Bryce Pippert on the Evolution of ManTech as it Embraces Advanced Cyber, AI

Bryce Pippert, ManTech

Bryce Pippert, ManTech

Founded in 1968 to provide advanced technological services to the U.S. government, ManTech International in 2020 established its federal civilian operation as a separate business sector and promoted Bryce Pippert to be its executive vice president and general manager.

We spoke with Pippert recently about that evolution, and about the company’s go-forward strategy.

Tell us about the recent changes.

I joined ManTech in January of 2019 to lead what was then the federal civilian business unit. Fast forward to 2020: We’ve been going through a strategic planning process and organizing for the future. We moved into an even more market-oriented structure, forming three sectors that align to the core parts of the federal government: defense, intelligence and federal civilian agencies.

The change streamlines our organization so that those agencies that are clearly federal civilian are aligned within the federal civilian sector.

What opportunities does that open up for you?

Across the federal civilian sector, there is big focus on IT modernization, digital transformation and leveraging analytics in new and different ways. The capabilities our customers need are very similar to the types of capabilities and services that we’re deploying in other parts of the business. 

For example, enterprise IT is a core competency for us and we provide many cloud, data center, network infrastructure, DevSecOps, application development and other technical capabilities at scale. We want to make sure that we bring the best of ManTech to all our clients, that we’re leveraging lessons learned and successful approaches across our portfolio, including critical missions at places like the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Veterans Affairs and within other health organizations like the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

What are the biggest problems your federal civilian clients are facing?

Cybersecurity is certainly front of mind for everyone these days, and we’re a leading provider of cybersecurity capabilities to the federal government, on both the offensive and defensive front. 

We’re one of the prime contractors on the Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation program. Our breadth of technology, analytics and cyber capabilities helps us to support individual agencies as they’re dealing with particular security challenges, making sure that they’re set up well for the future.

Cyber changes quickly: How do you stay ahead?

To stay ahead of the threat landscape, we need to have more intelligent systems that are driven by machine learning and artificial intelligence. As a company, we are investing in next-generation cybersecurity capabilities: It’s part of our strategic plan.

You also need the talent to help stay ahead of the curve on cybersecurity, so we do a lot to recruit strong cybersecurity talent and also to make sure that our workforce is trained and equipped for the threats of today and tomorrow. One of our key strengths is that we have that full-spectrum cybersecurity set of capabilities. We make sure that we’re building into our workforce a “big-picture” view of cyber.

One vital offering that we have is called ACRE, the Advanced Cyber Range Environment, which we use to simulate networks and cyber threats. It gives our people, and in some cases our customers, opportunities to do live simulations of threats and get accustomed to dealing with different types of cyber threats outside of just the academic workbook-like scenarios.

Can you point to an example of a recent success story?

We were recently awarded a new task on the T4NG [Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology-Next Generation] contract to support the Office of Technical Integration. This involves evaluating and assessing opportunities for integration across the technology leveraged at the enterprise level for the VA.

The VA has some unique challenges around integration, both within their own environment and various DOD systems. We’ve done a lot of joint VA/DOD work on the Defense Health Agency side, supporting defense medical logistics systems, as well as helping with some of the data exchange capabilities that are needed to ensure that there is interoperability — the smooth transaction of data between VA and the Defense Health Agency.

We’re proud of that new addition to our portfolio. The team is off and running and doing well there.

What’s on the agenda going forward?

We’ve got a robust pipeline and we’re looking at opportunities across the core federal civilian mission sets. As a company, we have defined five technology focus areas, and those include cognitive cyber and also A3, which is automation, artificial intelligence and analytics. We’re also focused on mission and enterprise IT, intelligent systems engineering, and data at the tactical edge. 

We’re excited to apply these next-generation capabilities to help accelerate our customers’ missions. There are tremendous opportunities in front of us, and I believe we are investing in the areas that align nicely to the government’s needs for the future.

You’ve been in and around the GovCon world for over 15 years. What makes this work satisfying?

Throughout my career, I’ve always been drawn to the scale and impact that our government has. I get excited about our ability to serve people through the support of our government’s mission, applying technology and analytics capabilities to make our government more secure, efficient and effective over time in its service to citizens and our national interest.

When I think about our work with the VA, through our support of various technology capabilities, we are able to make the lives of tens of millions of veterans better. I look at our work with the Department of Homeland Security supporting customs and border protection and the mission around cybersecurity. These are hugely important, national security missions that are protecting the lives of everyday Americans.

We’re playing a big role in making sure that our citizens and veterans are well taken care of and that our country is protected.

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