Case study:

Winning government contracts with relevant training and cert prep.

In a highly competitive market, ValidaTek stands out by challenging the IT project status quo.

Headquartered mere miles from the U.S. Capitol, ValidaTek is an IT solution provider for the federal government. They offer high- security mission-critical systems, data center, and software engineering and operations services to distinguished clients, like the U.S. Departments of State, Defense and Homeland Security. Due to their creative, agile and hands-on approach, ValidaTek correctly defines IT projects up front — eliminating rework, delays and budget overruns.

ValidaTek’s project methodology reaps benefits for their clients, who reward ValidaTek with more business. In fact, ValidaTek is going strong on a fifth consecutive year as one of “The Fastest Growing U.S. Companies,” recognized by Inc. magazine’s Inc. 5000.

ValidaTek’s secret sauce? They support and value their people. It’s one thing for an organization to say people are priority. ValidaTek shows it. From the rotating “Featured Employee” section on their website to their monthly happy hours, team lunches, annual company picnics and holiday parties, ValidaTek invests in celebrating their people. In addition to appreciation, ValidaTek gives employees a learning environment where they thrive. Part of their core culture is ensuring all team members involved in client projects receive current and relevant certifications and ongoing training.

ValidaTek finds a cost-effective training solution that meets their needs.

To foster their employees’ learning, ValidaTek recognized a need for an ongoing training partner. They researched technology training providers, evaluating features and pricing. As a service provider to the government, ValidaTek feels the crunch of recent reductions in government budgets. Since budget is a large factor in winning government contracts, ValidaTek needed a scalable training solution, allowing their employees to get relevant training in a cost-effective way.

“Getting the best training available for our employees is critical but cost is also very, very, very important in government contracting,” said Rahul Nemade, Chairman and President of ValidaTek. “Most contracts are lost based on pricing, so that was one of the main factors, along with features and capabilities, that led us to the Pluralsight toolset.”

ValidaTek named Pluralsight as its official training partner. Now all ValidaTek employees have access to thousands of expert-led courses and learning tools to keep them up-to-date on latest technologies.

Certifications and skills training serves as competitive tool in winning contracts.

When bidding for a project contract, ValidaTek must be able to deliver. They carefully review the task order and determine if training is needed for specific technology skills. For example, if a current or potential customer plans to use a new or different version of an operating system than the ValidaTek team has seen before, they provide that training up front to their employees so they have the skills needed before they are needed.

“We have to show them that we have the skills to perform the work before they’ll award it to us,” said Rahul. “So we propose we’re going to give our folks additional training.”

In ValidaTek’s line of work, the government determines industry standards, and some contracts require specific trainings and certifications. These certifications often include Microsoft, Cisco, VMware, PMP, CISSPand the CompTIA certs like Security+, Network+ and A+.

“Certifications in our line of business are everything,” said Rahul. “It’s a big part of every task.”

For example, in one working contract, ValidaTek lists specific team members and the plan to certify each person on the team. They send their government customer monthly updates on completed certifications. ValidaTek employees do most of their certification courses online, and occasionally attend in-person trainings.

“We’ve recently had a lot of our folks go through the PMP courses in Pluralsight, so they are certified to get PDUs to apply towards their application,” said Rahul.

ValidaTek enjoys solid benefits from soft skills training.

“The other thing that we have used quite a bit is Pluralsight’s soft skill trainings,” said Rahul. “If there’s a concern about teamwork or something like that, we find a team collaboration type of course, focused on listening or communication. That’s probably the one way we’re using Pluralsight that I didn’t anticipate initially.”

Like other IT companies, when ValidaTek’s employees transition from technical roles to management roles, there is often a learning curve. Enter, Pluralsight. New managers at ValidaTek are able to hone their leadership style by learning from experts. They can choose from a variety of management courses and navigate the course through unfamiliar territory.

One of ValidaTek’s new initiatives is to identify clear, concise training programs for job roles. For example, an employee looking to become a server engineer would have a roadmap of all the training and certifications necessary to get there.

With Pluralsight as their partner, ValidaTek employees have access to thousands of courses, enhancing them individually, while growing ValidaTek as a provider of choice for their federal clients.

ValidaTek at a glance:
  • ValidaTek directly contributed to the U.S. Department of State winning the Excellence.Gov Award for Going Green.
  • ValidaTek has been named one of “The Fastest Growing U.S. Companies” on the Inc. 500/5000 five years in a row.
  • ValidaTek gives back. Most recently,their employees donated their time to help Tubman Elementary in Washington DC get ready for the new school year.

Empower the people who power your business.