4. Federal Agencies Want Solution Providers Who Specialize And Diversify
Joel Lipkin, general manager of TKC Integration Services, a Herndon, Va.-based solution provider, said TKC is actively looking to add vendors that tackle 21st century federal government problems, such as cybersecurity. Lipkin named Sendio, whose products he said allow him to build federal solutions that aren't based in a rip-out-the-old, install-the-new mentality but complement existing architectures.
"They need solutions that enhance and complement, not that replace," Lipkin said of his federal contracts. "They also need solutions that offer an explainable and demonstrable technical advantage over the current baseline. We don't want a situation where we're saying, 'Here's 15 flavors of antivirus, which would you like?' It has to be, 'Which antivirus is going to work best for your situation?' and provide it. You need a good toolkit that you can reach into to put together a solution that's going to work for that particular situation. Some vendors offer that. Others don't."
A diversified solution set has been crucial to ACS Federal, said Conway, who's seeing the government's priorities line up with ACS Federal's strengths, just as the company emerges. (After a five-year absence, ACS returned to the federal market in November 2008 after a noncompete agreement it signed with Lockheed Martin -- which had acquired ACS' previous federal unit in 2003 -- expired.)
"The business we divested back then was primarily a staff augmentation business," Conway said. "Now, it's great timing with all the emphasis on efficiency. That's what we do. We have what I call four aces: mail room and administration services, customer care, finance and accounting, and intelligent transaction processing. Ace No. 5 is health care and support for making the business of health care operational. We're now in a position where we can take the successes we've had in other areas and apply them to the federal government."