Pulse news magazine

Volume 30, September 2020

The Beacon: When the whole is greater than its parts

Josh Niedzwiecki, ES Vice President of Strategy & Planning.

What makes a “good” acquisition?

The term synergy is a common answer in business circles: the concept that the combined performance of two companies will be greater than the sum of the individual parts. While perhaps an overused term, I believe that when you can find multiple facets of synergy in an acquisition, that’s when you can achieve never-before-seen outcomes. And that’s what we’re all looking for: better outcomes for our customers and warfighters.

Take BAE Systems’ recent acquisitions of the Multiband Communications and Crypto Systems and Navigation and Sensor Solutions businesses. Both acquisitions present synergies on multiple fronts – from market segments, to technologies, to culture – that make them not just good, but game-changing. In this issue of Pulse we’ll spotlight the MCC team, and NSS will be a key focus of the December issue.

Formerly Raytheon’s Airborne Tactical Radios, the MCC team brings a new customer base for BAE Systems, enabling us to serve new end users and more deeply understand the missions and pain points of these customers. Now able to impact a broader market, we can explore the art of what’s possible when we combine MCC’s products with the capabilities delivered by our C4ISRS and FAST Labs™ R&D teams. This is where synergies of technology come into play.

MCC’s radio products are software-defined, similar to the products delivered by our Communications & Navigation Solutions group within the C4ISRS business area. Because of these aligned architectures, we can more easily cross-leverage and integrate waveform and software technologies into both products, to make each one better. We then have the opportunity to provide more integrated products to a broader customer base, leveraging the best of both teams’ technologies to achieve greater effects than our disparate products could achieve on their own.

There is also tremendous opportunity to amplify the impact of MCC products via FAST Labs innovations. We can now explore integrating FAST Labs’ software algorithm, resiliency, and cognitive radio techniques into MCC’s products to improve their performance in contested or denied environments – addressing a key focus of the National Defense Strategy. We can find new ways to leverage R&D investments, including conducting technology development directly on MCC hardware and applying MCC’s unique customer insights to strategic R&D programs.

Finally, I’ve seen cultural synergies come to life from my very first visit to MCC back in February. This team shares two key cultural attributes with BAE Systems: they are a highly technical workforce with an authentic warfighter focus. It was encouraging to see the genuine excitement to unite these teams as I witnessed the hard work to bring the acquisition to fruition. I have no doubt that combining our aligned yet unique identities will enable us to deliver even greater results for our customers. Because that’s the synergy that excites me the most: when our people and technologies come together to solve our warfighters’ hardest problems.

By Josh Niedzwiecki, Vice President, Strategy & Planning
with Megan McKeon, Communications, Burlington, Massachusetts