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Client Case Study: $7 Million in Government Contracts Awarded After Achieving ISO 9001, ISO 27001 and ISO 20000-1 Certifications

Posted by Victoria Ontiveros in Blog, Home Page, Technology 24 Jan 2020


This case study provides an overview of the benefits and return on investment that SONA Networks, an information technology solutions provider to State, Federal and Commercial clients experienced, as a result of achieving ISO 9001:2015, ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011 and ISO/IEC 27000:2013 certifications. SONA Networks, based in Hunt Valley, MD, initially pursued ISO 9001 certification, due to them wanting to qualify for more lucrative projects with the government. Mr. Harry Hans, President of SONA Networks states, “We needed to achieve ISO 9001 certification to bid on several government projects, which required the certification.”


SONA Networks initially contacted The ISO 9001 Group in June 2015 to start their journey towards ISO 9001 Certification. Upon selecting The ISO 9001 Group, our technical writer designed a customized ISO 9001 Quality Management System tailored for SONA Networks. The ISO 9001 Group worked with Mr. Hans to help his organization implement their ISO 9001 QMS over a 3 month period. Under the guidance of The ISO 9001 Group’s Senior Consultant, Mr. Oscar Combs, SONA Networks successfully achieved ISO 9001 Certification through SAI Global in October 2015.


SONA Networks returned to The ISO 9001 Group in February 2017 with a goal to achieve ISO\IEC 20000-1 Information Technology Service Management System (SMS) and ISO\IEC 27001 Information Security Management System (ISMS) certifications. The ISO 9001 Group worked to carefully integrate the requirements of ISO 27001 and ISO 20000.1, into their existing ISO 9001:2015 QMS. Their original consultant, Mr. Oscar Combs, worked with the SONA Networks team to ensure successful implementation of the new standards. In 2019, SONA Networks successfully achieved their ISO 27001 and ISO 20000.1 certifications.


This case study summarizes a referral from Mr. Harry Hans, President of SONA Networks, and an interview with Mr. Oscar Combs, President and Sr. Consultant of The ISO 9001 Group. This case study discusses the benefits SONA Networks has experienced, after implementing their integrated management system and becoming ISO 9001, ISO 27001 and ISO 20000.1 certified.


What types of issues were you encountering as a company that you were looking to address with your management systems?

“Initially, we wanted to do more business with the government,” Mr. Hans states. “Unfortunately, we did not have the in-house knowledge to develop an ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System. There were also more lucrative government projects we did not qualify for, due to us not being ISO 27001 and ISO 20000.1 certified. Thanks to The ISO 9001 Group’s guidance and support, our certification body passed our system without any issues. We now have our ISO 9001, ISO 27001 and ISO 20000.1 certifications.”


What were some of the biggest challenges SONA Networks faced, while implementing their management systems?

Implementing each standard brought individual challenges. “The biggest challenge for SONA Networks was finding the time to implement ISO 9001 in their day-to-day operations,” states Mr. Combs. “Being a smaller organization, this was a bit of a struggle. The ISO 9001 Group was able to help them through this by providing hands-on support throughout the implementation, and by meeting with their employees.”


Once SONA Networks was comfortable working with ISO 9001, implementing ISO 27001 and ISO 20000.1 went a bit smoother. “In the ISO 27001 and ISO 20000.1 project, there was a bit more effort required on the client’s side. SONA Networks needed to implement additional controls for cybersecurity and information security.”


What are some of the biggest benefits you’ve noticed as a result of your integrated management system?

We now qualify for more profitable government contracts, that we did not qualify for prior to achieving our certifications,” says Mr. Hans. “Our ISO 9001 certification also allowed us to work to achieve Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) certification. We are currently CMMI Maturity Level 3 appraised for services, and for development.”

Mr. Oscar Combs also noticed organizational benefits SONA Networks experienced, as they worked together. “The level of appreciation SONA Networks had in regards to the benefits a quality management system brought to their organization definitely increased, from start to finish,” states Mr. Combs. “Our client was able to increase the level of employee collaboration in their projects. They were also able to establish better controls for their contractors, from orientation to the reporting of onsite nonconformities. They also worked to develop job descriptions, and establish service level agreements.”


What financial benefits have you noticed since the implementation of your QMS? For example, profitability, increased revenues, more customers, etc.

“The investment we made in achieving certification has definitely paid for itself,” Mr. Hans states. “In less than 3 years, we were able to recuperate the investment we made in implementing ISO 9001, ISO\IEC 27001 and ISO 20000.1 management systems.”

Prior to achieving certification, SONA Networks was awarded several smaller, short term government contracts, with the amount awarded beginning at $18,000. After achieving certification, our client now qualifies for longer term government contracts, with the amount awarded ranging from $104,000 to $1.9 million (Source: USA Spending).

In the years 2011 – 2014 prior to certification, SONA Networks was awarded a total of approximately $11 million dollars. After certification in 2015-2019, they were awarded a total of $18 million dollars in in government contracts.


Why did you select The ISO 9001 Group?

“I was initially concerned about travel costs,” Mr. Hans explains. “The ISO 9001 Group was able to minimize, and in some cases eliminate, travel costs. They were able to provide consulting services remotely, while providing an excellent service.”

Our consultant was always accessible for us, and answered our questions right away. I have referred several of my colleagues to The ISO 9001 Group, and I would recommend them to any company that needs a consulting firm they can trust, reply on and provide services at a reasonable cost. They are great professionals and technical folks to work with.”



This case study on SONA Networks proves that there are valuable business benefits of implementing a management system, and achieving certification. For organizations of any size in any industry, successfully implementing a management system helps improve operations and increase revenue. In addition to organizational benefits, achieving certification also improves an organizations profitability. Organizations that successfully achieve certification open the doors to new business opportunities, which includes winning lucrative government contracts. Are you interested achieving certification for your organization? Contact us today to learn how our certified management system consultants can help.


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Victoria Ontiveros | Marketing Coordinator 

Victoria focuses on creating quality educational content that provides value to current and potential clients. By collaborating with members of leadership and sales, she is able to develop informative articles that answer common questions and connect with current trends. Victoria earned her Bachelor of Science in Sociology with an emphasis in communications from Texas A&M University.

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