CSC's growth focuses on cyber, health and independence

As competitors are acquired, CSC touts its independence and pins its growth in areas such as cybersecurity, health and logistics.

In the wake of a major consolidation of the information technology services market during the past year, Computer Sciences Corp. officials said they believe they now have a distinct edge because they can offer independent and flexible integration services to the public sector.

Some of the company’s biggest competitors have been acquired by hardware manufacturers, such as EDS by Hewlett-Packard, Affiliated Computer Services by Xerox and Perot Systems by Dell.

“We believe this distinguishes CSC in the federal market because it makes us the only integrator on a large, global scale that faces no obligation to offer a specific brand of hardware based on corporate ownership,” said Jim Sheaffer, president of CSC’s North American Public Sector unit. “We architect our solutions to meet the objectives of our customer independent of a preferred array of hardware components. Vertically integrated vendors, such as HP/EDS or IBM, can offer potentially a bundled price for their solution offering, but the subcomponents may not be a best-of-breed solution.”

CSC collected $3.3 billion in prime contract dollars in 2009, finishing No. 10 on Washington Technology’s 2010 Top 100 list of the largest government contractors. 

Its North American Public Sector unit is already off to a strong start in 2010, Sheaffer said, adding that the company plans to sharpen its focus on high-growth market segments, such as cybersecurity, data center consolidation, health IT, training and simulation, and logistics.

“We have been shifting our investments and approach in the past 12 to 18 months in response to new government priorities and long-term drivers,” Sheaffer said.

Much of CSC’s success during the past year reflects the company’s new focus, he added. For example, it recently captured the recompete and expansion of the support program for the Defense Cyber Investigations Training Academy. The company also won a blanket purchase agreement to provide security services for the Agriculture Department and is now providing vulnerability analysis and penetration testing to evaluate network security for a major intelligence agency.

CSC is also playing a major role in the consolidation of data center resources at the Homeland Security Department and was one of two companies selected to compete for the Health and Human Services Department’s Information Technology Infrastructure Operations task-order contract. 

It recently won the right to compete for task orders through an Environmental Protection Agency blanket purchase agreement for IT services, IT security, telecommunications, geospatial support and high-performance computing.

On the health care front, CSC captured a claims-processing opportunity from the Veterans Affairs Department.

The North American Public Sector unit was especially successful in 2009, Sheaffer said, with revenue growth, strong performance on existing programs and a number of significant new program wins. “One of the areas that we are significantly proud of this year is our level of execution, particularly our work on some of the key mission-critical programs for the government,” he said, noting large-scale development projects such as the Army Logistics Modernization Program and the Air Force Expeditionary Combat Support System.

Sheaffer said CSC’s federal business will work hard to meet growth and financial performance targets in a federal market that is still recovering from the recession. However, the company has set a goal of 6 to 8 percent annual growth during the next three years. “Our challenge is to ensure that we develop and invest in services and offerings that are aligned with the priorities of the administration and government agency clients," he added.