Apparel giant PVH Corp partners with Plug and Play to drive growth
Silicon Valley-headquartered global innovation platform Plug and Play announced this week a new partnership with PVH Corp. The owner of iconic global brands, including Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Van Heusen, Speedo, Warner’s and IZOD, PVH Corp is one of the world’s largest apparel companies. Headquartered in New York, the company reported a net revenue of US$8.9bn in 2018, according to Forbes. The new partnership between PVH and Plug and Play will reportedly help PVH continue to drive ongoing strategic growth initiatives related to supply chain, technology, digital capabilities and consumer-centricity.
"PVH brings a fresh new perspective to our Supply Chain & Logistics and Brand & Retail programs. We are thrilled to see how their portfolio of iconic brands will tap into our suite of startups and their technologies," said Michael Olmstead, Chief Revenue Officer of Plug and Play.
PVH will engage with two of Plug and Play's multiple verticals, Brand & Retail and Supply Chain & Logistics. Within each of these verticals, Plug and Play offers access to startups that will help PVH foster ongoing strategic growth initiatives and at the same time explore potential innovative solutions for the future.
"Partnering with Plug and Play is an important next step for PVH as we continually look for ways to deliver on our commitment to meet the ever-evolving needs of our consumers," said Mike Shaffer, EVP and Chief Operating & Financial Officer, PVH Corp. "With access to ideas, investors and new partners, we're excited to leverage Plug and Play's network to drive innovative solutions that will support our business goals."
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.”