During the Cold War, America’s most vital national security missions were often conducted above the clouds, with nuclear-armed B-52 bombers conducting preparedness flights and satellites spying on enemies below. Today, some of the most critical missions happen in the cloud—as world powers jockey to get the edge on rivals with edge computing.
Dallas-based engineering and consulting giant Jacobs is already a big player in that realm. Now it’s gotten even bigger by acquiring Rockville, Maryland-based BlackLynx, an industry-leading provider of edge computing, hybrid-cloud, and collection automation technologies.
Jacobs will use the acquisition to complement its portfolio of cyber, intelligence, and digital solutions. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Expanding Jacobs’ position to 14 of 18 U.S. intelligence agencies
Acquiring BlackLynx expands Jacob’s position to 14 of 18 U.S. Intelligence Community agencies.
Jacobs says the acquisition deepens its capabilities “to deliver actionable, real-time insights in response to customers’ mission critical requirements and national security priorities.”
“As edge computing proliferates across all domains, rapidly gaining actionable insights from the vast volumes of data becomes essential,” Jacobs Chair and CEO Steve Demetriou said in a statement.
“BlackLynx’s embedded analytics platform provides real-time AI and ML image and data classification in the cloud and at the edge,” Demetriou added. “The combination of Jacobs’ deep domain knowledge and BlackLynx’s next-generation technology will unlock new opportunities to create a more connected and sustainable world.”
Going from “Now to NEXT”
BlackLynx will now be aligned with Jacobs’ Cyber & Intelligence business unit, which is overseen by SVP Caesar Nieves.
“We are focusing on going from ‘Now to NEXT,’” Nieves said in a 2020 interview with Washington Exec “The NEXT generation of cyber solutions, whether that be zero trust, collaboration tools, is what we feel will give Jacobs the edge in certain areas of the cyber market.”
“For us, one differentiator has been the emphasis on cyber readiness, the training that we provide for soldiers and government officials to ensure they have access to the latest and greatest technologies,” Nieves added. “A lot of what we are seeing today is based on ingesting information, protecting it, analyzing it and understanding it. Data is becoming the foundation of how we make our decisions.”
“From a cyber perspective, we look at the new ways for protecting data, as well as how to apply machine learning, artificial intelligence and analytics to streamline actionable decision-making,” Nieves told Washington Exec. “This includes ensuring that the workforce is trained properly on the new technologies.”
“We also are focusing on analytics,” he told the publication. “We have an insights group around business intelligence, machine learning—pockets of analytics capabilities.”
With the acquisition of BlackLynx, those pockets just got deeper.
Offering transportation, water, and smart cities solutions as well
Jacobs and BlackLynx are seeing beyond government services to other areas where their strengths can align. Both have identified opportunities to apply BlackLynx’s tech and software for Jacobs’ work on critical infrastructure sectors—including transportation, water, and smart cities programs.
“With our shared values and strong cultures of performance excellence and innovation, our combination creates new opportunities for our people, our clients, our industries, and the communities where we live and work,” BlackLynx CEO Doug Wolfe said in the statement.
“Gaining real-time insights from data is a key ingredient in modernizing and securing our global infrastructure,” Wolfe added. “Jacobs’ strategic position supporting the United States’ most critical missions and infrastructure creates a new trajectory for our leading software-enabled services.”
More on the acquisition
Guggenheim Securities is serving as exclusive financial advisor to Jacobs on the acquisition, and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Johnson LLP is serving as Jacobs’ legal counsel. Raymond James is serving as exclusive financial advisor to BlackLynx; Cooley LLP is serving as legal counsel to BlackLynx.
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