The finalists for WashingtonExec’s Pinnacle Awards were announced Oct. 13, and we’ll be highlighting some of them until the event takes place virtually Dec. 8.
Next is Cloud Industry Executive of the Year (Private Company) finalist John Sankovich, who’s president of the Smartronix cloud business. Here, he talks key achievements over the last year, what he’s most proud of being a part of Smartronix, career advice and more.
What key achievements did you have in 2020/2021?
Over the last year, I’ve helped lead an acceleration of growth as Smartronix’s president of the cloud business, expanding the Smartronix profile as one of the largest pure-play cloud businesses supporting both the public sector and commercial customers.
This has included significant success in key areas of the business across growth in customers, capabilities, partnerships and innovation. We’re currently also leading an expansion into the space market to enable cloud adoption in this rapidly evolving community.
We created the cloud center of excellence focused on driving the highest level of cloud expertise for customers along with providing mentoring and education for emerging cloud leaders. The CoE has made an immediate impact this year with partners to include 2021 awards as an AWS Audited Managed Services Provider, AWS Managed Security Services Provider, Azure Expert MSP, two new Microsoft Gold competencies, Google Premier status and a fully operational cloud training academy to support the continuous development of cloud talent and skills.
To meet the evolving requirements for security and compliance, this year, Smartronix achieved FedRAMP authorization and DOD compliance of its Cloud Assured Managed services platform. Smartronix also launched a proprietary Accreditation Accelerator Service to offer commercial software vendors an accelerated path to achieving these same levels of FedRAMP and DOD compliance.
We’ve also been active in the acquisitions market over the last year to include adding Datastrong for capabilities in enterprise analytics, data science and data engineering and management and C2S Consulting Group for its strong presence delivering cloud solutions in the U.S. intelligence community.
In August 2021, Gartner positioned Smartronix as a Visionary in its 2021 Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud IT Transformation Services. Smartronix was recognized in the Magic Quadrant for its ability to execute and completeness of vision for the fifth year in a row.
What has made you successful in your current role?
We are very fortunate to have a group of very talented cloud, data and digital experts at the company with an incredible focus on customer missions in a wide range of areas to include national security, homeland defense, health care, finance and across both public and private sectors. Since joining, I’ve just been so impressed with the “cloud DNA” that runs through all levels of Smartronix. When you combine this with our leadership team led by Peter LaMontagne and the backing of a very supportive private equity team at OceanSound Partners, it’s just taken what was already a great story and made it even better.
What are you most proud of having been a part of in your current organization?
The Smartronix team is completely focused on supporting the customer mission and that makes it much easier to reach consensus on where we are headed as an organization and keep the team aligned. What provides the greatest value for our customers? That’s a question we ask every day and then let that answer be our guiding path. An example is the significant investments we’ve made in our managed services to achieve FedRAMP and DOD compliance.
We know that migrating mission critical workloads to the cloud is a top priority for customers and that often the security and compliance requirements impact this goal and the timing. We made these investments to help expedite this process, and then along the way we also realized we had created an equally great value proposition for software providers.
By focusing on the customer first, we actually created a whole new business offering that has really taken off with the independent software vendor community.
What are your primary focuses going forward, and why are those so important to the future of the nation?
We see one of our primary missions as bringing innovation to our customers. We’ve heard from them repeatedly that it’s not about cloud or on premise, or one software platform versus another — it’s more about working with trusted partners to deliver outcomes with the greatest value to their mission.
So our focus continues to be on innovation where we work together across a broad ecosystem to bring together the right tools into scalable, secure, compliant platforms that meet the requirements today and can also be leveraged and adapted as those needs and change and evolve in the future.
What’s your best career advice for those who want to follow in your footsteps?
At Smartronix, we often talk about being “life-long learners,” where you try and approach each situation as an opportunity to learn, grow, and develop yourself and your team. Often, this means making a change when you get too comfortable in a role or have reached a plateau where you no longer feel challenged.
I’ve been very fortunate over the years to have great mentors like Peter that share this philosophy. We try to create a culture that supports and incentivizes people to keep reaching for that next level of personal and professional development with a focus on learning and growth at every step.