The Silicon Review
“At the heart of our strategy is to hire the right thought leaders who are willing to be the change agents, nimble, and flexible in their mind-sets to apply what they know to the new paradigms and trends.”
The dotcom boom, a period of massive growth in the use and adoption of the Internet during the late 90s, was followed by an unprecedented turn of events. The threats to computer operations had unleashed terrifying tales, thereby disconcerting everyone involved. The world was taken aback by these new setbacks and to counter what was occurring, 22nd Century Technologies (TSCTI.com) was created to assist companies manage their computing operations across several industries. Even as a newly minted company, it provided consulting to help insurance, finance, and telecom industry customers at a smaller scale. Later, in 2001, the world witnessed the horrible 9/11 incident, impacting the tech-world globally. Fast forward to 2007, the economic crisis threw most of the businesses out of gear, compelling companies like TSCTI to advance its arsenal of market relevant services and skills. In the midst of all this, in 2008, the company made a strategic decision to solely focus on the government market or public sector. Today, the company supports 14 out of 15 cabinet agencies and all United States Department of Defense (DOD) branches and provides solutions to 34 States and more than 100 local government bodies.
“Our first Defense contract was with the U.S. Army at Fort Belvoir, which we completed ahead of schedule,” says Anil Sharma, CEO of 22nd Century. He was quoted as saying by a defense magazine.
This project is considered the turning point for TSCTI’s successful launch as an IT Infrastructure support services provider. Soon, the company started focusing on software and services quality processes. It earned a CMMI Level-3 and ISO 20000 & 27001 certifications in offering managed IT services, IA & cyber support, help-desk support, network management, and data center operations to Federal DoD, civilian, and state agencies in all 50 states, the magazine stated.
As remarkable as it sounds, 22nd Century holds over 11 active contracts worth USD 350 million with the U.S. Navy. This is an incredible achievement given the sophistication of the nation’s armed forces, especially the navy. Today, the company is one of the fastest-growing IT service integrators supporting many of the nation’s mission-critical programs in cybersecurity, IT infrastructure, IT transformation, AI DevOps, AppDev, application modernization programs, and cloud migrations, the magazine further stated.
Importantly, cybersecurity is one of the critical areas where TSCTI wields its expertise by combining AI with cyber defense to protect the nations’ critical infrastructure. “With a rise in the number as well as types of cyberattack today, robust cybersecurity initiatives are paramount to every organization’s core strategy,” says Mr. Sharma. The company currently serves as a major cybersecurity partner for Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD).
A Broader Perspective
These best practices encompass security program development (e.g., NIST 800-18), security program effectiveness (e.g., GAO, OMB, FISMA, NIST, Treasury directives), program measures (NIST 800-55), and security institutionalization (ISO/IEC 21827, SEI CMM).
TSCTI is a trusted partner to Defence Information Systems Agency, DLA, Army, Air Force, Navy, DOJ, FBI, DHS, IRS, USDA, and over 30 state agencies, including Health and Human Services, Child & Family Services, State-wide Data Centres, and critical sensitive systems such as Florida Retirement System, State-wide Educational, and Childhood Development Networks.
“Our core function of integrated security starts from our hiring practices where we perform thorough background checks of our vetted staff. We have also instituted best practices with checks and balances that focus on the safety of customer information and data.”
During its managed service approach, TSCTI institutes appropriate access controls, privacy guidelines, and standards of non-repudiation of data, enabling the company to downsize risks and introduce appropriate service safeguards.
Revamping the Managed Service Segment: The Right Way
For the past 23 years, TSCTI has perfected its internal processes to better understand its customers’ MSP challenges and map these down to its proven solutions. The company had to rewrite the MSP Playbook to keep pace with digital transformation, cloud-based technologies and applications, security challenges, a growing community of gig workers, the fast adoption of agile and transformative emerging technologies and approaches.
Besides, existing inefficiencies, tight budgets, and the very fast-changing technology environment are big motivation factors for 22nd Century to take the opportunity to reinvent the managed service segment and provide efficient and secure managed service solutions. TSCTI is bringing innovation and R&D from its Centre of Excellence (CoE) based on lessons learned from over 200 delivered contracts. The company’s ‘disruption via the efficient processes and innovative problem solving’ approach makes it a win-win for its customers.
