Sailing with the Navy to Millions in Sales
Mr. Tomas Santos-Alejandro, CEO of Advent Services, joined Advent Services as VP of Operations in 2014, before taking over. Advent Services provides cybersecurity, systems/software engineering, and other IT services to federal, state, and local government organizations and the Defense Industrial Base. His wife started the business in 2013 and started performing work for the U.S. Army. In 2016, she was looking to sell the business when Santos-Alejandro assumed the business. Santos-Alejandro has grown the company significantly through government contracting. He faced several challenges while preparing the business to grow in the government contracting sector, including lack of access to capital, expertise in the federal acquisition process, and knowledge of contracting regulations. Santos-Alejandro is a service-disabled veteran and served in the U.S. Navy for 10 years.
Determined to succeed as a government contractor, Santos-Alejandro turned to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and joined the 8(a) Business Development Program in 2019. He worked with his assigned Business Opportunity Specialist, Leticia Clark, learning how to navigate the system. The company was hoping to take advantage of sole-source contracts but ended up taking a more proactive approach. Santos-Alejandro identified steps to network and form joint ventures with other graduated 8(a) firms. He also took the opportunity to learn about government contracting through formal training opportunities. He also networked as much as possible with other firms and with government agencies.
Initially, the company started with a slow build but has grown at a rapid pace. The company recently received a Prime Contract in a $400 million Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Multiple Award Contract (MAC) vehicles with the U.S. Air Force. Advent Services also won prime contracts in the Navy’s Seaport-NexGEN IDIQ MAC and Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic’s 8(a) IDIQ MAC, where the company received a direct award for $400,000. Advent Services grew during the pandemic without additional assistance. They utilized the time to provide more in-depth service to their existing clients by increasing their pool of SMEs in technically demanding areas like DevSecOps. The company is also growing its business model and adding new lines of service to broaden its reach.