Earlier this month WashingtonExec sat down with Cal Shintani, Oceus Networks’ new Senior Vice President and Chief Growth Officer. We asked Shintani how he is enjoying his new role, as well as the long-lasting impact mobility will have in the public sector. We also asked Shintani for his predictions regarding the M & A climate in federal contracting over the next couple years.
WashingtonExec: How is your new role going? What does a “great day” look like to you?
Cal Shintani: I’ve been with Oceus Networks for a little over three months, and it’s going great. My best day so far was when we received an award from the Navy to do a pilot to demonstrate how fourth generation long term evolution (4G LTE) tactical cellular can work in an operational Navy environment. The solution is based on Xiphos™, our mobile communications networking solution, and as this is the first operational deployment of 4G LTE for the U.S. Department of Defense, this is an exciting milestone for both Oceus and the US military. This is just one of several pilots we are working on with the government, so I’m quickly getting up to speed working with civilian, intelligence and defense agencies and how we can bring them these advanced mobility capabilities.
WashingtonExec: Given your focus on tactical cellular, what are your thoughts on mobility? Is it the next big thing or a fad that will eventually fade?
Cal Shintani: The Federal CIO has announced a federal mobility strategy, and all of our customers are interested in mobile solutions. This is the reason we are participating in several pilots. Agencies want to figure out to improve mission performance, and they see mobility as a great way to do that. I don’t see mobility as a fad at all. I think it is going to dramatically change forever how the government operates and certainly how we in industry run our businesses.
“All of our service men and women understand this technology really well, so they are using it right away. I only see this accelerating. If you think about Jack Bauer in the TV show “24,” that’s where they are heading. They shouldn’t have to go back into the office to fill out a report or to get the analysis.”
WashingtonExec: What is your outlook for the M&A market over the next three years?
Cal Shintani: From my perspective, the M&A market within the government sector is either going to stay at its current high rate or probably increase because as government budgets decline many government contractors are going to try to figure out new ways to grow by broadening their capability set through M&A. In many cases, it’s simply too difficult to organically grow your solution set. The best way to acquire a new customer set and to offer new capabilities to customers is through M & A.
WashingtonExec: Where do you see mobility in relation to other technology innovations like the Internet or the Personal Computer (PC)?
Cal Shintani: Mobility technologies are taking a similar evolution path as did Internet and PC technologies. Specifically, for mobility, what’s really interesting with the pilots that we are doing for the military – once we provide them this huge bandwidth – is that their soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines are the ones that are actually creating more apps to drive greater mobility. It’s amazing to see what they do once we give them greater bandwidth and how they use the technology to improve mission performance and improve their personal communications. All of our service men and women understand this technology really well, so they are using it right away. I only see this accelerating. If you think about Jack Bauer in the TV show “24,” that’s where they are heading. They shouldn’t have to go back into the office to fill out a report or to get the analysis. Instead of having to do everything manually, what they are hoping to do is to be able to capture data electronically, submit it real time and then receive back the analysis almost real time. For example, how that turbine generator is operating, how an aircraft is performing, etc. Mobility solutions offer incredible new capabilities and are available today, and government is thinking very hard about how mobility can transform how they deliver on their missions.
WashingtonExec: What was your first job?
Cal Shintani: My first paying job was working at Baskin Robbins. I was in high school, and I have huge respect for folks in the services industry because it’s a tough gig. I hope that I don’t go full circle when I’m 70 and find myself working in a Baskin Robbins again because it is hard work.
WashingtonExec: What is something that most people might not know about you?
Cal Shintani: I played trombone from fifth grade all the way through college at the US Naval Academy. I was in the jazz band, the drum and bugle corps, and all of the pit orchestras for the musicals. My day job was being a Naval Academy Midshipman and getting a degree, and then my fun job was playing music. What was most cool about being in the drum & bugle corps was that we played at football games and even in a Presidential Inauguration and Mardi Gras. I really enjoyed that we got to travel.
WashingtonExec: Which one did you like better – Mardi Gras or the Presidential Inauguration?
Cal Shintani: Absolutely it was Mardi Gras. The Presidential Inauguration was bitterly cold making it not so fun. Mardi Gras was a blast.