Even as our elected leaders go through much hand-wringing on how to reduce the federal budget deficit, a handful of small companies such as Harmonia Holdings Group, LLC, an information technology company with offices in Virginia and California, is laser-focused on helping to facilitate this by helping to cut government spending on IT.
“There is potential to wring out significant levels of inefficiency in the delivery of IT services in the federal sector,” says Jai Saboo, COO for Harmonia. “For years, the IT budgets in almost every federal agency have spiraled upwards but today, as technologies have evolved and matured, the ability to do more with less has never been better.”
Harmonia has a simple game plan. It uses grant money from the federal Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program to seed the development of technology tools and solutions using low-cost, high-tech resources in university towns such as Blacksburg and Charlottesville. These tools in turn help the company deliver IT services to federal agencies faster and more cost-effectively. The company achieves a high “commercialization index,” a peer ranking of its success in translating SBIR funds into additional revenue.
Harmonia works directly with federal agencies and as a trusted subcontractor to large prime contractors. “Large primes work with Harmonia because the company provides differentiated tools and solutions that cut costs on federal contracts. And partnering with primes is a win for Harmonia too. We learn from them, which in turn helps us develop more targeted and innovative tools and solutions,” says Pallabi Saboo, co-founder and CEO of Harmonia, an electrical engineer with an MS in Marketing from Virginia Tech.
Examples of solutions by Harmonia include:
- NextGen Cash, a cost-effective next-generation cashless payment system aboard U.S. Navy ships.
- The LiquidApps™ toolkit/methodology, which streamlines software development lifecycle aspects, especially across multiple devices such as tablets, smartphones, etc.
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning-based aids, to enable faster decision making for military planning and command/control.
- Conforma™, which introduces automation into independent verification and validation.
- RapidStat™ to empower Microsoft Excel users to design advanced and Big Data analytics.
Harmonia was co-founded by Dr. Marc Abrams, the company CTO, whose past experiences include a stint as a Stanford University post-doc. He says, “Harmonia is focused on how emerging and cutting-edge technologies can be used to build tools and solutions to improve IT productivity.” The technology strength of the company was propelled to a debt-free and profitable business model when Ms. Saboo joined in 2005 and took the company through a capital restructuring. The result has been an uninterrupted appearance over the last four years on Inc. magazine’s list of the 5000 fastest-growing privately held companies in the U.S.
Today, the company works across a broad base of federal departments and agencies including Defense, Transportation, Energy, Commerce, Agriculture, Health and Homeland Security. It is widely respected for its responsiveness to clients’ needs and the high quality of its work.