COLSA is an information technology services company founded in 1980. COLSA specializes in providing engineering, IT, and programmatic solutions in the areas of defense, intelligence, cybersecurity, and aerospace. The company has over 1,300 employees and is headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama.
COLSA’s Primary Federal Customers and Contracts
COLSA’s top federal customers by spending value are the U.S. Air Force (USAF), U.S. Army, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), and the U.S. Navy.
A sample of COLSA’s top federal contracts include the following:
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), NASA Shared Service Center (NSSC), Transformational Shared Service Center Support (NTSS) Contract – In June 2023, COLSA was awarded a nine-year, $400 million contract to provide a broad range of support to the NASA Shared Services Center (NSSC). The contract includes support for financial management, human resources, procurement, and other services. This is a significant takeaway from GDIT, who has held this work since 2005 through legacy CSC. Initially, GDIT protested this award, but the company later withdrew their protest in July 2023.
- U.S. Department of the Army, Army Contracting Command (ACC), Threat Systems Management Office (TSMO), TStorm Advanced Cyber Operations Contract – In August 2016, COLSA was awarded a seven-year, $569 million ceiling value contract to provide advanced cyber engineering support for the TStorm Advanced Cyber Operations. Under this contract, COLSA helped develop a set of agile small, unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) capabilities which extend the system networks, sensor suite, communication systems, and C2 software. COLSA claims to have delivered the first Army approved drone swarm through this project. Work on TStorm was primarily completed in Huntsville, Alabama.
- U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), Missile Defense Agency (MDA), Advanced Research Center (ARC) Follow-On IDIQ – In March 2020, COLSA was awarded a three-year, $168 million ceiling value contract by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). COLSA provided support for operation of the Advanced Research Center (ARC), one of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command’s (SMDC) major research and development (R&D) facilities for missile defense (MD) research to develop, integrate, and test complex MD systems with state-of-the-art computational and modeling and simulation (M&S) resources. COLSA also provided continued support for the ARC for mission essential modeling and simulation, analyses, test and evaluation, and experimentation. COLSA held the preceding iteration of this contract from 2007 to 2018.
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), Huntsville Operations Support Center (HOSC) Services –In April 2017, COLSA was awarded a five-year, $196 million ceiling value contract to provide engineering, operations and maintenance, and system development services and tools for the International Space Station and other NASA programs. COLSA held the previous iteration of this contract between 2012 to 2017. This work came to a close when it was absorbed by the MOSSI contract award that went to Teledyne Brown Engineering in 2022.
- U.S. Department of the Air Force, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC), Engineering Professional and Administrative Services (EPASS) Contract –In March 2020, COLSA was awarded a spot on the five-year, $564 million ceiling value multiple award contract to support the U.S. Air Force’s Mobility and Training Directorate (AFLCMC/WL), the Presidential and Executive Airlift Directorate (AFLCMC/WV), and the Tanker Directorate (AFLCMC/WK) within the U.S. Air Force Lifecycle Management Center. Work under this contract includes acquisition, engineering, and professional services to include programmatic and life cycle sustainment, financial support, and security support among other areas. COLSA has earned $290 million in task orders to date.
Investments in Innovation
COLSA has made notable investments in software development, cybersecurity and data science which can be applied to their bids to achieve efficiency, advanced cyber expertise, rapid development and cutting-edge solutions. These capabilities include:
- COLSA Software Factory – The COLSA Software Factory (CSF) designs, develops, and maintains software solutions using COLSA’s Factory Agile Software Team (FASTSM) process. The FASTSM process integrates COLSA’s development infrastructure with industry tools like Jira, Bitbucket, and Microsoft Teams. Through this factory, COLSA claims to be able to produce high-quality and secure products for defense, space, and intelligence customers more efficiently.
- COLSA Cyberlab –COLSA’s Cyberlab is a remotely accessible and completely virtualized environment that simulates a typical enterprise network as well as public IP space. The lab is primarily used to simulate attacks on internal systems while developing indicators of stress for the purpose of training network defenders and enhancing COLSA’s capacity for threat detection.
- COLSA Data Analysis and Computational Sciences (DACS) Lab –COLSA’s DACS Lab is a group within the company that continuously focuses on research to advance data analysis, engineering and computational science capabilities. The DACS lab is leveraged to augment advanced capabilities that federal customers may not have.
The FedSavvy Strategies Takeaway
- COLSA’s NTSS win builds upon its existing portfolio at NASA and represents a strong example of transitioning a large contract away from a long-term incumbent.
- COLSA’s geographic footprint is concentrated heavily in Huntsville, Alabama and to a lesser extent near Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
- The company has invested significantly in these two areas to give themselves a strategic advantage in NASA contracts centered in Huntsville and Air Force contracts out of Fort Eglin.
- This signals that COLSA still has a limited portfolio, but they know how to recruit and staff in these specific areas, which may give them an advantage.
- COLSA’s federal footprint is concentrated in defense customers (e.g., U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, MDA, and U.S. Navy) and has almost no federal civilian portfolio outside of NASA.
- COLSA’s headcount is effectively flat over the past two years according to LinkedIn metrics.
- Despite growing from a small to a mid-sized contractor over the past decade, the last two years have been relatively flat in terms of growth.
- While they have had some legacy contract losses, they have managed to replace the losses to hold their ground.
© FedSavvy Strategies and FedSavvy Strategies blog, 2012-2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to FedSavvy Strategies and FedSavvy Strategies blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.