Marilyn Crouther, GovCon Executive of the Year Nominee: How the Industry Has Changed and Her Clients Top Four Priorities

Marilyn Crouther, HP Enterpise Services

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 (PSC) 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 Marilyn Crouther, Senior Vice President & General Manager, HP Enterprise Services, nominated for Executive of the Year in the greater than $300 million division.

WashingtonExec: How do you differentiate your company from its competitors? What is unique about your approach?

Marilyn Crouther: At HP we don’t just believe in the power of technology, we believe in empowering people to make technology work for them. Our goal is to help our clients make what they do matter even more.

The depth and breadth of HP’s portfolio and expertise is what separates us from our competitors and is what assures cost efficient, high quality services. HP provides applications, business process and IT outsourcing services, consulting and support to more than 1,000 business and government clients in 90 countries and together, HP and HP Enterprise Services are number one or two in IT services across every geography and industry, globally.
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The threats of cyber-attacks are on the rise and risks need to be managed more closely. Threats are becoming more adept and aggressive, including foreign intelligence services, ‘hactivists’/cyber militia, organized crime and insider threats. Threats themselves are becoming more sophisticated and more “weaponized” against well defended networks and hardened, critical infrastructure targets. At the same time, many agencies have low situational awareness of their cyber risk. Governments today must strike the balance between diminishing budgets, the mission and addressing risk.

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We do that by delivering high-value IT solutions through our talented workforce to help clients manage information and risk, innovate and become more agile to better serve citizens. Our clients’ priorities are indeed HP strengths and we focus on the following:

• Application Modernization
• Cloud
• Security
• Information Management and Analytics

WashingtonExec: How have you grown the company as the government asks the private sector to “do more with less?”

Marilyn Crouther: Our success has been defined by our ability to help our clients achieve their mission and by delivering best practices and best-in-class IT. HP has leveraged and will continue to leverage the value of our entire company to achieve our client’s mission objectives by focusing on their priorities, which are strengths for HP – applications modernization, cybersecurity, cloud computing and information management & analytics.

HP understands that our public sector clients need to be able to do more with less, meet service quality expectations, successfully achieve policy and mission outcomes, secure citizen data while maintaining the public’s trust. HP is a market leader in taking cost out of customer IT operations and applying technology to improve customer mission and business effectiveness.

We are working with our clients to develop innovative ways to save and be more efficient in an effort to help them achieve their goals. Our clients’ IT priorities are HP strengths and we are ready, willing and able to help. We know that our clients will face continued budget pressures and reductions in forthcoming years as well as ongoing scrutiny of the limited funds they receive. It is essential that we bring appropriate mission-aligned solutions that not only meet requirements, but do so cost effectively.

Another aspect of our business that has allowed us grow in spite of a difficult economic climate is the fact that HP has recently signed and holds a place on a number of key federal contract vehicles and IDIQ contracts, which allow for repeated purchases at predetermined fair prices. Some of those contracts:

• In June 2012 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institutes of Health Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC) selected HP to provide technology services to federal agencies under the Chief Information Officer – Solutions and Partners 3 (CIO-SP3) contract. CIO-SP3 is an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) government-wide acquisition contract with a $20 billion ceiling across all awardees over the next 10 years.

• In October 2011, HP announced that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) selected HP as a prime contractor for the VA Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology (T4) program. Under the VA T4 multiple-award IDIQ contract, worth up to $12 billion, HP will compete for task orders to provide advanced technology solutions across multiple functional areas. The contract has a five-year base period and serves as a centralized source for the VA to buy a wide range of IT services.

• In July 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice selected HP to provide IT solutions for the U.S. DoJ under the Information Technology Support Services 4 (ITSS-4) contract. HP is one of 20 companies that may compete for task orders under the $1.1 billion IDIQ contract. The ITSS-4 award provides a base year period of performance concluding Sept. 30, with six available one-year option periods.

WashingtonExec: What is the fastest growing component of your business?

Marilyn Crouther: In the public sector, we find that our client’s priories are our strengths. We see growth in the following areas:

• Application Modernization
• Cloud
• Security
• Information Management and Analytics

WashingtonExec: Obtaining top talent in government contracting is fierce -how is your company able to not only recruit top talent, but also retain it?

