Insight by Vertex

Modernization takes a lifecycle approach, and contractors who can support it

Trends in Modernizing Platforms

With the technology we have today, you've got a lot to draw from. But it's a matter of where do you most accurately apply that. There’s still the need for some classroom training. But there's also virtual; there's augmented reality, which we're seeing a lot of, particularly on our commercial side, right now.

Industry Overview

We have a capability to take everything from initial concept through the engineering phase, build it there, test it, field it and operate it, train to it, operate it in the field and retire it at some point. And modernize again.

As the U.S. armed services modernize, they’re finding modernizing requires an integrated approach to the hardware platform engineering, logistics, maintenance support and workforce training. Contractors best able to cover those bases will be in the best position to help the military maintain the competitive offset so crucial to the age of near-peer competition.

And on the personnel front, according to Vertex President and Chief Executive Officer Ed Boyington, the DoD faces the challenge of an aging workforce just as the time updates, not only hardware but also software, are coming rapid-fire.

“It certainly is a challenge on the training side just finding highly qualified people, particularly in the business we’re in, where we’ve got the civilian workforce doing contract logistics, support, and engineering and those kinds of things,” Boyington said. “That talent challenge is even more acute than it has been in the past.”

Modernization makes it critical to apply new approaches to knowledge preservation and transfer, and to training. The latter must be faster and more efficient, delivered in a variety of formats, if only because few agencies can afford to have their people tied up in long classroom sessions, Boyington said. Techniques such as augmented reality delivered on site can help, he added, especially as a rising generation of civilian employee and uniformed service members arrive already with a technology bent.

Vertex has itself been working to keep up with the lifecycle needs brought about by Defense modernization, Boyington said. To expand its legacy aircraft maintenance and training business, it recently acquired the sustainment and modernization, and defense and commercial training businesses from Raytheon. He said the acquisition gives Vertex nine of the 12 most important service and product offerings the DoD needs for lifecycle support and sustainment.

“We really wanted the ability to bring our customer fully vertically integrated aftermarket support, organization and solutions offerings,” Boyington said. He said the company is prepared to meet the government using whatever contracting modes each lifecycle phase of modernization requires, for example whether Other Transaction Authority, operations and maintenance contracting vehicles, or open, competitive acquisitions.

Featured speakers

  • Ed Boyington

    President and CEO, The Vertex Company

  • Tom Temin

    Host, The Federal Drive, Federal News Network