But Marconi, already well-established inserving the US government, is making new inroads, and in the daysaheadmembers of the homeland security community will be hearing the name agreat deal more as Marconi Federal, headquartered in Columbia, Md.,offers its networking, systems and Internet solutions in homelandsecurity.
Leading this drive is Gerry Kolosvary, a28-year veteran in computer, communications and networking sales andmarketing. Before joining Marconi, Kolosvary held positions at SGIFederal, part of Silicon Graphics, based in Mountain View, Calif.There, he developed its federal intelligence and special programssector from startup status to a business generating more than $100million a year in revenue.
“We have a heritage in the mission-criticalarena,” said Kolosvary. “We’ve been very quiet, but I think that’s anindication of what we do. If we published our revenues, you’d see thatour growth over the past year was about 20 percent.”
Marconi does about $2.8 billion in business and has about 4,000 employees.
Marconi has been subdued in part because ofthe nature of its work for the US government, which includes contractsfor the Defense Information Systems Agency, intelligence agencies and avariety of Defense Department offices and armed services. Marconipersonnel are cleared for the most secret work, and the company bringsin-depth subject matter experts to its projects.
“We see that there are some very similarchallenges in homeland security as there are in DoD and intelligence,”said Kolosvary. “One of these is support for the warfighter, gettinghim the information he needs. This is very similar to support for thefirst responder. The applications that need to be hosted in theseenvironments are also similar. It’s more than just e-mail and Webhosting. We’re excited about bringing those to the table and bringingour expertise.
“Some of the things we have to offer aresecure information systems. We can do security and surveillance, whichmeans a lot more than just closed circuit television.”
Projects and products
One of Marconi’s proudest public projects hasbeen the design, production and deployment of an advanced, integratedsecurity and surveillance system for Miami-Dade Airport, a showcaseproject for Marconi technology and expertise.
A giant facility that handles 31 millionpassengers a year, the airport is undertaking a massive effort toincrease security, including installation of a Marconi digital videoand surveillance system in a two-phase program.
Another Marconi product making its entrancein the homeland-security arena is the ViPr Virtual Presence System—asophisticated videoconferencing system intended to allow its users tointuitively communicate in real time using video and multimedia.Intended to be robust, durable, encryptable and always available, ViPrcan provide the kind of communications needed by first responders, lawenforcement and emergency-management personnel in a crisis.
Marconi is also making inroads in interactive areas such as biometrics, including finger and eye scanning.
Marconi’s experience in security projectsgoes back to its earliest days. In Britain, Marconi was a key player inthe UK’s war against terrorism. In the United States, Marconi wasinvolved in the war on terror from day one, when Flight 77 slammed intothe Pentagon—a section of the building that had been renovated andoutfitted with Marconi systems.
“I was conducting a board meeting off-sitethat morning” Kolosvary recalled. “The area of the Pentagon that wasunder attack had Marconi equipment. We had people down there thatafternoon.”
Today, Kolosvary is looking to expand andrefine the Marconi presence in homeland security and bring itsparticular strengths to the mission.
“I think that what differentiates us is thatwe come at this from a mission-critical, rather than a best commercialpractices, approach,” Kolosvary emphasized, adding that Marconi willwork with its customer to tailor its solutions to the customer’smission, rather than just follow standard practices. What counts, hesaid, is the mission, and Marconi will deliver the solutions that makethat customer’s mission a success. HST