A large company with a small-company approach to solving problems—that’s how Bernie Elero describes the culture at L-3 STRATIS, where he has served as chief growth officer and senior vice president for almost two years.
“It’s exciting to work within a culture of innovation,” he said. “The company is willing to make investments in people and technology resources to help us remain competitive and create solutions for ourselves and our customers.”
According to Elero, L-3 was created by bringing together technologies and people to help customers solve their toughest problems. Reston, Va.-based L-3 STRATIS is one of the largest divisions of L-3 and provides cybersecurity, intelligence, and enterprise IT solutions.
L-3 STRATIS customers include the U.S. Departments of Defense, State, Justice, and Homeland Security, as well as U.S. intelligence agencies and select other U.S. federal, state, and local government agencies.
“The real issue is that there is an explosion of data without a corresponding explosion of budget.”
– Bernie Elero, chief growth officer and senior vice president, L-3 STRATIS
Elero said the division’s primary focus in working with its GEOINT customers has been to help them transform.
“To us, transformation means how we help them to implement new technologies—cloud, mobility, and virtualization—with the end goal of driving efficiency,” Elero said.
For U.S. Special Operations Command, this entailed implementing a single enterprise information technology solution, which lowered costs and improved performance.
“As we focused on [SOCOM’s] needs and implementing their vision, we were able to reduce their per seat cost by nearly 50 percent and transform their IT infrastructure,” Elero noted.
In an environment of declining budgets, he said it’s imperative that organizations transition their IT operations to a managed services model, which enables centralization of IT infrastructure and reduces the cost and complexity of managing geographically disparate IT functions. L-3 STRATIS has recently been working with Intelligence Community members and other government agencies to set up managed services models in the cloud.
“We have to find ways to help clients solve difficult problems while working with declining budgets,” Elero said. “The real issue is that there is an explosion of data without a corresponding explosion of budget. There is an increasing need for speedy transmission, processing, and storage of data, but how do we control the costs?”
Controlling costs is among the many initiatives L-3 STRATIS has invested research and development efforts in, and the division’s commitment to collaboration and partnerships makes transformation possible for its customers.
Collaboration and Partnerships
L-3 STRATIS hosts a virtual solutions center open to employees and customers around the world, including engineers and developers. Launched in May of last year, the center is a secure, multi-site, integrated research and development environment designed to facilitate the testing and demonstration of new software and information technology solutions.
“Being able to operate in a virtual mode allows engineers and analysts to work collaboratively anywhere in the world in a secure environment,” Elero said.
In October of 2012, L-3 officially opened its National Security Solutions Center at the Virginia Tech Research Center in Arlington, Va. This is among the overall efforts the company is establishing with corporations and academic institutions.
“We have many of our engineers co-located at Virginia Tech,” Elero said. “There’s nothing quite like having them working with university students and professors to strategize about solutions for our customers.”
The company also has research and development agreements with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Maryland, and Polytechnic Institute of New York University.
“The point of all these partnerships is bringing the best solutions together for our customers,” Elero said. “It’s about speed, affordability, and innovation. We bring leadership to that effort.”
Featured image: During L-3 cyber situational awareness operations, employees in the Reston Network Operations Center monitor the health and integrity of the network. Photo credit: L-3 STRATIS