Looking to gain additional perspective into this rapidly expanding IT and managed services company, its depth within national security focused agencies, multiple significant wins in 2023 to include a spot on a $500M+ DOJ JMD OCIO Service Desk and Incidental IT Support Services BPA, we spoke with Kirk Macchiavello, Vice President & GM – National Security with Zolon, whose portfolio includes DHS, DOJ, Energy, Treasury and the State Department, to learn more about this team’s strategies, how it has successfully grown post 8(a) status, and what it seeks in potential partners.

Growth Driven by Intimacy and Strategy

Having supported the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs for over 15 years of its 20+ year history, and armed with long-term relationships with multiple other agencies, Zolon is steeped in intimacy with its clients, in understanding what it takes to support and maintain highly critical missions, while driving forward leading-edge efforts, all of which has led to an expansion of roles and a continuation of ongoing efforts.

The company has also been strategic in its relationships and ensuring it has the needed infrastructure to support its growth. Ahead of graduating from its own 8(a) status, Zolon put into place key mentor protégé joint ventures which have allowed it to bid and win as part of a small business team. And, the company invested in building its own sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF) to support the IC Community, a move rarely heard of in relation to small businesses.

“Zolon has been very strategic along the way, identifying opportunities to solidify our position and to look forward to what may be needed next. From the lens of systems integrators, we have established strong relationships with leading product/technology vendors (supported by our Centers of Excellence) to leverage industry standards and bring best practices to our customers and we’re ready to apply that knowledge with other agencies facing similar opportunities and challenges, to share with them the success we have seen and what else is possible.”

Success as a Large

Not resting on its relationships and the opportunity to still compete contracts as a small, Zolon recently scored its first two full and open contracts. The first, a $107M Prime award with DOD DMA for web enterprise business services, will allow it to support more than 700 DOD websites and their high-performance, world-wide content distribution network including cloud products and services. The previously mentioned DOJ award, focused on service desk operations, deskside and desktop engineering support, network infrastructure, and security was its second full and open contract win.

Leveraging access to a breadth of contract vehicles now as both a large and small through its JVs, the company is focused on pursuing opportunities where it can continue to deliver and bring innovation. “It isn’t just about meeting client expectations but exceeding them, bringing innovation, new technologies, and helping them see beyond what they thought they needed. That is part of what has driven these decade plus long relationships and is part of why our clients continue to trust us.”

Relationships Focused on Capability, and on Culture

It is evident by its longevity within agencies, and the success of its JVs, that Zolon understands the importance of relationships. It has been those connections, within government, and industry, that have opened new doors, bridged introductions, and set the foundation for developing insight into new spaces and with new faces.

As it moves into new agencies, Zolon seeks partners with the intimacy and insight its team hopes to gain, along with the capabilities, relationships and past performance that will help drive success.

The GovCon community is characteristically abundant and constantly growing, and the web of potential connections constantly changing. Identifying which door to knock on, which call to take, for Zolon, is at least partially a component of culture as well, of looking to identify those with a similar mindset, approach and culture. “We’ve seen it proven time and again that who a company is dictates how you will work together and what success looks like.”

Play Hard, Work Hard and Evolve

A typical journey for a Zolon employee includes a balance of hard work to deliver, fun that includes the usual types of company parties, events and social gatherings, an in-office games room, but also career development and entrepreneurship. “Those in positions of leadership are really given the green light to run their teams as makes sense, and given whatever they need to do so, including to support innovating and moving in new directions.”

Across the organization training, including through its internal Zolon University, career planning and goal setting are integral as win-win-wins for the company, its employees, and ultimately the client.

Engagement is Critical

A moderator at the February 2024 Engage FedGov: AI, Automation, Acquisition, Data and Digital Transformation event, Kirk says ultimately engagement, with industry, and with government, is critical. “Ask the questions so you can understand government challenges and how industry can help. Look to others in industry for sparks that can drive new strategies and innovation. Don’t just ask the easy questions, look to know what isn’t working, open a door that may not have been open before to see if there is a chance to collaborate and to drive success for your federal client.”

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