A Message From Tom Portlock

Tom PortlockHello everyone,

We’ve all been exposed to intimidating situations at one time or another during our lives. Whether it was your first time riding a bike as a child, your first day of school, a first date, your first day of work, getting married, the birth of a child, sending them off to kindergarten and/or college—we’ve all had something that we didn’t know how to do or deal with at the time, but we persevered. You did it anyway because deep down inside you had the AMBITION to venture into the unknown and experience something new.

We as a company, every one of us, should be doing the same thing. We need to try new things—it’s how we grow as individuals and as a company. In the early days of Odyssey’s existence we had one customer, Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom AFB. Today, we support 37 customers at 38 locations. Our domain expertise has expanded beyond Tactical Datalinks, our first supported mission area, to include Aircraft Platforms, Ground-based Surveillance, Space and Missile Defense, Mission Planning, Air Armament Weapons Systems, and Medical Research, to name a few, and our technical skills have grown along the way as well.

We know not every opportunity we pursue will be a successful pursuit, but we also know “You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take” (Wayne Gretzky). Sometimes you’ve just got to take a shot. Two examples prove this out: our WRAIR BTNN (see the writeup of this work in the Program Highlights section) and our recent contract award for USAFE 764 SCONS PMO Support. Neither opportunity was in our sights prior to reviewing their respective draft solicitations—we had discussed a desire to “get into medical” at strategic planning sessions and looked intermittently at international work given our Foreign Military Sales experience—but hadn’t developed solid pursuit plans. But after evaluating the RFPs and doing some quick investigation, we decided to “take a shot” and we were successful. Our Medical portfolio is now growing, and we hope our USAFE work will be similarly successful.

I don’t want to give the impression that we are fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants when it comes to Business Development—we are typically a conservative lot in that respect. We know the benefits of careful analysis and disciplined exploration. Which brings us to the formation of our Solutions Innovation Group (SIG) and the decision to invest in its Advanced Mission Planning System (AMPS) and Multi-INT Cross Domain Security Solution (CDS) through the acquisition of Tradecraft Technologies in 2019. This was Odyssey’s first foray into the world of M&A, but we saw it as an opportunity to grow the business beyond our traditional Knowledge-based Professional Services and offer product solutions to a new and exciting customer base. The SIG team has continued technology development over the past year, and we anticipate receiving our first contract this month.

I hope you enjoy reading this issue of The Journey and see firsthand the great things Odyssey is doing every day for our customers. Thank you for everything you do to make Odyssey the company we are today and what we will be tomorrow!

Have a great day!


Tom Portlock

Quotes to Live By:

“Try and fail, but don’t fail to try.”

– John Quincy Adams

Do you have ideas or suggestions for content you’d like to see in The Journey?
Please let us know: catherineemond@odysseyconsult.com.