Early in 2010, Virginia-based software development group Ardent Management Consulting (ArdentMC) announced the opening of its Maui Geospatial Software Development Center (GSDC) at the Ke Alahele Center in the Maui Research & Technology Park. In the last few months, the company has doubled its staff from the initial 4 employees and has moved from an “incubator” space in the Center to an office large enough to accommodate the increase in personnel. Further expansion in personnel is expected in 2011.
The ArdentMC Maui facility is involved in competitively awarded software development work related to U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Geospatial Mapping Initiatives. Software developed in Maui will provide Homeland Security leadership with geospatial situational awareness regarding natural and man-made disasters. The Maui GSDC also will support U.S. Department of Justice software development, enabling geospatial visualization and criminal activity analysis.
“ArdentMC is pleased to put down roots in Maui, and to work with the Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB), to bring Homeland Security Contracting dollars to Hawaii,” said Brandon LaBonte, ArdentMC CEO. “We have been impressed with the local leadership, available technical talent, investment in key IT infrastructure, and, of course, the local hospitality provided to us.”
In selecting Maui for the GSDC, ArdentMC researched locations across the country with consideration for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) HUBZone program. The HUBZone program provides incentives to qualified small businesses that bring federal work to historically underutilized business zones. The Maui GSDC will provide a location for ongoing software development supporting federal mission systems with dependencies on complex geospatial mapping analytics.
Geospatial mapping is a geographic information system that integrates basic geographic information including terrain, transportation systems, structures and demographics with real-time data on events affecting the area. When flooding occurs, for example, a geospatial system will depict vulnerable buildings, homes, populations and facilities such as roads and wastewater systems, combined with real-time information on storm movements and rainfall.
“The fact that ArdentMC explored several alternatives before settling on the Maui site is a validation of the efforts to establish the R&T Park as an option for high technology companies seeking operational sites,” said MEDB President/CEO Jeanne Unemori Skog. “The park is designed to support technology companies like ArdentMC who are able to locate in the R&T Park while they test the viability of their research and development programs. We appreciate the results of the examination by the ArdentMC team, which determined there are strategic advantages to a mid-Pacific location, as well as the company’s effort to recruit Hawaii residents for its Maui operations.”
ArdentMC officials said they expect to utilize the Maui GSDC to extend the software development day by combining resources in Washington, D.C. and Hawaii.
“In managing software development cycles, our workday grows to 14 hours, enabling our integrated development team to accomplish more each day, thanks to the time difference” says Jim Correll, ArdentMC Software Solutions Architect.
One of the first software developers in the new Maui office is a former Hawaii resident who was seeking opportunities in his home state. LaBonte said ArdentMC will continue to recruit qualified Hawaii residents for the Maui office.
“There’s no reason that this type of high-tech work shouldn’t be in Hawaii,” he said. “The combination of the unique culture, the climate, the quality of life, and the strong sense of community provide the ideal location for some of the most sophisticated work in geospatial development.”
ArdentMC is an SBA Certified HUBZone small business, and has supported the U.S. Department of Homeland Security since 2006. Pushing federal work outside the Washington beltway, ArdentMC augments project offices near Washington, D.C., with its principal office in the Virginia Shenandoah Valley, and now in the Maui R&T Park. For more information on ArdentMC, visit www.ardentmc.com or call 808-757-9804.