Sweet Projects and Ark Data Centres: cutting-edge buildings
Sweet Projects are turnkey Design and Build contractor operating in the UK & Europe and provide specialised services to the Advanced Technology, Data and Commercial sectors, as Robert Smart, Executive Director at the company, explains:
“Sweet Projects modus operandi is simple – provide excellent service and deliver consistent with the expectations of our key clients across the Defence, Data and Aerospace industries. With considerable focus on sustaining long-term relationships, we are committed to fostering a positive working culture with supply chain partners to always achieve the highest quality outcome for our clients. Sweet Projects values customer care, partnership, integrity, and being future-ready.”
Upholding those values requires being laser-focused on the needs of clients as well as workers. “Our management team consists of high-calibre people with experience across the construction industry,” says Smart. “We are passionate about ensuring safe working environments and protecting the personal health and well-being of our employees and supply chain. Health and safety is always at the forefront of our operations – we have a shared belief in zero incidents and accidents on-site and that every person who works for us should go home safely every day.”
The company is a committed and long-term partner of UK data centre firm Ark Data Centres. “We are committed to working with and for Ark and to this end, with each other, to deliver for the long-term, providing a strong legacy for Ark’s customers and stakeholders. Testament to our exceptional relationship, founded on delivery and innovation, we've worked together for over 14 years, growing and supporting Ark’s development to become one of the UK’s foremost data centre providers.” It’s a partnership that is built on sturdy foundations of collaboration, as Smart explains. “We are committed to working in partnership to deliver the exacting standards and expectations of Ark and their clients. At a time where uncertainty is a given, we've established a partnership which is both collaborative, hardworking, and committed to delivering high quality, on time and importantly also meeting our shared financial commitments.”
Going forwards, Smart is clear that the company is poised to evolve with the latest technologies as they emerge. “Complex projects call for complex solutions and the key area of growth in the last few years has been around the use of Information Technology. At Sweet Projects, we have a clearly defined and continually evolving Digital Strategy which allows us to invest and embrace cutting-edge advances in construction technology to continue to improve our offering - from Building Information Modelling, which allows us to coordinate from design to construction, to Geo-enabled Technologies and Biometrics which set us apart in the physical delivery of projects.” It’s thanks to this approach that Sweet Projects is confident that the partnership with Ark will continue going from strength to strength. “Through these, we can meet the ever-growing demand for security of process and certainty of outcome that our partnership with Ark is based upon. Sharing knowledge through digitised platforms, we take our collaboration to the next level - which ultimately drives future success.”
Dark Wolf: accelerating security for USAF
As a small company whose biggest customers are the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community, Dark Wolf Solutions (Dark Wolf) is a triple-threat, specializing in Cybersecurity, Software and DevOps, and Management Solutions. Dark Wolf secures and tests cloud platforms, develops and deploys applications, and offers consultancy services performing system engineering, system integration, and mission support.
The break for Dark Wolf came when the Department of Defense decided to explore software factories. Rick Tossavainen, Dark Wolf’s CEO, thinks it was an inspired path for the DoD to take. “It was a really great decision,” he says, “Let’s pull our people together as part of this digital transformation and recreate what Silicon Valley startup firms typically have. Let’s get into commercial facilities where we have open windows and big whiteboards and just promote ideation and collaboration. And it creates this collaborative environment where people start creating things much more rapidly than before.”
It has been, Tossavainen says, “amazing to watch” and has energized the Federal Contracting Sector with an influx of new talent and improved working environments that foster creativity and innovative ways of approaching traditional problems.
“We originally started working with the US Air Force about three years ago. The problem was at the time you could develop all the software you wanted but you couldn’t get it into production – you had to go through the traditional assessment and authorization process. I talked to Lauren Knausenberger and she told me about Kessel Run and what eventually came out of this was the DoD’s first continuous ATO [Authority To Operate].”
The secret to Dark Wolf’s success – and its partnerships with USAF and Space Force – lies in a client-first attitude. “We’re not looking to maximise revenue,” Tossavainen explains. “We tell all of our employees, if you’re ever faced with an issue and you don’t know how to resolve it, and one solution is better for the customer and the second is better for Dark Wolf, you always do number one. We’ve just got to take care of our customers, and I look for other partners that want to do that. And let’s work together so that we can bring them the best answer we can.”
Rapid releases and constant evolution of software are common themes among USAF’s partners. Like many firms operating in the commercial and public sector spaces, Dark Wolf leads with a DevSecOps approach.
“Failure is tolerated,” says Tossavainen. “If it’s not going the right way in three months, let’s adjust. Let’s rapidly change course. And you can tell really quickly if something’s going to be successful or not, because they’re doing deployments multiple times a day – to the customer.”