Safety Detective hears from Jamie Miller, President and CEO of Mission Multiplier on how his company makes a direct impact to the community with the mission of “for profit – for purpose”.
Please share your company background, how you got started, and your mission?
One of the primary reasons I decided to walk away from very lucrative and stable employment opportunities at a large management consultancy and cybersecurity-focused organization to start my own company was because I truly wanted to make a difference. It might sound cheesy, but I felt like there was more to work than just billing hours, driving revenue, writing proposals, and building a pipeline. Although I was inherently passionate about the cybersecurity work that I was doing, helping to solve my client’s cyber-related problems, I felt like I was disconnected with my community, and even at times with my clients – who saw myself and my teams as nothing more than a mechanism to get what they needed.
Outside of the espoused values many organizations apply to “community focus”, most organizations are truly not invested in transforming the community, but are more focused on offering assistance when it is convenient. While some progressive companies even boast that they sponsor their workforce for a “Community Day”, a day where employees can get their hands dirty and help out local charitable causes, this is only one day a year. This begs the question – “What happens the other 364 days of the year?” – and other more powerful questions:
- Why is community focus and involvement left to not-for-profit organizations?
- Is it possible to be a for-profit organization, and truly drive positive community-level transformation?
- How can for-profit organizations maintain the revenue they need to survive, but at the same time make positive impact in the community and “make a difference”?
After much thoughtful deliberation, the answer to these questions resulted in the creation of Mission Multiplier. A new company founded on a revolutionary business model – a model that directly ties profits to community sharing. More specifically, for every hour an employee works (on a billable project), a percent of the profit gets directed to a local charity of the employee’s choice. In this way, each employee knows that they are not just working to support their careers and the business, but also that they are directly supporting the local community – and more importantly, an organization and cause that they are passionate about. In essence, our employees are not just working for a paycheck. They are working for something bigger than themselves, something personally important to them. In this way, each person and organization involved becomes a Mission Multiplier.
Mission Multiplier’s core competency is “All Things Cybersecurity”. We offer services across the full life-cycle of cybersecurity, from assessment to operations, and strategy to engineering. Although Mission Multiplier supports traditional cybersecurity offerings, including: risk assessment, compliance testing, and cyber strategy/policy formulation, access to our Cyber Lab and the development and implementation of our one-of-a-kind cyber innovations (e.g., MARS Suite and SATURN-i), combined with our community-focused business model have enabled us to differentiate us from the market.
Underlying our positive growth trajectory, and supporting our fundamental mission are the following five key core values that embody our company DNA:
- Client Service – Holds the client’s interests as a top priority. Makes and delivers on commitments to clients. Takes personal responsibility for improving service to clients.
- Excellence – Insists on excellence in “all things;” sets the example. Continuously strives to improve work processes, products, and services.
Community Focus – Contributes to the positive impact of the local community through action and charitable giving. Inspires the community at-large to improve and grow.
- Teamwork – Builds strong and lasting positive working relationships. Helps others. Encourages, recognizes, and celebrates success of the team and its members.
- Innovation – Consistently identify ways to improve business performance and efficiency. Engages in creative thinking to develop novel solutions to address client challenges. Generates new ideas to drive positive change.
Enacting the above core values has created a contagious atmosphere of positive energy, empowerment, and impact; which continues to motivate and inspire the entire company to raise and sustain their personal and professional levels of service and commitment to Mission Multiplier and the broader local community.
What is the main service your company offers?
Mission Multiplier is comprised of three business units: (1) Life-cycle cyber (i.e., government contracts); (2) cyber tools; and (3) ISSO-as-a-Service.
In our life-cycle cyber line-of-business, we were currently part of a team that was awarded a $2.5B (over 10-years) IT/Cyber contract, of which over $40M is committed revenue to Mission Multiplier. We are currently the primary cybersecurity provider on the NASA Marshall IT security services contract – one of only a handful of “blue chip” cyber contracts. Mission Multiplier is currently pursuing over 30 government contracts, with a total guaranteed workshare of over $300M. Current and past government clients include NASA, TVA and the US Army.
In our cyber tool and technology division, we have created two innovative and one-of-a-kind products – the MARS Suite™ and SATURN-i. The MARS Suite is a cyber continuous monitoring solution that assesses the cyber risk in “near real-time”. It is currently one of only a handful cyber continuous monitoring products on the DoD approved products list (tracking number 1832002). It has been fully deployed in at NASA Marshall and over 50 commercial companies. Our SATURN-i solution provides an innovative approach to content filtering and malware and threat protection. We currently have over 25 instances deployed in industry.
