Michelle Sangiuliano, vice president of civilian programs and operations with NTT Data, recently spoke with ExecutiveBiz regarding the business side of innovation and addressing the challenges to drive technology from the other aspects of the federal sector than just the technical side during the latest Executive Spotlight interview.
In addition, Sangiuliano discussed the work that NTT Data is also doing for the greater community to make a difference for various charities and the people they support as well as her overall growth strategy for the company to drive its success for the rest of 2022 during the latest Executive Spotlight interview.
“At NTT Data, we have a very strong focus on furthering the empowerment for all of our employees. We have a dedicated team focused on diversity inclusion with our organization and we have built a lot of networking and mentoring groups within that team to increase visibility and equality within NTT Data.”
You can read the full interview with Michelle Sangiuliano below:
ExecutiveBiz: What can you tell us about the implementation of recent acquisitions you’ve made and how they’ve benefited your portfolio, technical capabilities and driven value for your company and customers?
Michelle Sangiuliano: “NTT DATA is focused on growth. We’ve expanded our business both organically and through acquisition, starting with Dell Services back in 2016, which increased our commercial and federal practices. We have also successfully expanded our capabilities into government consulting, through the acquisition of Cognosante Consulting in 2019.
In 2019 we also expanded our Federal Civilian business in the public health space with the acquisition of NET eSolutions. Traditionally, NTT DATA had a strong client base in both CDC and NIH but with NETE we have expanded to other healthcare agencies with new capabilities and offerings, which is fantastic.
We’ve also significantly expanded our technical capabilities through acquisition, we have focused on areas that can most benefit our clients. In December of 2019, we acquired Flux 7, an AWS Premier Consulting Partner to expand on our already extensive offerings in cloud implementation and migration, as well as automation and DevOps consulting.
We acquired Acorio, a ServiceNow Elite Partner, to expand our capacity to drive transformation (8/2020). In May of this year, we acquired Nexient, the largest 100% U.S.-based digital product development service provider, to expand on our application development and modernization capabilities—something that is very relevant in government right now.
And recently, Chainalytics has joined the NTT DATA family to round out our supply chain consulting and analytics capabilities.
We’ve been able to position ourselves very well in my sector to help government agencies emerge from the pandemic stronger and more efficiently. NTT DATA operates with a do more with less mindset. With our approach and these acquisitions under our belt, NTT DATA is now going after bigger and larger consulting and advanced technological service opportunities.”
ExecutiveBiz: What are your strategic goals for the coming year? What do you hope to accomplish and any new markets that you’re keeping an eye on in the federal sector?
Michelle Sangiuliano: “Our focus moving forward is to help my clients to emerge from the pandemic stronger than before, positioned to take full advantage of technological advancements. as they come into the market and continue to do so in the future.
Obviously, a lot has fundamentally changed in how we do business over the last two years. Many of our employees are now working remote. There are so many fantastic opportunities for improving operations through virtual engagement. At NTT DATA we worked diligently with our clients to build the platforms necessary to enable a productive virtual work environment.
It’s been very important for NTT DATA to remain flexible with our customers and our workforce. We want our company to be an agent of change by helping guide our government client to embrace cultural change. That will be critical as we move forward.
I believe these capabilities will continue to evolve now that they’ve become so important to how we do business. NTT DATA is poised to help our clients take full advantage of these technologies and assist in ongoing modernization efforts. Our continual investment in R& D means we are on the front lines of new technologies, driving operational changes and cost reductions throughout the year.
Within the federal client base, our focus is on the technical areas that drive innovation and advancement in areas like cloud-based solutions, AI, and data analytics. We are starting to see a greater shift towards as-a-service models, there is a lot more coming. These last two years were just the “tip of the iceberg.”
ExecutiveBiz: We often discuss innovation from the technical or capability side. What are some of the unique challenges that you’ve seen on the business side of innovation that hasn’t been addressed or discussed enough?
Michelle Sangiuliano: “Our government clients want to innovate. The issue is, fundamentally and historically, the government tends to be risk-averse. Innovation in many cases equals risk, pushing the envelope, stepping out of the comfort zone; normally this is not something that happens comfortably in government agencies. Many are slow to embrace change and of course there are cultural and budget issues that inhibit innovation.
And, honestly, the government does not always have the budget to drive innovation. There is a cost to innovation. But what we are seeing is there may be an even bigger cost in doing nothing. We saw this during the pandemic, and our government should always have the technical advantage over our adversaries.
Most of our clients are faced with keeping their legacy systems running while also trying to make improvements across the enterprise. For obvious reasons, that’s very complicated and a delicate balance, keeping critical systems running while implementing new technologies, security and improvements. That is where a top 10 global systems integrator like NTT DATA comes in—we can pull from a treasure trove of commercial and government best practices and support legacy systems as well.
When it comes to innovation, agencies can often focus too much on the approach or the process rather than the technology at hand. From the business side, our goals are simple; implement new processes, services or products that boost efficiency and solve real business problems.
We’re seeing more opportunities for an agile approach to design thinking. There is a noticeable shift on the business side of innovation that requires a consultative approach. We’ve seen a lot of companies establish an innovation lab to drive business ideas as a result of these sessions. Often times the best ideas are developed through collaboration, getting into a room and throwing out ideas.
ExecutiveBiz: An important part of a company having strong business ethics in the federal sector is about helping and giving back to the greater community. Can you speak to the various charities and work with other organizations that your company does to make a difference and how people can get involved?
Michelle Sangiuliano: “At NTT DATA, we do quite a bit of charity work, and are focused on diversity. We have a friendly competition among our various offices with seasonal donation drives. It’s all in good fun and ultimately the charities benefit from the generosity of NTT DATA’s employees.
NTT DATA is very committed to raising funds for the families of fallen agents. Each year we champion and sponsor several golf tournaments that raise funds for families of fallen agents within our law enforcement community. Many of our team are former agents and passionately devote time to several causes. On a personal note, each year I work with the Meredith Thompson Memorial Golf Tournament with the DEA- it is one of the most rewarding parts of my job.
I’m also very passionate about encouraging women in STEM. I’m a mom and I hope to see my daughters, nieces and friends engage with strong role models in technology to realize their potential and accomplish anything they want.
At NTT DATA, we have a very strong focus on employee empowerment. We have a dedicated team focused on diversity inclusion. We have created and supported a lot of networking and mentoring groups within that team to increase awareness, understanding and equality within NTT DATA.”