helping federal agencies embrace Big Data and data analytics is cBEYONData. The massive demand for the company’s services and solutions from government agencies looking to utilize data to improve their decision making resulted in them being named the Emerging Growth Company of the Year at this year’s Corporate Growth Awards. CEO of cBEYONData, Dyson Richards, sat down with Corporate Growth, Capital Style, to talk about the importance of data analytics solutions in the federal government, why there’s so much demand for his company’s solutions, and how a strategic acquisition has better positioned the company to compete in the crowded government contracting marketplace.
Corporate Growth, Capital Style (CGCS): What is cBEYONData? What does the company do, and what services does it offer? Which markets and industries does it serve?
Dyson Richards: cBEYONData is a federally focused solution provider who delivers improved technical and business process approaches that enable our customers to better manage their enterprise. Our specific niche is helping customers to modernize and enhance their processes and systems to take advantage of digital modernization and the resulting data-to-decision impacts.
Our staff consists of architects, change managers, systems engineers, business intelligence, and data experts who work with our customers to chart the path forward to help them realize their objectives.
Our largest customers are the United States Army and the Department of Justice, with additional projects driving change at Veterans Affairs, General Services Administration, National Institutes of Health, and the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency.
CGCS: What different trends are driving the need for data analytics solutions and services in the government? Are there particular challenges that government agencies are looking to data analytics to try and solve?
Dyson Richards: Digital modernization and multiple technology drivers such as in-memory, cloud computing, and low-code to name a few, has hyper increased the volume and velocity of data and information that Federal leaders now have access to. They are seeking new ways to quickly digest and synthesize data to generate information and insights that enable decisions, and to garner savings through operational efficiencies.
cBEYONData was founded to address these needs in the Chief Financial Officer realm and as we’ve grown, we’ve applied similar principles and solutions to address the needs of other functional domains. Federal leaders and their business operation staffs in IT, HR, acquisition, logistics, and other functional roles directly supporting the mission are all looking for better ways to make use of data and new technologies.
Our aim is driving key insights into the federal decision-making process by harnessing accurate, available, and actionable data to enable federal employees, managers, and leadership to power intelligent government operations.
CGCS: Why do government agencies turn to cBEYONData for data analytics solutions? What differentiates your company from other government consultancies?
Dyson Richards: At cBEYONData, we’re zealots about helping customers use the massive amounts of data they generate and collect every day and leverage it to enable their mission. Our engineers, developers, architects, and analysts concentrate on delivering technologies and process improvements that show tangible results to the business of government. Staying up to date and being experts on the ever-changing tools and techniques, however, is not enough to deploy successful solutions.
Our differentiators are our unique knowledge of the nuances of federal operations, coupled with our expertise in the cloud, federal implementations of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, and business intelligence solutions that our federal customers seek to leverage as they take advantage of the move to Software as a Service, and transition off their legacy infrastructure.
CGCS: In September of 2021, the company announced that it had received an investment from Bluestone Investment Partners. Why was this the right choice for cBEYONData? How did this investment position the company for growth in 2022 and beyond?
Dyson Richards: As cBEYONData grew organically over the last several years, the leadership team weighed options to enable faster growth, to meet the ever-growing market demand.
We evaluated three options. We could continue to bootstrap our growth on our own. We could sell or merge with another organization. Or we could identify an investor to facilitate our growth both organically and through acquisitions.
After extensive analysis and due diligence, we determined that Bluestone Investment Partners was the right teammate to join forces with and enable cBEYONData to scale faster while seeking likeminded businesses to fold into the company bringing new customer relationships, skills, and capabilities.
CGCS: In March of this year, cBEYONData announced that it was acquiring Alta Via Consulting (Alta Via). Why was this part of the strategy for cBEYONData? How did the acquisition of Alta Via benefit the company?
Dyson Richards: To enable smart growth, cBEYONData leadership and our Bluestone colleagues continually scan the government contracting market looking for strategic partnership and potential acquisition targets that add synergistic customers and capabilities. It’s an old adage, but we are looking for the “1+1=3” scenario where, together, we are better positioned for success than either company would be alone.
When we met the owners of Alta Via, the synergies were quickly obvious. We were both focused on federal agency customers who have challenges with implementing, operating, and deriving maximum value from monolithic ERP and accounting systems. As we got to know Alta Via better, we identified additional synergies, including back-office staff and business development processes, just to name a few. Each company’s gaps were strengths of the other, garnering immediate synergies to leverage.
Three months into the integration of the two companies, we’ve found the combination is creating benefits for employees and customers of both legacy firms. Together we are now of a size to compete for larger contracts, have a broader portfolio of technical expertise to offer potential clients, and have the infrastructure to support exceptional execution of our engagements. cBEYONData was moving down this path already, but the addition of Alta Via got us there much quicker.
CGCS: Were there any challenges or problems that cBEYONData faced when integrating the two companies? Were there any best practices or lessons learned that you could share with our readers?
Dyson Richards: As with all acquisitions, there are always challenges integrating systems, processes, and – most importantly – cultures. Fortunately, the cultures of cBEYONData and Alta Via have many similarities and we have strived to take advantage of that fact through integrated teams addressing HR and benefits, service delivery, finance and accounting, etc.
The integration of the two companies is a merger of equals, where we are identifying the best practices of each company and choosing to adopt the most advantageous approach going forward.
Our approach has been to treat this integration like we would a project for a customer. While we are not done, we’ve taken our time to methodically analyze each facet of the two organizations and thoughtfully decide how and when to integrate them. All systems and processes have interdependencies which have to be rearchitected with consideration of future growth to meet our customers’ demands.
To manage the change, we have a standup meeting each Monday morning where we review the status of each outstanding task and subtask as well as a leadership meeting on Tuesday afternoon to debate and arrive at the strategic decisions necessary to move forward as one united organization.