Falconwood: Powering the Department of the Navy’s It Initiatives

Alice “Allie” Lawaetz, President & CEO In the fall of 2002, the U.S. Department of Navy (DoN) was preparing to integrate thousands of independent networks, applications, hardware, and software into one secure enterprise business IT infrastructure—the Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI). The DoN established a team of industry and government personnel to be responsible for the migration of the legacy networks, associated systems and application to NMCI. This included the certification and accreditation process to ensure the systems and their applications met the Department of Defense (DOD) and Navy software security requirements and validation of the legacy systems and applications transitioning into the NMCI could operate securely in the new environment. With the joint effort of the engineering and information assurance team, NMCI matured into a stable, flexible, cost-effective and secure IT platform for more than 700,000 sailors and civilians in 620 locations in the continental U.S., Hawaii, and Japan. This has made NMCI the largest internal computer network in the world. NMCI has been described in documents from the Navy’s CIO as ‘the core enterprise network for Navy and Marine Corps forces providing secure access to integrated voice, video, and data communications.’

"We provide the U.S. Navy the absolute best objective, practical, and cost-effective advice and solutions to achieve their goals"

Along with the DoN, what made this endeavor successful was the engineering and information assurance team, which was anchored by Falconwood, a certified veteran-owned, woman-owned business with deep expertise and highly skilled engineers. “We were in a position to offer unique capabilities to meet the Navy’s requirements while sustaining a cybersecurity and risk management framework for the nation’s security,” says Alice “Allie” Lawaetz, President and CEO of Falconwood. As a veteran in the Marine Corps, Allie leveraged her experience and began working on the NMCI concept. “We provided the U.S. Navy the absolute best objective, practical, and cost-effective advice and solutions to achieve their goals.”

Almost two decades later, Falconwood stands true to its mission of serving the DoD throughout their Business IT Transformation initiatives including developing Cloud strategies, supporting digital transformation of core digital services, employing model based systems engineering (MBSE) leveraging model centric systems engineering practices and exercising the certification and accreditation using systematic procedures for evaluating, describing, testing, and authorizing systems or activities prior to or after a system is in operation. Our committed support today beyond the IT Infrastructure CONUS (NGEN) and OCONUS (One-Net) network transformations includes the largest Navy Business IT programs to include Navy Enterprise Business Solutions (Navy EBS including ERP), Sea Warrior (Military Pay and Personnel Programs), Global Combat Support System- Marine Corps, Enterprise Systems and Services (E2E), Navy Sensitive Compartmented Information and Controlled Access Program Networks Ashore (SCI/CAP), Navy Commercial Cloud Services (NCCS), and Navy Maritime Maintenance Enterprise Solution (NMMES) Technical Refresh (TR) Program Management Office (NMMES-TR). Alongside serving the Navy, Falconwood has been awarded various contracts in support of the U.S. Fleet Forces (USFF) to perform analytical, technical, customer service, and cybersecurity functions. Similarly, the company has worked with the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) for improving and automating IT Service Management (ITSM) processes. Falconwood has continued to win significant defense contracts over the years due to its relentless focus on the customer’s mission.

Falconwood understands that within the defense sector, there are numerous security requirements, network constraints, and operational needs that restrict agencies from directly implementing commercial off-the-shelf products in their network.
The company enables defense agencies to overcome these challenges while staying up to date with the latest digital technologies within their security framework. “We have grown with the reputation of getting the job done effectively by understanding client requirements, acquiring the suitable solutions, and ensuring that those solutions are executable and meet their mission needs,” says Allie.


We help the Navy understand the digital implications of technology transformation that they are trying to achieve and work with them to develop and implement sustainable enterprise strategies

Falconwood’s professional services offer all aspects of IT from planning, analysis, design, engineering, development, testing, and integration, to implementation of information systems and telecommunications networks. Leveraging its extensive experience in IT system management consulting services, the company ensures that the Navy’s application of IT is well defined, efficient, and consistent with commercial and government best practices and legislation.

End-to-End IT Management Services

At the onset, Falconwood reaches out to the DoD to understand their goals and objectives. Once the company’s team fully understands what the client aims to achieve, it helps the agencies frame a suitable acquisition and source selection process to ensure the best buy for their requirements. Falconwood works with boutique companies that have carved a niche in their respective areas of IT, be it testing or digital transformation. Depending on the client’s needs, the company will either provide the services in house or source it through these partners and always with a focus on what creates the best outcome for the client. They assist clients with the implementation of the selected off-the-shelf technologies for a seamless process. “Our system engineering services ensure that information systems and telecommunications networks are designed to capitalize on agency architectures and IT standards and provide interoperability with other systems and networks,” says Allie. Falconwood also ensures that the implementations are reliable and maintainable to make the most cost-effective use of them, along with agency-wide and government-wide resources.

