WashingtonExec Series: Want To Be GovCon Executive Of The Year?
The finalists for this year’s Greater Washington Government Contractor Awards were announced last month, and as promised, WashingtonExec is bringing you its annual series with GovCon Awards all this month before the winners are unveiled November 1.
The winners will be announced at the annual gala at Marriott Wardman Park hotel in Washington, D.C., and the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, Professional Services Council and Washington Technology magazine will present the awards. With over 1,300 business and public sector leaders attending the event, our series will keep you up to date with all the finalists for this year–who they are, what they do, and why they are worthy of winning.
Today’s series nominates Tony Jimenez, President and CEO of MicroTech, who is nominated for “Executive of the Year” in the $75 million to $300 million division.
WashingtonExec: How do you differentiate your company from its competitors?
Tony Jimenez: At MicroTech, we emphasize delivering total solutions not simply dropping a product off on the loading dock and sending a Purchase Order. We focus on the end result. We don’t just concentrate on what the opportunity is, but rather what it can be. If someone buys 100 servers, we ask what are they using them for; do they need people to integrate their new technology; what kind of people do they need; do they need software, etc.? I call it the “Art of the Possible.” How do we become their one stop shop – their trusted advisor and their main go-to partner? The MicroTech culture is built around serving the customer. For us, customer service doesn’t mean doing just what we are told. It’s about making the client’s life easier (e.g., figuring out what keeps them up at night) and solving problems they might not even know they have. We understand how much clients value a flexible approach, so many high growth companies feature their flexibility in their marketing and show that the big differentiation is that they are problem solvers. I firmly believe the key for us is our ability to make everything we sell seamlessly integrate into a client’s very complicated operating environment. Very few of our competitors have the range and depth of service capabilities we offer. Fortunately, MicroTech is able to leverage our well-earned reputation, which. of course, is a key element in building a professional services brand. If you have a reputation…and proven track record… as an innovative, high level Technology company with smart people who can fix any problem, you have eliminated 95 percent of your competitors.
“We don’t just concentrate on what the opportunity is, but rather what it can be.”
WashingtonExec: What is unique about your approach?
Tony Jimenez:We understand the customer’s needs because of our depth and breadth of experience in the government arena; this allows us to highlight our innovation and creativity in providing technology solutions.
WashingtonExec: How have you grown the company as the government asks the private sector to “do more with less?”
Tony Jimenez: We pride ourselves on streamlined processes that have been obtained through significant investment in our quality programs such as ISO and CMMI which translates into efficiencies and “best value” solutions for our clients.
WashingtonExec: What is the fastest growing component of your business?
Tony Jimenez: Social Media Solutions and Cloud Computing.
WashingtonExec: Obtaining top talent in government contracting is fierce -how is your company able to not only recruit top talent, but also retain it?
Tony Jimenez: Our most important asset is people, and we not only offer great benefits, but we also provide opportunities to develop both personally and professionally. People come to MicroTech because of our reputation for delivering quality solutions to a broad array of clients.
WashingtonExec: What is your corporate culture? How do you maintain satisfied employees?
Tony Jimenez: Every business needs a set of Corporate Core Values and Beliefs that provide an underlying framework for guiding its actions and decision making. Ultimately, the established Core Values are an integral part of the corporate culture. MicroTech’s Corporate Core Values are the embodiment of what we stand for as an organizational entity. Our values are visible through the actions our leaders and every individual in the enterprise take on a daily basis. They, in fact, form the foundation of everything that transpires in the MicroTech work place. MicroTech’s Core Values are much more than minimum standards. They inspire us to do our very best at all times. They are the common bond among MicroTech employees, and they are the glue that unifies and ties us together, regardless of our work location. They also serve as beacons vectoring us to the path of professional conduct. Our Core Values create a climate that inspires ethical commitment in each of us. Our values-based leadership is an empowering approach leading to success. Rather than burden our people with excessive controls, this approach reflects the trust we have in them to make decisions and to act based on values — values they themselves helped shape.
“Where we saw the government’s increasingly expanding use of unified communications to reduce costs over the last several years, we are not seeing that continued pattern with many of our customers.”
WashingtonExec: How has the government contracting industry changed since you entered the sector?
Tony Jimenez: Looming sequestration is the biggest change we have seen recently. The government appears to holding on to their funds until the last possible minute. We expect the very end of September to be far busier than it generally is. We have also seen a reluctance by our customers to move forward with some otherwise cost-cutting and time saving technology because the focus tends to be only on maintaining. Where we saw the government’s increasingly expanding use of unified communications to reduce costs over the last several years, we are not seeing that continued pattern with many of our customers. Unified communications can greatly reduce the future travel budgets for many agencies and departments, but it does require an upfront investment. That upfront investment is becoming increasingly more difficult for our customers due to current budget uncertainty. Where logically spending $10,000 or $15,000 today to save $50,000 or $60,000 next year is usually an easy sell, when no one has any idea of what their budget will look like next year, our customers aren’t willing to make that investment.
WashingtonExec: Does your company have a Bring Your Own Device Policy (BYOD)? What has been your largest challenge with this policy? How is the “mobile workforce” changing the way you conduct business within your company and with the federal government?
Tony Jimenez: Currently, the MicroTech IT policy does not permit BYOD at this time, however, we are in the process of evaluating multiple Mobile Device Management software applications and we are implementing policy to enable BYOD by Oct 1, 2012. The challenges that we are facing with this policy is ensuring that our solutions for security the corporate data being accessed by the employees device is secure without implementing controls that hinder the applications that are important to the employee for their personal use. The successful implementation of BYOD will enable our workforce to be more efficient and agile and will provide a mechanism to demonstrate capability to our federal government clients by showing the implementation and segmentation of work/professional life without impacting functionality or security.
WashingtonExec: How is your company involved in the community?
Tony Jimenez: At MicroTech we encourage employees to give back to their communities. An inherent commitment to love thy neighbor has added up to a herculean effort to positively impact the community. No cause is too trivial for the company and its dedicated employees. MicroTech works with a number of official charities and interest groups and offers everything from transportation, lodging, and event support, to fund drives, providing promotional items and entertainment. Our employees pitch in and assemble shipments for overseas troops, collect items for food and clothing drives, and bid on auction goods and services that support the care and treatment of our nation’s heroes. MicroTech hosted contingents of professional athletes to visit wounded troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas, and Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Virginia. We donated more than $40,000 in fitness equipment for the U.S. Army Combatives Center located on Fort Belvoir. The center is used by all military services including wounded warriors. At the opening ceremonies, MicroTech was highlighted for its sustained contributions to the military, specifically our wounded warriors. MicroTech annually supports the United Way; this year we raised over $8,700. Our donation provides almost 3,000 meals to senior adults and qualifying individuals with disabilities, and provides housing for families through the Salvation Army. The funds also help youth achieve their potential through education, help families become financially stable, and provide critical health care services.
WashingtonExec: What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Tony Jimenez: Love what you do, and do what you love.
WashingtonExec: What is something most people might not know about you?
Tony Jimenez: I love sports. In my younger years, I boxed and practiced martial arts. Today I sponsor fighters in the UFC and Strikeforce (sponsors five World Champions). I consider myself a serial entrepreneur. My first business was a Sports Memorabilia business that was started in my garage. It eventually grew it to a multi – million dollar business that I sold in 1993. Before I started MicroTech, I spent 24 years in the Military, served in Europe, the Mid-East, Latin America, Africa, and the Far East.
WashingtonExec: What book do you recommend to young executives?
Tony Jimenez: What the CEO Wants You to Know by Ram Charan.