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Cyber and software expertise meet in Colorado Springs' Boecore

December 22, 2015
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Boecore Inc. is trying to create a new type of engineer that combines the skills of cybersecurity with software development by training workers in each area of expertise in the other area as a strategy to help the Colorado Springs-based defense contractor become more innovative and win more government contracts.

The company isn't necessarily trying to accelerate its growth - Boecore hired 90 people last year to boost its staff to 240 in the Springs and seven other locations nationwide - but instead is focusing on the type of work it is adding, founder and CEO Kathy Boe said during an interview earlier this week. Boecore wants to grow its engineering and technical capabilities as well as win more prime contracts from military commands and other government agencies, though subcontracts remain an important source of work for the company.

"Growth is a natural motivator - our growth has averaged between 15 percent and 16 percent during the past five years," Boe said. "But we don't plan on becoming a large business. I never thought about how big Boecore will become. If we have plenty of opportunity for our employees to grow, then we are big enough."

Boecore formed a Software and Cyber Capability Practice Group earlier this year as part of a strategy to focus its growth on its strongest nichés. Employees specializing in software development and cybersecurity meet regularly to share best practices and learn from each other, Boe said.

"By pulling employees into a group where they can learn from one another, they can take these skills back to their customers," Boe said. Combining talent in both areas "creates a lot of synergies and a climate for innovation that will create more opportunities and help us retain our employees."

Boecore is trying to "bolt together cybersecurity and software engineering to develop a full-spectrum cyber capability," said Kurt Ulrich, the company's vice president of business development. "Cybersecurity engineers don't have the skillset to develop tools to fight the cyber war, and software engineers don't have the cyber background to focus their development on cyber."

The company has bid or will be bidding on major military and other government contracts to be awarded during the next two years for cybersecurity, advanced software engineering and information technology that will use the skills gained creating the Software and Cyber Capability Group, Boe said.

Much of Boecore's recent growth came from the first few task orders for space control and space training and integration that it received under a $496 million contract awarded in May to Boecore, Springs-based Summit Technical Solutions LLC, People-Tec Inc. of Huntsville, Ala., and Alpha-Omega Change Engineering Inc. of Williamsburg, Va. Under the contract, the four companies compete to win orders from the Army Space and Missile Defense Command and other military units. Boe said several more task orders are in process.

As part of its effort to refocus on its strongest nichés, Boe said Boecore recently merged its Boecore Professional Services staffing unit and its 15 employees into the parent company to enable Boecore to invest more resources into cybersecurity and software engineering.

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Contact Wayne Heilman: 636-0234

Twitter @wayneheilman

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