Our ISSO-as-a-Service division provides commercial companies access to proven information systems security officers (ISSOs) “by the pound”, and for a fraction of the cost to hire a seasoned ISSO. This past year we have captured 20 new clients and secured over $500K in revenue – work that helps to secure the DoD cyber supply chain and enables contractors to achieve compliance with DoD standards.
We also recently graduated from the DoD Mentor-Protégé agreement (sponsored by the MDA) under the mentorship of All Points, which resulted in $1M investment into our business. Our plan for future growth is rooted in our strategic partnerships, specifically with All Points, whom we also have an SBA-sponsored mentor-protégé agreement; along with our JV company (Mission Innovate LLC) of which I’m the managing partner/owner. As All Points transitions from a small to a large business (changing NAICS codes), they plan to flip their existing small business contracts to our new JVs. Executing this strategy will represent a significant injection of revenue into our business.
What is something unique that helps you stay ahead of your competition?
The cybersecurity industry is challenging, and rife with many obstacles – stiff competition, warp-speed technological change, and continuous evolution of government/commercial compliance requirements to name a few. It seems that every company that sells professional services to the Tennessee Valley community now claims that it offers cybersecurity solutions. Given this challenging environment, we develop and implement innovative techniques to stand out.
Our vision was to tie into the rich “community-minded culture” that exists within our local community to create a new business model; so that each employee is not just clocking hours, driving revenues, and hitting profit targets, but is working for a cause/purpose bigger than themselves.
Although I was passionate about this concept and wanted to apply it to the cybersecurity subject matter that I was equally passionate about, I knew that for Mission Multiplier to be successful, the company had to bring significant innovation, so I created two cybersecurity innovations that truly set us apart from our competitors – MARS Suite and SATURN-i.
The MARS Suite application enables a fresh approach to information security that is focused on maintaining situational awareness of enterprise-wide information security controls and threats through the capture of key cyber analytics or key effectiveness measures; and presenting/ scoring those measures in a way that drives individuals to change their behavior – to focus more on managing risk based on impact to the mission.
The SATURN-i solution combines unified threat management capabilities with policy management tools, so IT administrators can monitor, manage, and shape all internet traffic on the network. It provides the highest-value all-in-one network security solution in the industry, safeguarding commercial businesses, remote offices, not-for-profits, schools, and government Departments and Agencies at all levels.
Further realizing the need to drive continued innovation beyond our two foundational products/services, we also recently partnered with All Points to form a joint venture – Mission Innovate, which provides us with a cyber laboratory. The lab enables us to replicate IT operating environments so that we can showcase how future innovations can help secure our clients’ missions.
The results of these innovative products/services, combined with our innovative business model, have enabled our team to grow significantly. Additionally, on behalf of its employees, Mission Multiplier has given over $40K to over 50+ local charities across the Tennessee Valley.
What do you think are the worst cyberthreats today?
Unfortunately, cyber threats continue to proliferate and cause significant negative consequences on individuals, businesses, the economy and the nation writ large. From malware to phishing attacks, to ransomware to corporate espionage, the cyber threats are tremendous. This said, probably the worst threat that exists today is the lack of a cyber workforce. We simply do not have enough qualified individuals to manage the onslaught of cyber threats.
To mitigate this threat Mission Multiplier is committed to promoting a positive company culture that nurtures and cultivates goodwill, trust, and training for its employees. We realize that the field of cybersecurity is growing at an exponential rate, and that the people with the skills that we recruit for are in high demand. Therefore, for us to differentiator ourselves, we HAVE to offer something that is special and different for our employees. We achieve that differentiation through our culture, which is rooted in the following factors: the opportunity to give back to the community; strong staff benefits; and the opportunity to do innovative work and to learn new and emerging skills (through both classroom and hands-on training).
Fundamentally, what sets us apart is our innovative business model that is centered around giving back to the community and continuous learning. At first, we didn’t realize the impact that having an altruistic aspect of our business would have on recruiting, retaining staff, and elevating employee morale. Giving back was just something we believed in and wanted to do for the local community. The first time we realized how much this unique feature of our business raised the stakes in our recruiting was when two of our new hires told us they had turned down higher paying offers from bigger companies. They cited the opportunity to make a difference in others’ lives (and the broader Huntsville community) as being a key factor in choosing between job offers. It is humbling to know that A+ talent is choosing to join Mission Multiplier over well-established and higher paying companies because of our unique culture and business model. Our clients (and potential clients) are also taking notice of our community-focused approach.