Praeses Assists U.S. Air Force
Local company helping with analysis of data
The United States Air Force has awarded Shreveport’s Praeses a contract for up to $950 million to help collect, organize and distribute data on an integrated platform for its Joint All Domain Command and Control environment.
“The JADC2 program is a very large Department of Defense program,” said J.D. Hunsicker, vice president of government programs for Praeses. “It is the Department of Defense’s attempt to bring in data from many sources, consolidate it and make it useful to users. You can imagine different stovepipes, different networks. There are hundreds and hundreds of networks in DOD, built by different vendors. This is a daunting task.”
To accomplish the task, Praeses will utilize three of its software applications.
The company’s Rock platform is a data visualization tool that consolidates and manages data across networks and allows users to customize how that data is displayed and shared. AMASS is a scalable model based systems engineering tool. And Connote is a scalable system that parses, analyzes and models systems to provide deep analysis of relevant data.
“When the call went out to bid on the project, it basically was divided by expertise into six different bins,” Hunsicker said. “We bid on three of the bins, and we were selected to compete for these three bins. Largely they narrow down to data infrastructure and standards, general data overall and applications data — do you have applications that can manipulate and display that data? When they evaluated our proposal, they agreed we were experts in those three areas. We can receive funding and task orders in any of those bins.”
Praeses’ software will support the Advanced Battle Management Systems program within the Department of Defense’s larger JADC2 framework to “connect disparate data sources supporting warfighters’ missions,” according to a news release.
“The problem is fairly simple,” Hunsicker said. “Taking multiple data sources of different formats and types, ingesting those sources, organizing them, parsing them and then pushing that out in an elegant visualization to users in a simplified way.”
Hunsicker said Praeses’ bid was competitive against bids from larger defense contractors, partly because of the company’s experience with its Watchtower and CURE programs for the Air Force.
“That’s the genesis of why we were selected, because of our expertise with those programs,” Hunsicker said. “With our other tools, we were doing those things on behalf of Global Strike Command. The CURE product is for Air Mobility Command outside of St. Louis. We were working on those two tools on behalf of contracts with those two commands. Because those are dealing with the bigger project, we naturally had a sponsorship. That’s why we were more competitive.”
Hunsicker said that as this program evolves, the Air Force will want predictive analytics and artificial intelligence as part of the results.
“We aim to deliver that to the Air Force as well,” he said. “We believe the reason we were selected is we can deliver these solutions at much more cost-effective ways than larger defense contractors.”
The ceiling of the contract is $950 million, Hunsicker said. The Air Force will issue additional funding, and Praeses will have the ability to compete for those funds. That will open up more opportunities for the Shreveport firm.
“As we compete and win, we will expand the number of folks we hire to get after those problems,” he said.
That will, in turn, provide opportunities for local developers.
“We have intimate relationships with graduates from Louisiana Tech, LSUS and UL Monroe,” Hunsicker said. “Our developers come from those schools. We have hired six contractors in those areas just this year. As we have more money placed on this contract in task orders, we expect to hire more people as needed. We are excited to expand opportunities for people around here.”
Praeses began managing data in the telecom industry in 1987, according to its website. The company grew to consult and develop information technology systems beyond the telecom industry. Praeses creates, licenses, installs and supports information technology products worldwide.
Hunsicker said the company is proud to serve the Air Force.
“We are all patriots,” He said. “We are excited about where this is and where it can go.”