V3Gate Principal Guy Nielsen Dissects Everything-as-a-Service, Company Contract Strategy

V3Gate Principal Guy Nielsen Dissects Everything-as-a-Service, Company Contract Strategy - top government contractors - best government contracting event

An information technology executive with international experience and a career spanning three decades, Guy Nielsen has nurtured a life-long passion for technology. His father worked in the industry and Nielsen developed his own love for the family business as he worked through college, earning a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering at Tulane University and an MBA at the American University.

Right out of grad school, he was hired by IBM. Entering as a systems engineer, Nielsen excelled in a series of advancing roles, leaving after a decade of service as a decorated account sales manager in the telecommunications sector. Nielsen then spent time in the Netherlands and Germany as a senior executive at Aegon and a now spun-off wing of KPMG called BearingPoint.

For the past 12 years, Nielsen has been serving as a principal and part owner of V3Gate. At the IT solutions, software, hardware and services provider to the public sector, he wears many hats, but is primarily focused on developing and executing V3Gate’s strategy and overseeing the organization’s strategic pursuits, including all of its major contracts. Recently, he has been instrumental in the launch of V3Gate’s services business.

Late last month, Nielsen sat down with ExecutiveBiz to chat about V3Gate’s growing services offerings, the prevalence and importance of Everything-as-a-Service, and the values that define his company.

Tell me about your company’s culture. What aspects of the company do you think are contributing most to its success while helping to attract and retain top-level talent?

Firstly, we’re a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business. My partner, majority owner and Army veteran Oscar Valdez, is the service-disabled veteran. I think the number one key to our success—we’re one of the leading SDVOSBs in the nation by revenue and customer success metrics—is our culture.

Consistent with the leadership vision of my other partners, Matt Rzonca and Tad Rzonca, we’ve built a very family-oriented culture where we prioritize positivity, open and honest communication and simply taking care of one another. We also focus on customer service and quality, making sure we’re exceeding expectations for our clients. Our culture has been a major factor in our success. And I think our reputation is well-known enough to help us attract and retain top talent; they like what they hear about us and it’s proven true.

Those who join us do so because they want to be part of something special. They want to be part of a group of folks that have the family feel, where we take care of each other and support each other’s success. Our culture is tremendous. And part of our culture is a focus on excellence and quality; delivering for our customers. So, that’s really how we got to where we are today as a $550 million annual business. Our top client is the Department of Veterans Affairs, and our other key clients are the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, Energy and Treasury.

Where are you seeing opportunities for expansion in your company’s portfolio? What new capabilities or markets are you eyeing?

We are very strong in federal civilian agencies and are just scratching the surface in the Department of Defense, so we’re investing in and doubling down on our DOD business, actively seeking talent and actively pursuing contracts in the DOD space.

Another key strategic imperative of ours is to build our services business. We’re pursuing services contracts and task orders, investing in engineers and technologists to  help us accelerate our services strategy..

More specifically, we’re building for the future. I think Everything-as-a-Service will have a big impact on the federal sector in the coming years. Especially as cloud-enabled services and tools continue to be FedRAMPed. Everything-as-a-Service is where we want to lay the foundation for that. The real objective with XaaS is to reduce human capital and CapEx. It creates more security and more agile workloads, especially within the ever-changing workforce landscape.

How do you set your priorities around limited capture dollars? What goes into the decision-making process of what contracts you want to go after?

We have a pretty rigorous go/no-go process, where we look at the probability of win, the alignment to our competencies and strategy, cost, and how the opportunity we’re pursuing stacks up against other priorities.

We have a committee that goes through all of that and determines whether we pursue or not. That is how we prioritize our dollars. If there are multiple competing bids to consider, we’ll prioritize based on those criteria—if we have limited dollars, we pick only the ones on top of the list.

Which emerging technologies do you anticipate will have the greatest impact on the federal landscape in the next few years?

In addition to Everything-as-a-Service, we are also focusing on the new breeds of automation and artificial intelligence technologies that take automation to a whole new level. There are some pretty amazing tools out there today to optimize and secure our clients’ cloud applications. They provide real-time intelligent insight into performance and security anomalies that get mitigated automatically before they impact workloads or end users. These tools are only going to get better and better.

What contracts do you have your eye on in the near-term?

We’re readying our arsenal for the upcoming, massive NASA SEWP VI contract. This is an important one for us. We’ve done over $1.5 billion in task orders since SEWP V was awarded in May 2015. As an incumbent, we’re also all-in on the Homeland Security FirstSource III contract. DHS holds a special place in the hearts of the V3Gate family, since it was our very first formidable client starting back in 2013.

On the all-important services side, we’re going to heavily invest in key strategic services contracts like CIO-SP4 and T4NG2 contracts—those are two very critical services contracts that we will pursue in order to meet our ambitious services goals. We’ll continue to leverage joint venture models to make us eligible to pursue important services contracts that have a low revenue requirement.

Could you share some of your philosophies for staying competitive in the government marketplace?

Regardless of the sector you’re in, whether it’s government, commercial or SLED, success first and foremost requires a strong focus on culture to attract, retain and motivate your workforce. It also requires the agility and willingness to constantly rethink, challenge norms, reinvent and take calculated risks. The idle, complacent company risks becoming irrelevant quickly. Last but not least, don’t underestimate the importance of continuous improvement around operations. Operational excellence can be your strongest competitive advantage.

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