Meet The CEO: Leslie Steele, InterImage

Founded in 1996, InterImage is an award-winning, women-owned business that delivers IT modernization for the Department of Defense (DOD), Law Enforcement, and Transportation customers, and other federal civilian agencies and commercial companies. InterImage recently announced that it had been awarded a position on the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) SITE III contract vehicle — a $12 billion multiple-award, 10-year contract supporting the DIA and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). 

1)  What do you envision as 'InterImage's primary contributions to 'DIA's and 'NGA's objectives? 
A member of our senior leadership likes to say that because of our quarter of a century of experience and the maturity it brings as well as the breadth of capabilities we possess, "We are a boutique IT company, with big company skills. "  It's an essential perspective because small companies bring the ability to focus the highest level of management on delivering big customer success.  That is well understood.  The downside of small companies is they may lack the complete spectrum of capabilities that may be needed to fully achieve the goals of the contract and the needs of the customer.  We have that covered.  InterImage has been at the bullseye of the modern IT revolution since it arrived with web-based technology.  We exist at the interface point between people and computer systems, databases, business process software, servers, and the cloud.  We do analysis, build backends, interfaces, architect databases, and manage configuration environments to support our customers' businesses.   Now we are leading our customers with ML(machine learning) /AI(artificial intelligence) to help them uncover the hidden knowledge in the vast volume of data scattered across their business world.  We were very early adopters back in the day of Javascript and PERL, building both server-side and client-side software for our customers.  That was cutting edge at the time and freed our customers from having to install proprietary software and subsequently endure ongoing licensing fees.  Today we are a highly regarded company in the RPA space and are a UiPath gold partner, and we're building applications in the ML and AI area.  We've been modernizing our customers' IT systems and business workflows, delivering on time and budget, and creating exceptional customer satisfaction.  This is the contribution that InterImage will bring to DIA and NGA to support their mission, objectives, goals, and needs. 

2)   InterImage was named one of the top Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Services companies by CIO Applications in 2020.  Many companies also specialize in RPA work but have not received the same accolades. To what do you attribute InterImage's success in being a leader in this sector.  

InterImage's success has come from two sources. First, we have a long history of implementing BPM solutions, so we have deep expertise in understanding process complexities and how best to automate workflows. RPA comes out of the BPM world, so the technology was a natural extension of our work. Second, we invested two years ago into RPA. We saw the potential of RPA for both InterImage and our customers, so we assessed the marketspace, chose to become partners with UiPath, and trained developers, analysts, and systems engineers on the UiPath product suite. In addition, we stood up a UiPath lab and practice area, bought licenses to support InterImage's internal use of UiPath, and implemented multiple bots to automate back-office processes. We are not just promoting RPA for others; we use RPA ourselves and have experienced a significant return on investment. It's been a wise business decision for InterImage, just as it is so often a smart business decision for our customers. With our hands-on work with RPA and UiPath, we bring real-world experience to our customers that allows us to serve as a true consulting partner, not solely an implementor. 

3)  Can you share something about InterImage's plans to achieve continued growth in the next 12 to 24 months?  

InterImage is tightly focused on continuing to grow based on our core IT modernization capabilities. Many companies expand their offerings to grow. Our view is to double down on our strengths. As part of our IT modernization services, we will continue to push RPA and ML/AI as tremendous market growth is predicted in these areas – and with good reason. RPA, ML, and AI are very much part of today's modernization journey for customers. We have long provided services to federal civilian and DoD customers. While continuing to do so, we also intend to use our DIA Site contract to bring our unique expertise to the intel community.  Additionally, we are taking advantage of the company's roots providing services in the commercial sector to expand our customer base there. 

4)   For over 20 years, the company has been located in Arlington. Early next year, InterImage will relocate to a new office in Ballston. How does having an office in Ballston/Arlington help InterImage achieve its business goals? 

We love Arlington's location. It keeps us near our customers downtown, who we can readily reach via metro – a big plus with traffic around the DC metro area, and it's quick and easy to get to Tysons, further west, south, and north. Plus, we are located a block from the Ballston metro, which many of our employees used – pre-pandemic – to commute to work. Our new location keeps that close connection to the metro and puts us directly across the street from the Ballston Quarter and the new outdoor food court. That is such a convenient place for employees to grab lunch or meet up after work. The pandemic has directly changed how we all work. Our new office space will reflect that change, giving employees more choice in the way they work and collaborate. And when they are in the office, they are steps from a vibrant restaurant, shopping, and entertainment area with Ballston Quarter. It's the ideal location. 

Topic: BIG Update
Copyright © 2021 Arlington Economic Development