Anthony Verna, chief growth officer at Cubic Mission & Performance Solutions, spoke with ExecutiveBiz regarding the attributes of his new role as the company’s RIoT general manager as well as the organization’s recent growth initiatives to drive value for its customers and long-term success for its workforce in the federal market during the latest Executive Spotlight interview.
You can read the full interview with Anthony Verna below.
ExecutiveBiz: Tell us about your role at Cubic, what were the attributes of its mission that attracted you to the role? And, congratulations on recently assuming your new role as the RIoT General Manager! What do you hope to accomplish in the new role?
Anthony Verna: “I’ve been with Cubic Corp. for ten years now. In addition to my duties as the Chief Growth Officer, for the defense business I’ve been very fortunate to recently take on the role of general manager for our Rugged IoT business unit, which provides small form factor computing and networking solutions typically at the edge of the battlespace.
There is a lot of convergence around our overall strategy and my role puts me in the center point of a great deal of the value that Cubic brings to the market and our customers.
Leading business development and strategy and now in my role as GM of our Rugged IoT business has allowed me to work closely with our customers such as the U.S. Army and Air Force as well as the Marine Corps and SOCOM, I’m inspired every day by their service and their missions.
They’re all working to increase their computing and networking power where they need it, at the edge of the battlespace. This capability is critical to their missions with a lot of emerging use cases. Cubic relentlessly focuses on providing those capabilities to deliver an advantage for our customers.
Overall, we have a keen focus on ensuring multi-domain access, converging digital intelligence, and superior warfighting readiness. Cubic has built a portfolio around these capabilities, including digital intelligence, edge compute and networking, advanced microelectronics, expeditionary satellite communications, secure data links and protected waveforms along with live virtual constructive training solutions.
As a part of our strategy, we tend to converge a lot of solutions within specific mission areas. We often link some of those businesses together to drive more complete solutions.
A good example is our digital intelligence business. We’re pushing that from its current enterprise focus to expand with a heavy positioning to the edge. We enable that business by combining our own Internet of Things hardware with our digital intelligence software. When we take leading solutions to the edge, we often help push that intelligence collection and dissemination process out to the point of need.”
ExecutiveBiz: What can you tell us about Cubic’s recent growth initiatives and how you’re driving value for your customers through contract awards and acquisitions?
Anthony Verna: “We’re really proud of the capabilities we provide to our government customers and of the momentum we’re having in the market.
As we talk about our portfolio at Cubic, our secure communications business has done well since our last Executive Spotlight interview. A product that we’ve developed, with a significant amount of IRAD over the years is a software-defined, digital beam-forming antenna we call ‘HaloTM’. This breakthrough in digital communications, can host multiple waveforms and maintain multiple physical links from one common RF source.
Halo is the core of the Air Force’s high-capacity backbone program. It can be said that our solution is enabling the aerial layer to the next generation of command and control capabilities.
Halo overcomes the limitations of Multi-Feed Analog Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) solutions to empower information sharing between the joint force and allies. The modular, building-block approach will allow the system to be integrated on a variety of platforms enabling secure data transport into and out of highly contested environments.
Halo really excels in contested environments. I can’t go too much into that, but Halo is really made for where we find ourselves today with the shift to the Indo-Pacific and preparing for pacing threats.
Cubic has also developed an advanced protected waveform we call this ‘Merlin’ . We’ve given government purpose rights to the waveform and it has proven to be highly effective in the associated data link trade space.
Our Edge Compute and Networking solutions are a part of just about every major command post-program. This includes U.S. Army, Air Force, SOCOM, Navy, the Marine Corps and partner nations. We’re in a strong market position. Our systems are rugged, modular and highly scalable for demanding workloads in environments that require virtualization.
Cubic Digital Intelligence (CDI) delivers the information advantage with a modular open data architecture approach that provides unmatched shared situational awareness for Operational Commanders across all domains at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels. Our highly agile capabilities deliver a real-time situational overview of the intelligence and operational environment to support decision-making at every echelon.
Another product line Cubic is very proud of is our extensive knowledge in live, virtual and constructive training solutions. LVC Air training authentically replicates the complexity and density of the high-end battlespace to deliver a superior warfighting advantage.
To note a few recent successes, Cubic delivered the 1000th internal P5 Pod for F-35. We won the FFP contract from USAF for the P5 Combat Training System (P5CTS) System Security Update (SSU). Cubic’s P5 SSU solution features a low-risk, flight-proven, National Security Agency (NSA)-certified Type 1 multilevel encryptor that enables or restricts the access and transfer of information between security domains on the P5CTS without modifying the current training Concept of Operations (CONOPS).
LVC Ground is live force-on-force ground combat training that combines realistic training environments with realistic hardware ensuring maximum training value. We collaborate closely with customers and incorporate their live feedback into systems development.
A good example is a recent Soldier Touch Point at Ft. Hood where we successfully demonstrated a new M252 81mm Instrumented Mortar System using a variety of munitions and deployment methods. The new technology will allow a commander to assess ‘if’ and ‘how’ a virtually depicted fire makes contact with the planned target.”
ExecutiveBiz: How does Cubic ensure long-term success for your workforce to drive value for your employees as you continue to face the uphill challenge to recruit and retain the best talent in the federal marketplace?
Anthony Verna: “Over the last couple of years, our leadership team has taken a serious look at our workforce planning and development efforts. We created focus groups and conducted outside analysis to answer the question, “how can do better?”
We’ve made a lot of positive changes. The modifications we’ve made over the last few months are really beginning to show in a positive light. It’s important for Cubic to retain our employees while attracting strong new talent to join our growing teams.
These efforts have been recognized in the industry. I’m proud to say Cubic was recently listed in the ‘10 Best Companies That Data Professionals Can Choose to Advance Their Careers’ by Data Science
There’s really a set of conditions that companies must have to enable growth and ensure that our workforce’s career paths coincide with our company’s growth. I believe the minute there’s staleness, or people feel like they can’t advance with their careers as a result of changing requirements, monetarily, technically or just opportunity, that creates a problem. The key is to be proactive and really take a holistic approach and lead from out in front.
For success, the business has to grow and grow profitably so we can reinvest. Driving this growth culture is one of the biggest responsibilities that we all have at Cubic no matter your role in our company. In terms of strategic growth and planning, we anticipate new strategies that bring the need for new solutions, which infers the need for new talent as well. This cycle enables the trajectory needed to meet our customer’s challenges while allowing us to grow our employees.
It’s really a holistic approach in terms of our company strategy. If your talent and growth management isn’t a part of your growth strategy, it’s going sub-optimal. Now is the time for us to really excel at the nexus of technology, business and the mission.”