Marilyn Crouther: At HP we’re so proud of our people—both for what they’ve accomplished and what they’ll do next. The following qualities make HP a unique place to work:

• Innovating responsibly
• Growing opportunities
• Raising the bar
• Humanizing technology
• Defending efficiency
• Streamlining critical operations
• Setting the pace of progress
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The pace of innovation has quickened, which has led to increased pressure on clients to transform their applications. Applications transformation is the process of rationalizing applications to determine if they should be maintained, consolidated, modernized or retired. Modernizing applications to securely take advantage of hybrid delivery models may enable agencies to shift from CAPEX to OPEX, in light of budget pressures.

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WashingtonExec: What is your corporate culture? How do you maintain satisfied employees?

Marilyn Crouther: As the world’s largest technology company, we’re driving global IT evolution armed with passion, curiosity and a skilled team of visionaries. We’re filled with talented achievers who understand what our customers need. Everything we do, we do to make technology more practical, usable, and valuable to our customers.

From the world’s most powerful parallel processors to desktop printers to innovative new services for the enterprise, the people of HP are applying technology in ways that are vital to business, government and life. HP maintains satisfied employees by providing the opportunity to learn first-hand the client’s priories and how they can make a difference. Our employees have a sense of pride and ownership achieved by directly aligning their performance goals to client’s goals and mission. Additionally, HP provides clear pathways for career growth, a flexible work environment, and rewards employees for high performance.

WashingtonExec: How has the government contracting industry changed since you entered the sector?

Marilyn Crouther: The government contracting industry landscape has changed because the needs of clients have changed in the following ways:

• The demand for cloud services has expanded. In 2011, the U.S. Government Chief Information Officer issued the Federal Cloud Computing Strategy and the Cloud First Policy, which require agencies to evaluate safe, secure cloud computing options before making any new investments. Specifically designed for government clients, HP Enterprise Cloud Services (ECS) – Virtual Private Cloud helps agencies implement their Cloud First strategies while providing economic, security and reliability benefits. HP also offers a Government Cloud Discovery Workshop, which provides clients with a clear understanding of what governments can accomplish with cloud and helps them develop a holistic cloud strategy.

• The demand for healthcare IT services has increased. There is renewed focus in the healthcare area due to the current administrations’ sharp focus on healthcare reform and on the IT infrastructure to support it. Healthcare reform is a top national priority which results in a significant demand to employ IT to support the rapidly changing industry. HP has focused on healthcare for more than 40 years and in fact, founded the healthcare IT services industry 45 years ago. HP has developed a wide range of expertise in healthcare IT to help address market needs and offers services in: Business and Clinical Applications; Interoperability and information exchange solutions; Infrastructure modernization and Data analytics.

• The threats of cyber-attacks are on the rise and risks need to be managed more closely. Threats are becoming more adept and aggressive, including foreign intelligence services, ‘hactivists’/cyber militia, organized crime and insider threats. Threats themselves are becoming more sophisticated and more “weaponized” against well defended networks and hardened, critical infrastructure targets. At the same time, many agencies have low situational awareness of their cyber risk. Governments today must strike the balance between diminishing budgets, the mission and addressing risk. HP provides flexible, end-to-end security solutions that help clients assess where they are today, transform their enterprise to better manage risk and capture opportunity, manage their infrastructure proactively, and optimize their environment to improve compliance and continuously deliver security posture improvements.

• The pace of innovation has quickened, which has led to increased pressure on clients to transform their applications. Applications transformation is the process of rationalizing applications to determine if they should be maintained, consolidated, modernized or retired. Modernizing applications to securely take advantage of hybrid delivery models may enable agencies to shift from CAPEX to OPEX, in light of budget pressures. This process is one of the key tools agency leaders have to align their business processes, best-in-class applications, and IT to achieve better mission outcomes and save taxpayer dollars. HP has developed services and toolsets to help our clients address their specific transformation issues.

• Competition has become more fierce and the bar for IT services continues to rise. To better align systems with enhanced IT services, HP provides clients with multiple sourcing options to meet rapidly changing requirements. HP currently provides many agencies with total end-to-end consolidated data center services. HP Data Center Services delivers choice in service delivery and multiple outsourcing options to meet individual client needs; flexibility by matching IT to change with a clients business needs and innovation delivered through HP Converged Infrastructure technology and tools.

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?