“We are nimble, flexible, and creative in our engagements, and customers just love our zeal to make a creative difference,” Mr. Sharma was quoted as saying by The Silicon Review. “We supported our managed service customers, solving their problems with consistent efficiencies and demonstrable results using our proven industry best practices. We collect these best practices and improvise those in our CoE as part of our ISO 9001 and CMMI Quality certifications.”
“Early on, we realized the need to position our company strategically to take advantage of potential market opportunities and invest in a dedicated Emerging Technology CoE that engages in continuous monitoring of technology trends, emerging technologies, and their adoption.”
Based on the current and future adoption level, TSCTI invests in the training of its employees, certifications (as needed), and hands-on exposure to the latest tools and technologies. To further extend its capabilities to serve the market as a single-source, the company has an active program to build strategic partnerships with technology vendors and implementers, systems integrators, and agile, value-based technology services providers.
As of now, TSCTI has served over 450 contracts in providing services and supporting significant customer solutions. The company had the opportunity to oversee several technical environments as it provided transformative solutions to its customers. “We are privileged to support a diverse range of customers that have provided us with an extensive range of proven functional and technical capability. These heterogeneous, uniquely different opportunities have enabled us to provide proven solutions in most areas of technology. We have brought this knowledge as best practices in our CoE, which, in turn, are available to our professionals to leverage them in solving the challenges of customers that they are supporting.”
Keeping Up with the Change: Hiring the Top Talent
The pace of innovation has rapidly picked up in recent times, and the technology landscape keeps getting redrawn at a ferocious pace. The automation efforts are in overdrive to bring efficiencies. TSCTI’s strategy to adapt to this never-ending change is to embrace the change as a constant. Unceasing, constant change is the ‘hard problem’ of the digital transformation. However, it is also an opportunity to source, guide, and build a nimble, agile, flexible, and always-on learning workforce.
“We provide complete workforce solutions so that customers can focus on their business and services. In a fast-changing business and technology scenario, customers need flexibility and agility so that they can get the workforce as needed and with the right mix of skills. We have been able to bring these services along with significant cost savings to our customers by providing our expertise, our access to a large pool of talented, trained resources, and strategic partnerships at predictable monthly costs. Our MSP expertise and knowledge in these services allow us to offer greater accuracy and reduced risks and liabilities. This especially is a factor since our approach ensures compliance with government regulations and guarantees industry standards. Additionally, we offer the best-in-class tools, technology, and resources needed to enhance efficiencies by streamlining processes and procedures.”
“Our 23 years of knowledge, tools, and solutions are available in our CoE knowledge base that brings instant access to our professionals supporting the customer sites.”
“At the heart of our strategy is to hire the right thought leaders who are willing to be the change agents in their mind-sets to apply what they know to the new paradigms and trends.” For instance, making the leap from an SOA world to a Microservices-driven technology transformation is a natural progression. Similarly, the virtualization to cloud infrastructure to a world of containers does not require new thinking but a re-orientation of approach. A corporate-wide center of excellence initiative enables and empowers the thought leaders to reorient and refocus on the latest industry trends and drivers.
“Our dedicated Emerging Technology CoE helps us keep abreast of the changes and in dealing with transformative changes in the digital world. However, we do appreciate that we cannot do it all. To complement our in-house efforts, we utilize our strategic partnerships with technology and services companies to address gaps, if any. We have developed a lot of automated tools for digital transformation, including for legacy migrations or cloud migrations.”
Services Overview: In a Nutshell
As a public sector-focused systems integrator, TSCTI specializes in digital transformation, application modernization; cloud strategy and enablement; cybersecurity, and IT infrastructure support. TSCTI has been providing end-to-end managed IT services to federal, state, and local agencies starting from service desk (Tier 1/2/3) to managing IT and application infrastructure (server, storage, network, web infrastructure, middleware, and database infrastructure), data center operations; and application development, production support, and maintenance. As the name symbolizes, 22nd Century seeks to be ahead of the curve in anticipating business, market, and technology trends and quickly adapting to the changes with appropriate processes, methodologies, and competencies. Security, infrastructure, cloud migration, and digital transformation were visualized as key areas and are now state-of-the-art practices at TSCTI and being deployed to support mission-critical and sensitive installations of the Department of Defence, Federal Civilian, and State Agencies.
