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Executive Spotlight: Bill Graham of the SI

Executive Spotlight: Bill Graham of the SI - top government contractors - best government contracting event
William Graham
Executive Spotlight: Bill Graham of the SI - top government contractors - best government contracting event
William Graham

Separations are never easy, but Bill Graham, CEO of the SI, saw his company through a seamless separation with Lockheed Martin. Now, an independent company, the SI is raring to move forward in providing the intelligence community and DoD systems engineering and integration services. ExecutiveBiz chatted with Graham about his company's genesis and what's next for the SI.

ExecutiveBiz: Now that the SI is moving forward from its time with Lockheed Martin toward a private ownership with Veritas Capital, how will the firm function differently?

Bill Graham: As part of Lockheed Martin, the SI had a 40-year legacy supporting the Intelligence Community. Now, as an independent company, we can extend our systems engineering and integration services to help our core customers succeed in their critical national security missions, as well as bring those capabilities to adjacent and horizon markets. We are now unencumbered by the perception of organizational conflict of interest that impacted us as a division within Lockheed Martin. We've also added a fully-functional business infrastructure, including a full complement of support organizations as we replace the services previously provided by Lockheed Martin.

ExecutiveBiz: In terms of branding strategy, how do you approach that?

Bill Graham: We were the Systems Integration division within Lockheed Martin for 40 years, and many of our customers and partners have always referred to us as the SI. As we thought about naming our new, independent company, we wanted to capitalize on our brand equity in our market space, and we think the SI resonates with our customers. We've already launched our website, www.the-SI.com, and we are working to extend our brand more broadly into the Department of Defense and other parts of the U.S. government where people are trying to solve complex problems, because that's what we do ““ full life-cycle systems engineering.

ExecutiveBiz: Looking at a firm, maybe like TASC, that was in something of a similar position as the SI, are there any lessons to be learned from their success?

Bill Graham: We have known Wood Parker and his leadership team at TASC for years, as both teammates and competitors, and they were very open and helpful as we went through our transition. Our buyer, Veritas Capital, also provided excellent support, leveraging best practices and lessons learned from their previous acquisitions. By all accounts, it was an effective and efficient process ““ just what you'd expect from a company of systems integrators. From the time it was announced in mid-October that Veritas Capital was going to be the buyer, we closed the transaction in 35 days, which is unheard of.

ExecutiveBiz: That was all I had. Was there anything else that you wanted to touch on today?

Bill Graham: I want to express my sincere gratitude to Lockheed Martin, an incredibly fine company, as they went to great lengths to ensure our transition was successful and that we came through the divestiture intact. I have told my workforce that we are taking our values, ethics and integrity from Lockheed Martin forward with us. The acquisition team did a fantastic job. From our IT systems, to our business operations, to our on-contract work, Lockheed Martin made the process seamless, and it allowed our workforce to focus on our customers, their programs, and the mission at hand.

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