Parsons is a diverse contractor with work spanning from engineering, construction, and facilities management to information technology, cybersecurity, and intelligence work. Parsons has made several acquisitions to diversify its portfolio of services and customers that will be discussed shortly. This blog will also explore Parsons’ major contracts, tools and their efforts to diversify their work from being an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) company. Below in Figure 1 is a map by prime contract obligations of Parsons’ top customers.
Parsons’ change and growth can be easily shown by the many acquisitions as described in Figure 2. The acquisitions have largely been in two (2) separate silos: Classic Parsons companies that are EPCs and New Parsons companies that have helped the company grow their SE&I and cyber work.
Parsons has made a push to expand its cybersecurity and SE&I offerings while continuing some of their historical contracts. Their acquisition efforts have directly helped fuel many of these wins with the Sparta acquisition opening the door to the MDA and Williams Electric that fits into their facilities operations and maintenance work.
- National Security Agency (NSA), SHARKSEER Program, Vulnerability Analysis Operations II (VAO II) – In 2011, Parsons designed, built, tested and operated this aspect of the SHARKSEER system, which improves DoD cyber posture by using artificial intelligence (AI) to scan incoming traffic for vulnerabilities. The speed and volume at which SHARKSEER’s AI capability scans traffic enhances analysts’ ability to proactively identify and eliminate cyber threats such as Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) and Zero Day malware across all DoD Information Network (DoDIN) Internet Access Points (IAPs).
Parsons is the original contractor on this effort and recently re-won the work, the Polaris Alpha acquisition has also brought in other NSA and cyber work for the company.
- U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM), Cyberspace Resiliency – Parsons supports USCYBERCOM’s internal command IT systems to include cyberspace operations systems and CNO capabilities and systems. As a part of USCYBERCOM’s cyber resiliency, Parsons provides secure and resilient architecture development, systems engineering and integration, secure communications, and cyber risk and threat assessment for the enhancement and resiliency of weapon systems and special security capabilities.
Systems Engineering and Integration (SE&I)
U.S. Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency (MDA), Consolidated Support Services Program Office, Technical, Engineering, Advisory, and Management Support (TEAMS) Weapons and Missiles Engineering Support – In August 2016, Parsons was awarded a 5-year, $455 million potential ceiling value contract to support all phases of development and systems engineering support for six major weapons systems for the MDA.
The Sparta acquisition is directly responsible for Parsons’ success in winning contracts with MDA.
Facility Operations and Management
- U.S. Department of the Army, U.S. Joint Munitions Command (JMC) Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) – In 2009, the Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass Joint Venture was awarded an 11-year, $2.5 billion contract to design, build, and operate the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP). Under this contract. The joint venture provides services for design, construction, systemization (start-up testing), pilot testing, operation, and ultimately, closure of the plant. The program is responsible for the safe disposure of 523 tons of mustard and nerve agent in projectiles and rockets.
- Securing classified facilities (various) – As one of multiple contract awards, most recently in July 2020, Parsons is awarded a 5-year, $178 million IDIQ from the IC to provide security and protection of classified and sensitive information, facilities, assets, infrastructure, and personnel world-wide through risk analysis and deployment of physical and technical countermeasures.
Parsons has been awarded several contracts with similar scope over the last couple years within the same competitor space.
Parsons’ Tools and Internal Investments
- Intelligent NETworks (iNET) Tool – The iNET Smart Mobility Platform is software that cities, states, and municipalities use to improve transportation networks of their communities through real-time traffic monitoring, predictive analytics, and active traffic management. Parsons has claimed they hope to expand this offering to help create more smart cities.
- PacketWolf – Parsons’ trademarked computer hardware and software built to analyze data to detect cyber security threats.
- SEER – A legacy Polaris Alpha machine learning solution that provides a scalable, web-based solution through which noisy, incomplete, multi-source data can be fused to support real-time situation awareness and predictive analysis. The multi-hypothesis, context-ware abductive reasoning framework identifies, and exploits patterns hidden in complex data.
FedSavvy Strategies Takeaway
- Parsons has been able to make immediate wins to capitalize on their acquisitions as seen by their MDA SE&I and cybersecurity contract awards.
- Parsons’ legacy work in SE&I as well as construction and facility management is coming to a close and it will be worth watching to see if Parsons looks to re-up in this market or move onto more work in the IT and cyberspace.
- Parsons is a credible threat in the cybersecurity space. The company has proven they can operate and develop cybersecurity tools for DoD.
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