President, Raytheon Technical Services Company (RTSC)
John D. Harris II is the president of Raytheon Technical Services Company and is a Raytheon Company vice president. RTSC specializes in training, logistics and engineering solutions for the mission support, homeland security, space, civil aviation and counterterrorism markets.
In 2010, Harris received the Black Engineer of the Year Award. He serves on the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics NextGen Advisory Committee, the Board of the USO of Metropolitan Washington, D.C., the National Advisory Council on Minority Business Enterprise with the U.S. Department of Commerce, and he is a member of the Council of Trustees for the Association of the United States Army.
Technology Today recently spoke with Harris about Raytheon Technical Services Company's business, priorities and long-term strategies.
TT: What are your top priorities for RTSC?
JH: Our three keys to success are focus, leverage and innovate. To excel in a dynamic and volatile market, RTSC must focus on our customers, leverage our capabilities with existing and emerging markets and innovate for profitable growth. Ultimately, executing on a path to growth is a top priority — delighting our existing customers with innovative solutions and flawless performance, and winning new customers.
As a business, we must constantly challenge ourselves to learn the business, be adaptable, and empower others for decision making. It is imperative to continue educating on who we are and what we do and facilitate sharing across RTSC, and the enterprise, to expand our portfolio and drive growth.
The top-line challenge around reducing budgets is an opportunity for RTSC because we have proven to our customers time and time again that we can bring new ideas to the table that cost less — we are willing and flexible enough to try something new.
We offer solutions tailored to the specific requirements of our customers and integrated tools and processes that equal cost-saving solutions, while continuing to invest to address customers' current and future needs. Listening to our customers has helped us go beyond what we normally do to innovate and create new and different products and services. I am nothing less than amazed at the work that we do at RTSC.
TT: Could you expand upon the three key areas of RTSC's business: training, logistics and engineering solutions?
JH: RTSC provides defense, government and commercial customers with mission support across all domains, including integrated training solutions; logistics and product support; engineering solutions; homeland security, counter-proliferation and counter-terrorism solutions; and range operations. Our three primary core competencies are training, logistics and engineering solutions.
RTSC is the world's largest provider of full-service learning solutions in our chosen domains — we train more than two million people every year. RTSC trains every U.S. air traffic controller and Army soldier and we train every technician and salesperson for one of the world's largest automotive manufacturers .
As one of the world's largest providers of mission-critical operations solutions in the defense and civil government markets, we have served customers on all seven continents plus the Arctic region. Our proven systems engineering approach enables us to handle the largest operational challenges cost-effectively and safely.
RTSC provides value-based and cost-effective upgrades to military systems in the air, land and sea domains — total lifecycle support across all domains. We have a proven track record of transforming operations and maintenance services to dramatically improve efficiency and reduce costs.
Our push is international, with four major geographic focus areas including: North America, the Middle East, Australia and Europe. As the business looks ahead, we are positioning for great efficiency and competitiveness. We are preparing our people for tomorrow's challenges. We are expanding in core and adjacent markets. And we are extending our global penetration and building capabilities to sustain growth.
In all these ways and more, we are leading the market, both domestically and internationally. I am very proud of our commitment and performance.
TT: How does technology play into your long-term strategy?
JH: Technology plays a key role in our long-term strategy. For example, RTSC is working with the commercial industry to bring the latest 3D synthetic scene generation technologies to the warfighter to create a more realistic training experience at home and better situational awareness in the field.
For the field, our newest innovations and products include smart displays for ground vehicles designed with gaming industry 3D graphic technology to allow for real-time processing of high definition video and 3D synthetic scenes to provide the finest tactical situational awareness displays available.
Other innovations include the use of helmet mounted displays to present 3D synthetic scenes to pilots and adding 3D audio generation for a true multisensory approach to increasing situational awareness. These systems are designed to be easily installed on platforms such as the F-16, which are part of air forces around the world. For helicopter platforms, we have developed an Aviation Warrior product consisting of a wearable computer linked to a display device worn on the wrist, which allows for situation awareness for the helicopter pilot even after they disembark from the cockpit — which is revolutionary.
A further example of an innovative software engineering solution we've developed is the Precision Real Time Location System [PRTLS] for use at one of the U.S. Army's Combat Training Centers, the Joint Multi-National Readiness Center [JMRC]. PRLTS provides a cost-effective option using commercial off-the-shelf [COTS] products and existing Range Data Management Systems (RDMS) infrastructure for instrumenting large numbers of players to track positions within the entire training area covered by the site's Instrumentation System. The JMRC extended training area includes Hohenfels and Grafenwohr, Germany.
Finally, in order to affect training transformation we have the Architect and Catapult products. Architect is a powerful analysis tool that applies a systems approach to reengineer large-scale, highly-complex training programs and curriculums. We are currently using this with the FAA and General Motors, as well as the Universal Technical Institute. Catapult is a Learning Content Management System that allows our development teams to produce Web-based training and mobile learning courses in reduced time, at lower cost and in multiple languages.
TT: What are you doing to make RTSC more competitive in today's marketplace?
JH: As I mentioned earlier, in order to excel in a dynamic marketplace we must focus, leverage and innovate.
We must focus on our customer by aligning our business development team around domains to be certain that we are offering our customers our best thinking across capabilities, while being certain that we raise our value proposition, moving from a transactional approach to an enterprise approach, to provide the best possible solutions. Additionally, we must focus on the regions in which we presently do business to see what other solutions we can provide in the more than 80 countries in which we operate.
We must leverage what we do in our offerings of training, logistics and engineering solutions. How do we leverage the training we do with the military to grow the civilian training business in the healthcare arena, and how do we leverage the training we do with General Motors to improve our military training? How do we leverage the logistics work we do for our military customers to attract new business from customers around the world? And finally, how do we leverage our engineering solutions offerings, such as aircraft upgrades, to include more platforms for our military customers and maybe find civilian uses for these solutions?
Finally, we must innovate our practices, our tools and our business structure to remain lean and forward thinking. We must challenge ourselves to constantly generate and be open to new ideas, use collaboration and remain positive to find those new solutions to our customers' issues and explore areas for new business development.