TSCTI incorporates cybersecurity in all services. As a result, it has become one of the principal providers of managed security services to USAF, NAVAIR, USPTO, among many other government agencies. Over the years, TSCTI has built an impressive business eco-system of over 350 single-award contracts, contract vehicles, co-operative, and state-wide contracts; a large pool of talented, trained, cleared employees with presence in all 50 states; a debt-free balance sheet; strong cash-flows, financial stability, and free reserves for strategic investments; deep relationships with 57 federal ad DoD agencies, over 38 states, and their agencies, and has supported or is supporting IT operations of most federal agencies, DoD, Army, Air Force, and Navy. Partnerships with technology majors and emerging technology providers and strategic alliances with a select group of IT service providers extend TSCTI’s capabilities and capacity to address challenges and deliver any IT initiative.
Introducing a Suite of Services
With a singular emphasis on providing high-quality services at the lowest possible cost, TSCTI continues to meet clients’ expectations. The company’s solutions incorporate value-driven best of breed tools, customer-focused processes, and creative architecture to bring down costs while ensuring its ‘right by customer’ solutions.
“We are very excited and pleased with progress on a pipeline of initiatives which we are currently working on. Our new SLED-focused IP venture for IT transformation and legacy migrations-centric services will help enable the government to serve its constituents efficiently and economically.”
“Another critical focus area is technology solutions and IP development targeted at State Law Enforcement, Education, and Secure Virtual Office Operations, and we expect to launch our Low Code No Code platform targeted at the SLED market.”
TSCTI is expanding and extending its infrastructure and cybersecurity practice to a full-fledged managed security and infrastructure services provider. It plans to make cybersecurity services and specifically automation with the DevSecOps paradigm a priority and a growth area. Strategic industry partnerships with cybersecurity industry leaders and consolidation of complex tool ecosystem into an expert managed service offering, which is commoditized, is on the anvil. Also, as cloud technologies have become an integral part of our services, TSCTI, as a product-agnostic organization, is now bringing services that cater to a multi-cloud hybrid environment. In this environment, to do more with less, the company is bringing efficiencies and innovations as DevOps and DevSecOps. “Our services now include infrastructure as a secure code, software, and security intertwined together as a unified team.”
TSCTI is also in the process of developing local talent, capability, and capacity in unrepresented, underserved regions and is planning to launch software development factories, technology, and business support service centers nationwide.
Getting to a Billion-Dollar Valuation
TSCTI views the future with optimism and organizes itself to successfully deliver to emerging opportunities and meet business challenges or exigencies. Having weathered the storms and having built a credible nation-wide business platform, the team at 22nd Century is confident of its ability to add exponential value to its customers and grow to a $1 Billion corporation in the next few years.
Besides, TSCTI will continue to lead on the cutting edge of innovations. As a service organization, it will focus on automation (processes, IT solutions, and infrastructure) during the next five years.
“We will, of course, be reviewing and recalibrating our decisions sync in with market developments as we forge ahead in our path of creating transformative customer-driven digital solutions, lowering customer IT operational costs, and being the IT services and integration partner of choice. Our focus will be on organic but aggressive growth, and we want to build software factories that are efficient and streamlined with a heavy focus on all growth areas I already mentioned to serve our customers.”
22nd Century Technologies: Key Highlights
Anil Sharma: A Reliable Entrepreneur
Anil Sharma serves as the Chief Executive Officer of 22nd Century Technology. He’s an entrepreneur, visionary, investor, and strategist with a progressive 23-year career in building innovative companies and providing customer-driven IT Solutions. He is a technocrat business leader with an optimal combination of hands-on IT project execution, technology, people, relationship, and business skills.
Mr. Sharma started as a programmer, graduating to solutions architect and project/program management, and practice and business leadership roles. An engineer by training, Mr. Sharma is grounded in value-based engineering and has a natural talent for ensuring efficiencies and passing on these savings to customers by structuring high-quality, compelling, and value-generating project proposals and delivering them successfully. As a strategic innovator and diligent initiator, he has a unique capability to keep pace with changing technology advancements, demands, risks, and threats. A proven leader, he helped 22nd Century Technologies to grow from a low of 28 employees to the current strength of over 5000 employees in just 10 years. TSCTI’s success, growth, and customer credentials attest to his deep operational skills, competitive flair, and ability to design ‘right by customer’ solutions at the right or lowest cost.