Lockheed Martin security president eyes exciting times

High Marks
Wednesday, November 1, 2006

ROCKVILLE, Md.--One year into leading Lockheed Martin's Transportation and Security Solutions business, perhaps the country's most high-profile systems integrator, Judy Marks "wouldn't want to be anywhere else."
"It's an exciting place to be," she said recently during a wide-ranging interview that covered many of the projects she's currently overseeing, which run the gamut from making the next U.S. census run smoothly to securing the New York subway system. "The common denominator," she said, "whether it's the systems level or beyond, is that it's all about serving the public. It's protecting the homeland, or the city, or just enhancing commerce."
Which is to say that one of the country's largest systems integrators is balancing the same drivers as many of the smallest. "From a business perspective," she said, "we're seeing an increasing demand for systems that are holistic. We provide intrusion--the Pentagon, the TSA--we do physical perimeter detection, we do logical security. The value of the system is putting all of that together. If I'm dealing with the security officer, I'm also dealing with the chief information officer of a large agency."
That's right. Convergence.
"That's where we find our value proposition," she said. "We're not just selling equipment. We're finding the best solutions and integrating those solutions."
Part of this is because of technological innovation, she said, that allows for the integration, but part of it comes from simply dealing with a smarter and more demanding customer. "They've learned they don't want to be boxed in. They've learned not to spec equipment. Instead, they've learned to produce more of a statement of objectives ... It's a little bit more trust on their end, but they've gotcha if your solution doesn't do what they want it to. It's not a catalog-ordering business anymore."
To that end, when Marks crafts her message for the many suppliers she works with, it often starts with getting disparate products to work together. "Do their products need to be open?" she asked rhetorically. "You bet. I think there will be a growing intolerance of proprietary systems. They also need to be cost-competitive and rugged and reliable."
This, too, is part of her message to her peers in the industry. "Your readers," he said, "should not be scared of the future. I think it's exciting, but they have to stay current and stay open. The future is going to be driven by open standards, and that's means great opportunity for smart companies, whatever the size. We do a lot of business with small businesses, and some of our best suppliers are small businesses. I think they will find their way."