Alan B. Weakley is the recently appointed president of CSC’s North American public sector defense group and is responsible for the strategic direction of the group’s worldwide growth. Weakley recently spoke with ExecutiveBiz about the excitement surrounding both his recent appointment and the growing industry he’s a part of.
ExecutiveBiz: You were recently promoted to president of CSC’s North American public sector defense group. What duties does your new position require?
Alan B. Weakley: In my new position, we’ve integrated the applied technology group with the former defense and intelligence group—bringing together all of CSC’s defense work under a single umbrella. The diversity of the offerings that we have is really the big difference. Currently, we’re everything from maintenance and operations, through training and simulation and support to base operations, through engineering and technology support through the large ERP, IT and software jobs.
So, if you think about it, our spectrum encompasses operating the Eastern Space Range for the Air Force to leading medical simulation technology to developing huge ERP logistics programs for the Air Force and the Army. It’s a very diverse and comprehensive set of offerings. And so, the difference for me is pulling together all the resources now and taking them into the market.
ExecutiveBiz: Do you have any specific goals in your new position and for the division you are leading?
Alan B. Weakley: When I assumed the position, I pulled everybody together and set our combined priorities upfront. We have three. The first is operational excellence. The core of what we do is mission related—from repairing helicopters to developing mission critical software, and operational excellence is a requirement. The second is financial performance and the third is growth.
The idea of bringing together all of our defense work under a single umbrella is to focus on our core solutions and offerings, where can we best apply our key personnel and our resources to truly bring value to our customers. At CSC we have a motto that says, ‘One CSC.’ And that motto is at the core of the combined defense group. We’ll face our customers, our competitors, partners, and colleagues as one CSC.
ExecutiveBiz: What originally made you want to join CSC’s team?
Alan B. Weakley: I had a great career at URS for 23 years, and prior to that I was in the Navy. URS is a great company. I had an opportunity to work with some of the finest professionals in the business. I was drawn to CSC because of the depth of resources that are available to the senior leaders, the commitment to collaboration at all levels and the strength of the leadership team. When I sat down with my peers and my partners in the industry, I was really impressed to have all the resources required to win the large jobs within arm’s reach and to find that it was such a collaborative work environment.
My CSC peers showed a true investment to my success—and ultimately—the success of our customers, solutions, and the company as a whole. There were a number of new hires on the leadership team that joined the company within the same time-frame. We’ve linked arms and have driven that one CSC approach to the market. I think that’s really critical when you’re trying to win some of these larger opportunities that are out there, like the Navy’s Next Generation Enterprise Network, the Enterprise Management for their IT systems or the Air Force’s LISC, the integration of the Eastern and Western Space Ranges. It really takes a company to win those kinds of opportunities, and that’s what I found at CSC.
Alan B. Weakley: Military Training Technology recognized CSC for leading programs that revolutionize military training. We have several programs, but I think our medical simulation training center, the MedSim, is one of the strongest. And if you think about preparing war fighters, first responders, medics, and actual surgical units for dealing with combat casualties, it’s a big challenge—one that lives depend on.
One of the systems that we have is a series of simulators and scenario creations that allow the soldiers to go and work with animatronics and to work in simulated environments on how to save lives. It’s cutting edge, it’s revolutionary, and it’s something that’s in place both with the United States Army and with our allies—the Australians.
CSC receives story after story of soldiers and medics that have come back from the battlefield and said, “I knew what to do. I knew how to be a first responder. I saved my friend’s life,” or “We would have lost that individual’s limb if I would not have known about this training.” So, that, I think, was one of the key enablers. The other component we were recognized for is our management of a number of the training ranges that are out there.
We’re managing all of the Navy’s seaborne ranges, like the Southern California offshore range near Catalina Island out in California and the Navy’s acoustic underwater test and evaluation center, AUTEC, off the Coast of Florida. That’s where the Navy goes to train, in addition to a number of ranges that we have for the Air Force. I would say that the combination of these programs brought CSC to the forefront of revolutionizing military training.
ExecutiveBiz: What challenges do you face, if any, in providing information technology services to CSC’s Defense Department clients?
Alan B. Weakley: I see more opportunities right now than challenges. For me, this is an exciting time to be in business, especially when you consider all the major opportunities that are on the horizon. I mentioned, NGEN. The government’s rethinking the way they do datacenters and have employed a consolidation initiative.
The Air Force is looking at their space ranges and identified a need to consolidate them under a single umbrella. So, the challenges for me are looking at those major opportunities and pulling together the right solutions, the key personnel and offerings to go pursue them. These efforts are really in our strike zone. It takes this entire company to win a major contract. And for us to pursue these—each of these opportunities, NGEN, LISC, data center consolidation, etc. they’re going to fundamentally change the way the agencies and the departments do business. Ultimately, it’ll change the way they meet their missions.
What we’re doing is we’re bringing the very best of what CSC has to offer from our solutions and from the various parts of the organization. For solutions I reach out to our federal consulting practice for datacenter consolidation. I reach out to our IT services practice for things like LISC, where we’re looking at enterprise and work management. I reach out to our applied technology group for our VISION set of tools. It’s just a tremendous amount of resources that we have, and bringing them all together, tailoring that solution to match the customer’s need, and then articulating that to the customer, can be a challenge. But this is what we enjoy doing.
ExecutiveBiz: Are there any programs, technologies or contracts that CSC is working on that you are particularly excited for?
Alan B.Weakley: We’re really excited about the Navy’s ISR as-a-service. The as-a-service model is something that we think the DoD is going to continually move towards. The Naval Air Systems Command is looking to procure UAV video by the hour rather than by the system and by the aircraft and all that that goes with it. We think we’ve got a really neat solution on that. The other is the Navy’s NGEN. It’s one of the larger IT management programs that the Navy has, and we’re putting together the best team the industry has to offer in developing the lowest cost, scalable network solution with partners including Harris, General Dynamics IT, and Verizon.
And then, I mentioned the integration of the Air Force’s space ranges, the east and west coast space ranges. It’s an initiative that’s been underway for some time, and the Air Force views it as integral to meeting their launch mission. We partnered with Honeywell and have spent the last two years building a solution that is strategically tailored to the two ranges, one solution approach to that opportunity.
Additional Comments by Alan B. Weakley: I’m really excited by the opportunity. I know that there’s a lot of uncertainty with what’s happening in our budgets. There’s a lot of uncertainty around the direction of the administration and where all of that may be going, but this is really one of the best times to be in business. Quite frankly, the opportunities are out there. And if you’re a company—like CSC—that has the people, the understanding, the experience, and the solutions, this is your day.