DALLAS — Reena Batra's SPI cut its teeth earning government IT contracts, but now the company is hoping to put this experience to work helping small and mid-sized firms take advantage of outsourcing to India.
For Batra, it is an easy equation. Smaller companies need to outsource in order to be competitive, but they don't have the budgets of their larger brethren in order to set up their own facilities or afford the services of the Indian IT giants — so turning to a company like SPI is the next best thing.
The Dallas-based IT services company, which Batra founded in 1992, set up shop in New Delhi, India, five years ago and has about 50 of its 200 people working there. The company also has an office in San Antonio.
"Medium-sized companies are saying, 'We can take advantage of outsourcing as well,' but they don't know where to turn to see other small-to-medium-sized companies who are doing outsourcing," said Batra, SPI's chief executive officer.
One of the best things that SPI has going for it is a tremendous track record of success with some pretty impressive clients, particularly within the U.S. government.
SPI customers include the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Texas Instruments Inc., JC Penney, and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway.
SPI has worked hard to wedge its way into the federal market, attaining special designation for projects that have "secret clearance." The efforts have paid off and given the company its bread-and-butter business.
"With government contracts marketing is a long venture — it takes two to three years to develop," Batra said. "It started small and we were able to grow by showing the customers what we can do."
"Our key to success is the successful delivery of projects with a quality matrix associated that you can measure," she added.
SPI recently inked a $2.7 million software engineering services contract from Raytheon Network Centric Systems.
SPI will provide services for the Plano, Texas-based Raytheon's Ground Sensor Integrator and Sensor Suite Control project. The project is a part of the U.S. Army Future Combat System program.
The project SPI will support provides sensors and related services for manned and unmanned group platforms that make up the Future Combat System program. These groups develop sensor architecture, refine sensor applications, and manage the acquisition, development, and integration of data generated by ground sensors, according to SPI.
Batra does not shy away from admitting the fact that, as a certified minority and woman-owned business, SPI also has a leg up on getting some government contracts.
"You got to do what you got to do, to get a job," she said.
Batra has 25 years of experience in the IT services industry, working in a number of sectors, including retail transportation, health care, military and the federal government.
She began her career selling personal computers at Mississippi Micros, while a student at Jackson State University. In 1982, she joined IBM where she held a number of positions including multiple virtual storage systems programmer, systems engineer and sales executive.
In 1992, after 10 years at IBM, she founded Software Professionals Inc., which was later renamed SPI.