Parsons EVP Rich Aves Talks Innovation, AI and Talent Acquisition Opportunities | So Good News
Artificial intelligence has grown rapidly in the government engagement space in recent years. Appropriate Rich Avesexecutive vice president of business development for the defense and intelligence sector ParsonsAI will be a “harbinger of future solutions.”
ExecutiveBiz explores how AI can be applied across the federal landscape, what it takes to attract and retain talent that can support emerging mission needs, key factors driving Parsons’ recent growth, and more. spoke to Aves to learn more about
Read below for Rich Aves’ full Executive Spotlight interview.
ExecutiveBiz: What can you tell us about the latest growth initiatives at Parsons? How do you add value to your customers through contracting, procurement and other aspects of the federal sector?
Rich Aves: Our recent growth has been driven by a concerted effort to “move up the value chain” for our customers. We achieve this by providing next-generation intelligent solutions that leverage the full capabilities of our pioneering and technically diverse organization spanning two key market segments: critical infrastructure and federal solutions.
On the critical infrastructure side of our business, we’re leveraging high-end engineering capabilities around the world, and we’re finding that we can combine that with technology solutions and customer assets on the federal side of the house. it gives a positive result. This synergy has allowed us to deliver truly unique and in many cases one-of-a-kind solutions to our customers and establishes Parsons as a trusted source for micro and macro solutions from Earth to space.
We have also increased our portfolio to expand our defensive capabilities through strategic acquisitions. Xator and BlackHorse, one of our recent acquisitions, have significantly enhanced our offerings by expanding our counter-UAS and electronic warfare capabilities. The addition of Xator and BlackHorse to the Parsons portfolio has strengthened our overall growth and in many ways will drive the trajectory of our defense sector, and we are focused on pursuing opportunities to become the number one provider of these differentiated solutions.
ExecutiveBiz: Following the success of your recent quarterly results, what were the key factors behind the company’s overall performance, and how do you continue to build on that success?
Aves said: “We had a very strong quarter and it was the strength of the team. From a revenue perspective, we are focused on maximizing and optimizing our capabilities. Achieving this goal starts with a strong team and we have strong recruitment and retention across the business. This is essential to support the high performing team we need to help grow revenue on existing contracts and position ourselves for growth going forward.
We also had a good year in terms of growth. We have fixed task order contracts that can handle the work that has been a good support for our growth this year. We have been able to use these contracts to meet the diverse needs of our customers and provide them with solutions on schedule. We have contract vehicles for easy access to the revenue generating state.
In federal solutions and critical infrastructure, we saw very strong growth through awards this year. The critical infrastructure sector in particular is benefiting from international growth, and the infrastructure bill creates many opportunities for federal solutions to deliver more results in the sector moving forward.
The markets we enter are well-funded and growing, and we believe we are well-positioned for growth. But the cornerstones of our success will always be execution, excellence and the ability to hire and retain the right people, and we’ve been doing that very well so far.”
ExecutiveBiz: As artificial intelligence and machine learning continue to significantly impact many industries and the U.S. military, what impressed you most about the technology’s potential to improve decision-making in the federal sector? How can you use AI to solve the biggest challenges you see in your industry?
Aves: “AI is a tool that all of our customers need and want, and its key driver is the ability to digest data and make better, more informed decisions at scale and volume.
From a defense and intelligence perspective, we’re seeing a lot of information that needs to be digested and analyzed, and it’s beyond the capacity of human staff to be able to effectively use all the data available to us.
We’re leveraging our years of experience in the industry and using AI to make sure we make better informed decisions.
We’re applying this experience on the critical infrastructure side, such as traffic volume measurements and using AI to develop smart cities—a lot of data must go into that design. We look at things like 5G deployment and human behavior that will shape the landscape and scale of 5G infrastructure. By being able to consume and optimize this data using AI, we can remove the guesswork and create the infrastructure of the future that meets the needs of end users.
On the space side of the house, we’re using AI to do things like automate the ability to operate satellites on the ground — what we often call “light operations,” where you don’t need to have a human behind you. console for continuous ground observation of the constellation. We can automate it with artificial intelligence to set the right parameters and get the right data analysis to make sure the best deals are done when resourcing resources like antenna time.
We also developed an AI-powered weapon pairing algorithm, called TEMPO, which stands for Training Planning Optimization for Tactical Electronic Warfare Machines. This is done from an electronic warfare planning perspective that optimizes our ability to deploy assets and defeat some of the adversary’s electronic warfare capabilities.
These are all things that Parsons does and it’s exciting for us. We think AI will be the hallmark of future solutions.”
ExecutiveBiz: We often discuss innovation from a technical or feature perspective. What specific challenges do you see on the business side of innovation that aren’t sufficiently addressed or discussed?
Aves: “The challenge is making the right decisions and innovating in the right space for the market you’re in. I think Parsons has done a really good job with that, and it’s basically being in close contact with our customers and knowing what challenges to innovate against.
That’s one of the reasons we’ve created the PALADIN Lab at Aberdeen Proving Ground—it’s our innovation hub, where we partner with customers to demonstrate new capabilities. Customers can come in and test these capabilities against their mission needs and use the lab as a place to collaborate and identify the capabilities we should invest in and the best value for their mission.
Innovation is at the heart of the culture at Parsons and is critical to our continued growth. We’re in a tough recruiting environment, and in order to attract the right talent, we need to understand that people want to come to a place where innovation is at the forefront. People want to come to a place where they can do great things and develop great new things – that’s been at the core of how we approach the market and how we try to talk to potential employees. .
Our motto is “Imagine Next” which captures the essence of the team’s commitment to embrace and incubate innovative minds. As we move forward with growth and execution of our business, we will need unlimited innovation to stay relevant. We are happy to accept this.