Noblis is a non-profit organization headquartered in Reston, Virginia with a workforce exceeding 1,000 persons. Their work crosses over DoD, federal civilian and Intelligence Community (IC) customers. They focus on professional services in disciplines such as systems engineering, program management, acquisition support, data science, telecommunications, C4ISR and intelligence analysis.
This is not a typical U.S. Government contractor if we define such a business as largely a staff augmentation business.
They organize themselves in three (3) customer centered segments such as:
- Federal Civilian Solutions – The Federal Civilian Solutions segment focuses on systems engineering, management, business and financial management, information systems development, and special studies. They focus on areas of transportation, telecommunications, financial and citizen services, and health.
- Intelligence – The Intelligence segment focuses (as the name suggests) on the Intelligence Community in all areas of intelligence. The intelligence segment focuses on use of intelligence data, agile, advanced analytics, cyber, C4ISR, identity and artificial intelligence capabilities.
- Defense & Homeland Security – The Defense and Homeland Security business of Noblis is focused on management and technical support defense and homeland security clients in systems engineering and assessments, and program and acquisition management. Noblis also supports cyber and information security, advanced analytics and bioinformatics and other fields of science.
In contrast to many of its larger business peers, Noblis has not been overly engaged in merger and acquisition driven growth. The single noteworthy acquisition was the company’s 2012 acquisition of ElanTech Systems, which served as the foundation of Noblis ESI. This entity operates as a wholly owned subsidiary and provides program management and acquisition services. More specifically, it supports government acquisition program offices for studies, prototypes, and acquisition efforts mostly in DoD and the Intelligence Community.
Noblis Customer Portfolio
As the large business which you may NOT know much about, the customer portfolio from Figure 1 is an eclectic group. Note that this does NOT include their work in the IC.
Noteworthy Prime Contracts
Noblis has an impressive array of prime contracts across the customers highlighted in Figure 1. A representative sample is provided below.
- Enterprise Programs, Infrastructure, and Communications Services (EPICS) – This is Noblis’ single largest unclassified contract and serves their core federal civilian customer, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This 7-year, $803 million award ($200 million obligated to date) was a follow-on to their previous Enterprise Communication Support Services (ECSS) contract. This is a broadly defined contract with acquisition, communications infrastructure management and program office support for core FAA systems.
- Air Force Distributed Common Ground System (AF DCGS) – Awarded in 2018, this 3-year, $22 million ($14 million obligated to date) OASIS order features Noblis’ competencies in agile software development methods for fast delivery, deployed proven industry models for IT service management, and collaborative engineering and architecture capabilities.
- Note that Noblis ESI is providing services for this customer.
- Also note that this domain of expertise is leveraged by their IC customers.
- Insider Threat and Advanced Analytics Program – This is ongoing work for the IRS which is now a 5-year, $160 million ($10 million obligated to date) sole source award for “advanced analytics, cyber security, fraud detection, and management expertise.” This is a follow-on from a previous award in 2017 at $12 million.
- Science and Technology SETA support – Since 2013, Noblis has provided an array of SETA support to DHS Science and Technology (S & T) with what was a 5-year (extended well into 2019) contract ending at $73 million and a successful re-compete win in 2018 under a $325 million shared ceiling. The re-compete has no funded task orders for any of the awardees.
The FedSavvy Strategies Take
Noblis is a business overlooked by many major U.S. Government contractors as Noblis does not appear to have a wide array of “mega contracts” to gain attention. However, Noblis is formidable in their own right with some uniques which can be leveraged for competitive advantage.
- Noblis has grown about 20% over 2015 to 2019 based on prime contract obligation data alone. Just because you don’t know them doesn’t mean they’re not targeting you. They are enjoying some steady growth and it isn’t just through dumb luck.
- Nonprofit status and focus on higher end services has led Noblis to engage in reinvestment for a competitive edge along core service areas. This enables them to differentiate beyond just a handful of staffers with significant expertise. Examples of investments include:
- AcquCenter is Noblis’ secure acquisition environment that helps secure source selection data to ensure the integrity of an acquisition. Noblis offers both a physical and virtual hosting environment to secure acquisition data and related source selection activities.
- Myriad of Centers of Excellence along core service areas which concentrate expertise internally to enhance solution development and delivery. This includes topics such as acquisition management, Center of Digital Excellence (CoDE), Cyber, High-Performance Computing (HPC), Systems Engineering and more.
- Identity Detection Capability and Test Bed built a capability to create and detect cyber identities, including a multi-level of performance sophistication, and an identity test bed for red vs. blue competition, to support cyber operations in the intelligence, national security, and law enforcement communities.
- We know they operate across the IC as a whole which further highlights their higher end services not immediately apparent to other competitors. Noblis ESI offers a further concentrated aspect of Noblis to serve such needs.
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