Marilyn Crouther: HP offers flexible work arrangement options to enable employees to optimize their contribution and productivity by teleworking and /or become a mobile worker. Telework allows an employee to regularly perform their job responsibilities from their residence. Mobile workers have the flexibility to select various locations in and out of HP offices to work out of. HP’s mobile workforce has powered HP to become more productive, efficient, collaborative and a workforce to be reckoned with.

WashingtonExec: How is your company involved in the community? (Corporate citizenship)

Marilyn Crouther: HP embraces our role as a global citizen, and we recognize that what we do and how we do it matters. Global citizenship is pervasive throughout our business strategy. It is integrated into our policies and aligns with our core values. It spans everything from ethics, human rights, and environmental sustainability to privacy, responsible supply chain management, and social innovation.

To make a positive impact, we collaborate across institutions, industries, sectors, and borders. We apply our scale, talent, partnerships, and portfolio to help develop solutions to major environmental and social issues. Some examples of our corporate citizenship include:

• HP Impact Day with Equal Footing Foundation, an Northern Virginia Technology Council Organization: HP awarded the Equal Footing Foundation (EFF) charity a grant in support of its Southgate Community Center in Reston, Va. The donation is part of HP Impact Days, HP’s global social innovation initiative that facilitates community investments and volunteering with local organizations throughout the world. The donation will support EEF in providing underserved youth in Northern Virginia opportunities to achieve their full potential through youth development and educational initiatives. The Southgate Community Center is one of seven EEF Computer Clubhouses where students have access to resources, mentors, technology and educational programs enabling them to develop skills and experiences that will help them succeed in today’s workforce.

HP volunteers participated in the HP Impact Day May 22 – 23 at the Southgate Community Center where volunteers refurbished a library and participated organization, cleaning and furniture building projects. Prior to the Impact Day, a book drive was held in the HP Herndon, Va. office where employees donated technology and resumé building books.

The Equal Footing Foundation was founded in 1999 by Northern Virginia Technology Council members to provide a means for the region’s technology leaders to contribute positively to local communities. The foundation’s core mission focuses on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) centered activities delivered through community center after-school programs. Fairfax County

• HP 12th Annual Duck Race for the Cure: The employees of HP Enterprise Services in Herndon, VA held our 12th annual Duck Race for the Cure fundraiser July 19 to benefit the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure organization, which benefits breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment programs. The 12th annual Duck Race for the Cure fundraiser was held outside the HP Herndon Admin Building. Funds are raised through the sale of plastic ducks, t-shirts, raffle tickets, silent auction items, and picnic lunches, as well as through individual donations. This event raised more than $250,000 since 2001 – through the sale of plastic ducks, silent and live auction items, T-shirts, lunch tickets and individual donations. Prizes and gift items are donated by many individual and corporate donors.

• HP Executive Environmental Advisory Council (EEAC): Comprising 12 prominent business, academic, and NGO thought leaders, the HP EEAC provides objective environmental counsel to HP leadership. This insight helps us better evaluate opportunities, set priorities, and assess progress in areas such as energy efficiency, product reuse and recycling, and supply chain responsibility.

• Advancing low-carbon innovation: HP has collaborated with the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)—formerly the Pew Center on Global Climate Change—on various research projects to demonstrate the potential for information technology to help address climate change, including Business of Innovating: Bringing Low-Carbon Solutions to Market.

• Voice of the Workforce survey: HP’s annual Voice of the Workforce global survey solicits feedback from employees on issues such as the working environment at HP, and integrity and ethical practices at all levels of the company. In 2011, 78% of all employees took part in the confidential survey..

• Early Infant Diagnosis project: HP and the Clinton Health Access Initiative are working with the Kenyan government to reduce the amount of time it takes to diagnose an HIV-positive infant, allowing patients to be treated sooner.

• U.S. counterfeit legislation: Counterfeiting poses a sizable challenge to HP globally and is more sophisticated and pervasive than ever before. In 2011, we supported U.S. legislation that allows U.S. Customs to share information on suspected counterfeit imports with the rights holder. We also led initiatives around the world to educate government officials on the economic and social implications of allowing counterfeit products into a local marketplace. Additionally, HP offers customers products and services with privacy and data protection features.

As you can see, we affiliate with or belong to numerous membership organizations focused on a wide range of global citizenship issues, and industry associations, which seek to share learning and develop sector-wide approaches.

 

 

 

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