From here, Falconwood moves into a lifecycle sustenance model to ensure that IT solutions are integrated into the overall organizational and programmatic infrastructure for optimal improvement in performance. At the same time, the company overlooks the management of IT projects from start-to-finish within the agency’s IT budget process. Falconwood’s advanced technology services provide leading-edge emerging digital technology expertise, allowing organizations to capitalize on the latest IT advances. The company also helps build a customized solution for different departments within the Navy using SharePoint’s integration capabilities. Falconwood has assisted the Navy in bringing more clarity into their SharePoint portal solution. The company completely redesigned the portal and how increase its usage by three to four times. Similarly, Falconwood helps the Navy implement the latest versions of Microsoft Office 365. “We help the Navy understand the digital implications of the technology that they are trying to use to make them work successfully,” says Allie.

Applying its IT system security capabilities to clients’ environments, the company helps them identify vulnerabilities, manage risk, and implement security processes that improve the protection of their IT environment and critical resources. The company is heavily involved in the implementation of Risk Management Framework (RMF) which is the new cyber risk assessment of systems and networks. The company’s depth of RMF knowledge ensures clients can sustain accreditation of their systems while navigating through changes to the mandated processes and documentation.
At the same time, the firm also provides asset management across the Navy. In fact, Falconwood managed thousands of assets of the Department of Navy across the country as well as the globe with barcode scanning to increase the accountability of the equipment around the world. In addition, the company provides required IT and asset management training to the relevant professionals in the Navy to perform their mission.

In a recent historic digital IT modernization, Falconwood provided a dedicated, combined team of experts to the Navy to transition one of their tactical Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems to the cloud. The company helped them throughout the migration ensuring Systems/applications/interfaces were modeled from product-level modeling to EA-modeling to ensure cloud-based and hybrid on-prem architecture models are seamlessly aligned to Mission Owner and End-User needs while implemented with data-driven efficiency and integrated into the testing, Cybersecurity and O&MN viewpoints and acceptance criteria. All of this was achieved within the Navy’s security framework, 10 months ahead of program schedule and without any impact to ongoing warfighting capability.

The Recipe to Being Cost-Effective

Allie explains the best way to be cost-effective is to truly understand the requirements of the mission. “It is very common to find clients with tools and technologies that only carry out 30 to 40 percent of what is expected of them,” says Allie. Falconwood understands these pain points and guides the clients on the technologies would be of best use to them based on their needs. The company provides significant cost savings through an acquisition process to ensure clients are buying what they require, be it a solution, a service, or a combination of both. Falconwood is well known as a strategic advisor who can help clients successfully navigate transitions in challenging situations without disrupting critical on-going warfighter operations.


In addition, Falconwood’s team stays closely abreast of industry research and market trends, such as new products from firms like Microsoft, to ensure their clients get up to date solutions. At the same time, the company ensures that the products meet the security standards and risk assessment frameworks required by the DoD. “Just because the products are new, we don’t implement it; they need to go through certain assessments and accreditations to operate in a defense network. We can help new products achieve these certifications,” says Allie. Here, Falconwood acts as a bridge between the state off the shelf products and solutions that can be implemented in a defense network.



As trusted agents in the acquisition process for the Navy, Falconwood’s professionals have served numerous source selection boards as advisors and subject matter experts to build performance work statements for large multibillion-dollar acquisitions. Falconwood has a deep understanding of how to support an effective, large scale acquisition and can seamlessly work across the entire spectrum of RFP from gathering requirements, creating technical documents, to supporting selections activities from vendor interactions to source selections.

From being at the core of the NMCI to being the trusted provider for engineering and source selection for next-generation enterprise networks, Falconwood has come a long way. Turning the wheels of innovation, the company plans to expand to other industries to provide acquisition and lifecycle management services. At the same time, Falconwood will continue to serve the Navy in full swing, smoothly carrying out large projects for the world’s biggest intranet, the NMCI.

Company
Falconwood

Headquarters
Arlington, VA

Management
Alice “Allie” Lawaetz, President & CEO

Description
Falconwood stands true to its mission of serving the DoD throughout their Business IT Transformation initiatives including developing Cloud strategies, supporting digital transformation of core digital services, employing model based systems engineering (MBSE) leveraging model centric systems engineering practices and exercising the certification and accreditation using systematic procedures for evaluating, describing, testing, and authorizing systems or activities prior to or after a system is in operation. Falconwood has continued to win significant defense contracts over the years due to its relentless focus on the customer’s mission. Falconwood understands that within the defense sector, there are numerous security requirements, network constraints, and operational needs that restrict agencies from directly implementing commercial off-the-shelf products in their network

Falconwood