Announcing Acquisition

UTSI expands service offerings with acquisition of Pandata Tech, enhancing AI/ML and data quality expertise

Photo courtesy of UTSI International

UTSI, a leading independent consulting and engineering firm specializing in automated system design, implementation, and project engineering services in Industrial Control Systems and Operational Technology, has announced the acquisition of Pandata Tech.

“The combination of Pandata Tech’s considerable experience with AI and Machine Learning technologies, along with UTSI’s global understanding and extensive background with real-time control systems and operations for large industrial applications, provides a unique fusion of complimentary expertise to solve problems for operators of complex systems that were previously unsolvable by a single entity," says Daniel Nagala, founder of UTSI.

Pandata Tech, founded in January 2016 in Houston, specializes in data quality solutions with an emphasis on AI and Machine Learning. “It was a natural fit for all of us," says Jessica Reitmeier, co-founder of Pandata Tech. "Pandata Tech and UTSI have been partners over the last couple of years. Pandata Tech’s AI/ML data quality products complement and support UTSI’s products and services. We’re able to offer clients a fuller solution together.”

“UTSI works with most major energy operators, and they have seen firsthand the challenge of managing data acquisition systems at scale. Pandata Tech’s risk mitigation technology is a perfect match with their services," says Gustavo Sanchez, co-founder of Pandata Tech.

UTSI has been offering technical consulting and systems integration for Operational Technology (predominantly around SCADA and ICS) solutions throughout Texas, the greater U.S., and international markets since 1985, serving asset owners and operators of critical infrastructure in varying industries. With the acquisition, UTSI will continue to target traditional energy, the clean energy and renewable sectors, water treatment facilities, and transportation. It will also leverage Pandata Tech’s expertise in the federal space utilizing its DoD contracting vehicles.

"I'm thrilled about this merger and the vast potential it brings to UTSI," says Shaun Six, president of UTSI. "Not only does it pave the way the way to better serve our current clients, but it also presents exciting opportunities in new markets."

InnovationMap interviewed UTSI’s president and CEO, Shaun Six, to learn more about how the strategic acquisition benefits for current and future clients of UTSI.

InnovationMap: Can you tell us about the decision to acquire Pandata Tech? What specific strengths or capabilities do you see in Pandata Tech that align with UTSI's mission and goals?

Shaun Six: Our decision to acquire Pandata Tech was driven by a clear strategic vision to expand and enhance our core capabilities, especially in cybersecurity for operational technology, AI, and data science. This move is particularly vital for sectors like energy, where the security and integrity of data and operational systems are of utmost importance.

We saw in Pandata Tech a unique blend of expertise in data science, AI, and machine learning (ML), bolstered by their significant experience in both the defense and energy sectors. This collaboration opens exciting avenues to enhance our service offerings, guaranteeing our clients receive the most cutting-edge and secure solutions on the market.

InnovationMap: How do you envision integrating Pandata Tech's AI/ML capabilities into UTSI's existing services and solutions?

Shaun Six: Integrating Pandata Tech's AI/ML expertise into our current offerings holds immense promise, especially in fortifying our cybersecurity measures for critical infrastructure. Utilizing their advanced skills in data labeling and analysis will enable us to offer our clients deeper and more nuanced insights into their operational environments. This means they'll have the capability to anticipate and counteract potential risks and threats more effectively.

Additionally, Pandata Tech's proficiency in evaluating data quality complements our commitment to the reliability and precision of crucial systems, including those for leak detection and control room management. This integration boosts our capacity to protect and refine the efficiency of essential infrastructures, ensuring operational excellence.

InnovationMap: Can you highlight any specific synergies or complementary aspects between UTSI's focus on OT, ICS, and SCADA cybersecurity and Pandata Tech's specialization in data science and AI/ML?

Shaun Six: There are notable complementary aspects between UTSI’s expertise in OT, ICS, and SCADA cybersecurity and Pandata Tech’s specialization in data science and AI/ML that make this partnership especially advantageous.

Our dedication to securing critical infrastructure meshes perfectly with Pandata Tech’s prowess in data analysis and risk evaluation. Merging our insights into OT, ICS, and SCADA systems with Pandata Tech's sophisticated analytics enables us to provide a holistic cybersecurity strategy that tackles not only traditional threats but also the nuanced challenges related to data integrity and quality.

Furthermore, Pandata Tech’s background in collaborating with the DoD and DoE, along with UTSI’s long history working alongside the DoD, enhances our capabilities to help secure and protect our nation's most critical infrastructures.

InnovationMap: How do you anticipate this acquisition will benefit UTSI's clients, particularly those in hazardous material regulation sectors such as PHMSA (Pipeline Hazardous Material Security Administration/TSA/DOT)?

Shaun Six: The acquisition of Pandata Tech is set to deliver substantial advantages to our clients, particularly those navigating the complex waters of hazardous material regulations like PHMSA. Leveraging Pandata Tech’s AI/ML technologies will enhance our capacity for detecting and addressing potential vulnerabilities tied to data integrity and cybersecurity. This means we’ll be able to offer more sophisticated monitoring and analytical tools for critical systems, empowering operators to preemptively tackle issues before they morph into major safety or compliance problems.

This allows us to look at external and internal bad actors, diagnose poor configuration of physical sensors, or mistakes in selected algorithms running on the edge while also monitoring the health of the physical infrastructure and the hardware/software combinations that make it possible to run and supervise infrastructure from a remote operations center. Our combined expertise will enable us to develop tailored solutions that meet the specific needs of clients in highly regulated industries, such as leak detection, simulation, and compliance reporting under PHMSA regulations.

InnovationMap: How will acquiring Pandata Tech strengthen UTSI's position in the market and differentiate your offerings from competitors?

Shaun Six: The acquisition of Pandata Tech will strengthen UTSI's position as a leader in cybersecurity and technology consulting for critical infrastructure sectors. By combining our domain expertise with Pandata Tech's advanced analytics capabilities, we can offer our clients a unique value proposition that goes beyond traditional cybersecurity solutions.

Our ability to provide actionable insights derived from sophisticated data analysis sets us apart from competitors, allowing us to deliver more effective and comprehensive solutions for safeguarding critical infrastructure against cyber threats and operational risks.

InnovationMap: Are there any specific projects or initiatives that you are particularly excited about pursuing as a result of this acquisition?

Shaun Six: Following this acquisition, we're thrilled about embarking on initiatives that capitalize on the combined strengths of UTSI's cybersecurity know-how in OT, ICS, and SCADA systems and Pandata Tech's proficiency in AI/ML.

A key project we're eager to pursue involves the creation of state-of-the-art monitoring and detection systems for critical infrastructure. By incorporating Pandata Tech's advanced techniques in data labeling and analysis, we aim to significantly enhance our capabilities in leak detection and control room operations.

This merger opens up avenues to venture into new markets and sectors, drawing on Pandata Tech's extensive experience in the defense and energy industries to tackle the evolving landscape of cybersecurity challenges across various domains.

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