Mission Critical Partners buys Black & Veatch public-safety consulting group
Consulting firm Mission Critical Partners (MCP) announced the completion of its acquisition of Black & Veatch’s Public Safety (BVPS) consulting division, bolstering MCP’s public-safety LMR consulting business while expanding into the healthcare, energy and smart-cities sectors, according to MCP CEO Kevin Murray.
With this acquisition announced last week, Murray said he believes MCP is the top consulting business in the public-safety space, from a market-share perspective. Integrating BVPS also means MCP gets to add respected personnel that have been worthy competitors in the past, making the decision a “no-brainer,” he said.
“We can see the vision that we’re trying to implement, and this is just another piece of it,” Murray said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “This whole thing is about great people. If we can find great people that are passionate about doing their work, the rest of it is about me getting out of their way.
“That’s really what we’re trying to do, and this [BVPS] group is very much aligned with our passion. It’s really exciting. It is just awesome.”
Fred Ellermeier, Black & Veatch Vice President of Connected Communities, echoed this sentiment.
“The consultants joining Mission Critical Partners are well-respected and highly experienced within the public safety communications market,” Ellermeier said. “They bring a focus on modernizing complex networks and emergency communications systems, making them an ideal complement to MCP’s existing team of professionals.”
BVPS was the consulting unit within Black & Veatch that was created after the 2015 bankruptcy acquisition of RCC Consultants, which was the largest public-safety LMR consulting firm at the time of the sale. MCP tried to purchase RCC Consultants at that time but was unsuccessful, according to Murray.
“We’re stronger [than in 2015] and in a better place to absorb these acquisitions,” he said. “I think we have a better strategy and a really good board that’s helping us.”
MCP hired former RCC Consultants CEO Mike Hunter shortly after RCC Consultants was sold, Murray said.
Along with bolstering MCP’s existing public-safety-communications consulting business, the BVPS acquisition is letting MCP enter some new market sectors, Murray said.
“They did things we didn’t,” Murray said. “They’ve done a lot of different systems with medical response and energy. Getting into the broadband space and that area has been good for us. A lot of that came with Black & Veatch being so big in that space.
“They also did some things in the smart-cities—what they call connected-cities—environment, which again gives more expertise in that area.”
Acquiring BVPS is the latest step in MCP’s growth plan, according to Murray.
“With the acquisition now, we’re at about 140 people, so this boosts us and gives us more depth,” Murray said. “We’re building a company that is servicing that whole ecosystem, from call-in/call-out call processing, in both the consulting and now IT-management space.
“Our strategy is to build this vendor-neutral, client-centered public-safety support group. This helps us get there and implement our strategy. And we’ll continue to add things as we grow here.”
Murray expressed optimism about the overall public-safety-communications market which he described as “very strong” and undergoing significant changes. MCP is positioned well to help first-responder agencies make difficult decisions during this uncertain time, he said.
“There’s a lot of transformational change coming to public safety, where we implement data and we connect the smart cities and other sensors that can provide data to 911,” Murray said. “The challenge is, can we take this data and make it actionable? Because we sure can’t give public safety more work to do. We’ve got to find a way to take this data, analyze it, and make it actionable to impact public safety. We can’t just give them more work to do; this analysis has to be done before it gets there.
“It’s a very new time. I think public safety is being reinvented. Having great people—smart people—on board who are vendor-neutral and looking for the best solutions for the client, to us, is very exciting. It’s really what our passion is.”