Talk Business & Politics Roby Brock recently interviewed our CEO, John Adams about the intense growth we have shown and our growing need for developers. Take a look at the interview below!
Transcript edited for clarity
RB: Well they’re not a household name in Arkansas, but Metova should be and may be soon. I’m joined by the CEO of that company, John Adams. Thank you so much for being here; appreciate you.
JA: Thank you for having me.
RB: Alright. Talk a little about Metova and where it came from. It didn’t start as Metova for you necessarily. A4 solutions is where you started and then it rolled in to Metova. Give me a little bit of the background and history of this company.
JA: I founded a company called A4 solutions in 2011 primarily doing technology services inside the federal government as I retired from the military in 2009. So we founded A4 solutions technology services and we found a need for mobile development inside the federal space. We looked around and rather than create it ourselves we found a company called Metova out of Franklin Tennessee and we were able to acquire them in 2012. They’ve been around since 2006 so rather than change the name of Metova, we changed A4 solutions to Metova. At that point we were about 40 strong personnel-wise
RB: And today?
JA: Today we’re about 170.
RB: Is that going to grow some perhaps in the near future?
JA: It’s growing right now! We are currently expanding in Conway and in Franklin, Tennessee. Right now in the state of Arkansas, we have about 25 vacancies today that we hope to fill in the next 60 days. In the next year, we’re looking to add about another 50 to that number.
RB: What’s driving the growth? Is it just the explosion of mobile usage and people wanting products that will transcend to their iPads and their smartphones, or is it something bigger than that that is making all of this rapid growth possible?
JA: I think the growth in Metova has gone along with the growth in everyone’s using a smart device in mobile. Our growth, I think particularly, has come from our service and quality that we provide to the customer and the word is getting out and mobile is getting into larger corporations and back into the enterprise. That’s where we’re finding our recent growth.
RB: Are you adding jobs because you have business that you can’t keep up with or is there business that you think you need to pursue?
JA: I think there’s a little bit of both of that. I think that the 25 job vacancies that we have now are based on the business that we are having a hard time keeping up with. We’ve had a lot of successes since our announcement here in January and then we’re also pursuing a lot of new business as well.
RB: Talk to me a little about what you are seeing in terms of the recruiting of the type of person that you are needing. You and I had talked a little before about the fact that they don’t have to come to you with the skillset that you need. You will train them if they have the right aptitude. Is there enough of that population here in Arkansas for you to fill those 25 and then some?
JA: We think so. Since we got here and since we got started in Conway in January we’ve been working with the universities in Conway and in Little Rock- the computer science programs. We’re looking for graduates with a computer science background/computer information systems background and then we will bring them in and train them the Metova way to do it and go from there.
RB: What’s the Metova way? It’s what, about 4 – 8 weeks?
JA: 4-8 weeks for training the developers and the technical staff to do it with the processes and tool sets that we have.
RB: Gotta like what you’ve heard from Governor Asa Hutchinson and wanting to push down into the schools a lot more early computer coding aptitude education that obviously creates a pipeline of potential future employees for you.
JA: Absolutely, we are actively involved with the university programs as well and are starting to get involved even with the k through 12 education in Arkansas with putting what we can to provide to those educational institutions so when they get ready to go out in to the work force they have the skillsets we need.
RB: Mobile is where it’s at now. There’s obviously an explosion of mobile growth that what’s been driving your company, as you mentioned earlier. How much longer does that wave ride? Can you foresee a date where it’s going to taper off or where we are going to reach some sort of critical mass where there’s just not any more to put in or what does the horizon look like that respect?
JA: I think mobile is going to be here stay; we’re all going to have phones for a long time. I think that applications -the way mobile handles apps- is going to obviously go to automobiles and to our desktops and to our things that we wear-wearables- and things like that.
RB: Kind of like the internet of things that a lot people talk about.
RB: You guys are positioned for that type of growth as well?
JA: Yes, we are doing a lot of that now.
RB: Tell me a little about cyber security and the fact that I was telling you before we went on camera here that we’ve had a website hack in recent days and it doesn’t seem like that’s uncommon anymore. It seems like you guys do a lot in cyber security. Why do people who are that smart, who can hack a computer or hack a website, why will they not put their minds to more positive purposes?
JA: I wish I had that answer. We do probably about 15% of our workforce is involved in cyber security. That’s primarily in the federal space in the department of defense. We also do a lot of cyber work primarily on our mobile side in the commercial space and mobile banking and some of our applications we work on that end.
RB: But you don’t see a decrease in that amount of work anytime in the near future either?
JA: That is growing almost at the pace of our mobile work.
RB: Wow. Alright, he’s John Adams with Metova, CEO. Thank you very much. Appreciate you very much for being here.
JA: Thank you!