SAIC CEO: Platform work disrupted the market

By Marjorie Censer / October 17, 2019 at 12:05 PM

Though Science Applications International Corp. has changed its platform strategy, the company's pursuit of recent vehicle programs, from the Amphibious Combat Vehicle to Mobile Protected Firepower, disrupted the market, according to SAIC's chief executive.

Speaking to Inside Defense on the floor of the Association of the U.S. Army conference this week, Nazzic Keene said the company had "what I would consider a sound strategy on disrupting the market."

"I actually believe we did that," she added, noting the company demonstrated speed in bringing its technologies together.

"With that being said, one of the things we learned is that there were aspects . . . that we were very good at . . . and there were aspects that were stretching us a bit," Keene continued. "The decision that we made, that Jim [Scanlon, who heads SAIC's defense systems business] and I made jointly, was let's step back, focus on those areas where SAIC stands out."

Keene noted that SAIC is "not out of the platform business; we don't intend to get out of it."

"But we intend to leverage what we’re very good at and partner on those areas where it's probably better served for somebody else, to do the heavy duty manufacturing, as an example," she said. "I feel very good about our position, about our strategy, and I think it gives the government what they were looking for without a totally radical way" of acquiring platforms.

SAIC announced earlier this year it is working with Polaris on the Army Infantry Squad Vehicle program.