ATSG Corporation: Cognitive Computing Meets EA

Patrick McCollum, President & CEO Although every organization’s project requirements are diverse in nature, the goal remains the same—to complete the project on schedule, on budget, and with superior quality. In their quest to achieve high level results, organizations today are striving to harness the power of big data to gain competitive advantage. Since only a handful of skilled data scientists and analysts are truly able to render meaning out of the bulk of data, a lot of emphasis is being placed on the development of analytics and data visualization tools to analyze and transform data into meaningful insights. To garner its manifold benefits, enterprises are adopting a collaborative and holistic approach to make data accessible and understandable to all, even to those without analytical skills. Gartner predicts that by the end of this year, most business users and analysts will have access to self-service tools to prepare data for analysis, as data democratization gains prominence.

"The trend facing the EA landscape is virtualized computing and as such the company has blended its internal network with a virtual private cloud on AWS"

Having realized the trend very early in this stifling competition, ATSG Corporation is democratizing data through cognitive computing for organizations of all sizes. A Veterans Affairs certified, Service- Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), ATSG is headquartered in Fairfax, VA. Founded in 2004, the company provides professional, technical, scientific, management, and administrative support services, from entry to Subject Matter Expert (SME) level, to Department of State (DoS), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Defense (DoD), and Department of Justice (DoJ) prime contracts. With the leadership collectively possessing over 50 years of experience in delivering professional services to the federal government, ATSG guides organizations through the business, information, process, and technology changes necessary to execute their strategies.

Cognitive Computing: Transforming EA

Cognitive computing has always been a forerunner in the self-service analytics movement as it can integrate and analyze disparate sources of big data without needing any intervention from data scientists. In this context, Patrick McCollum, President and CEO at ATSG, also points out, “the current technology trend facing the Enterprise Architecture (EA) landscape is virtualized computing and as such ATSG has blended its internal network with a virtual private cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS), harnessing the computing power necessary to develop cutting-edge cognitive computing solutions and data collection platforms.”

ATSG invests heavily in the development of cognitive computing and its in-house solutions encompass various database platforms including NoSQL, proprietary web collection platforms, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Machine Learning (ML) and other technologies such as Virtual Reality applications that provide big data visualization in an interactive format. “Currently, we self-fund research and development of these systems which has attracted high-level talent and provided ATSG with specific expertise to tackle unique big data problems,” expresses McCollum.

ATSG Corporation is democratizing data through cognitive computing for organizations of all sizes

The company stays ahead of competition by emphasizing on continuous research and process improvement. The thought leaders in ATSG believe in mastering latest technologies by constantly evaluating new enterprise systems and improving the company’s program management functions.

Workflow Automation Aiding Integration

In today’s EA environment, businesses are inundated with many competing solutions. Careful selection, configuration, and implementation of solutions into the organizational picture play a pivotal role in achieving the desired outcome. ATSG facilitates careful planning of EA framework by automating its workflow. The company selects solutions that have open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). For instance, the company’s Candidate Application System is integrated with its Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to track the entire lifecycle of an employee from the time they submit their resume through interviewing, hiring, on-boarding, performance, and termination. “We use two different solutions from separate vendors and the open API structure allows us to integrate them seamlessly,” highlights McCollum. ATSG has also created proprietary methods to perform meta-analysis of information, to include position descriptions and resumes, enabling them to integrate its platform with third-party solutions. In an instance, for one of its clients, ATSG developed proprietary software that integrates a third party commercial Candidate Application System with its in-house NLP platforms. In this case, ATSG leveraged EA software to meta-tag candidate resumes and match them to position descriptions. By using cognitive computing, the system enhanced the client’s existing architecture solution by accurately placing candidates into pipelines for new and existing positions, thus saving hundreds of hours of recruiting time.

By exhibiting unprecedented expertise in helping organizations effectively achieve their current and future objectives, ATSG has become the preferred provider of project management and IT to the United States Government (USG). The company performs strategic planning activities for IT processing infrastructure on large scale IT compute platforms.
It leads the architecture and project teams in the acquisition and implementation of IT systems. ATSG further provides guidance for matters relating to the processing platform that supports USG’s systems. As an integral member of many USG IT programs, ATSG provides project-specific strategic and analytical support in addition to assistance with project implementation and transition. Their substantive management insight supports the government’s efforts to launch multiple large IT projects in different stages of development.

For instance, ATSG provided project management and IT support for a major US federal agency. By working directly with the department that manages all the main programs, ATSG led the strategic planning activities for IT processing infrastructure on large scale IT compute platforms and delivered project-specific strategic and analytical support. The scope of the engagement included completing technology refresh as well as development, implementation, enhancement, testing, standards, and progression of technology systems.

McCollum credits ATSG’s achievement to the extensive expertise possessed by its IT project management personnel in the areas including technical forecast planning; Earned Value Management (EVM), Integrated Master Scheduling (IMS), engineering, transition, and program management support. Having served in the 3rd Special Forces Group as a communications specialist and combat diver, McCollum places great emphasis on teamwork and believes in acting toward the overall growth of its employees. “Our employees are our greatest assets. By providing certification training, we ensure that our employees offer the highest level of service to our clients,” says McCollum.

Built with an Eye toward Flexibility

With over 20 years of business, military, and technical experience in the federal and commercial sectors, McCollum appreciates and understands that every customer’s mission is different and each has their own unique culture. “Our job is to flex our internal processes to match their needs and we can only do that if our internal systems are built with an eye toward flexibility,” states McCollum. The company exceeds clients’ expectations by actively listening to their needs and proactively adapting its program management to suit their operational requirements. ATSG’s infrastructure relies heavily on automated systems that foster the ability to scale and improve its response time.

In the years to come, ATSG envisions integrating cognitive computing into every facet of its EA, from opportunity identification on the business development side to the full life cycle of employee involvement with the company. “Integrating data science into our architecture will help us extract knowledge or insights from data, both structured and unstructured, making us even more efficient and future-ready,” states McCollum. By seeking to integrate its EA with artificial intelligence in the form of NLP and machine learning, ATSG aims to present signature-ready recommendations to businesses on policies and projects to achieve target business outcomes, fulfilling the very motto— Client’s mission is ATSG’s Focus.

ATSG Corporation

Fairfax, VA

Patrick McCollum, President & CEO

Provides professional, technical, scientific, management, and administrative support services, from entry-level to subject matter expert to federal agencies

ATSG Corporation