Vishal Tulsian wears multiple hats, but it’s all in the service of a common agenda. As Science Applications International Corp. senior vice president for state/local, health care and federal financial customers, he has a single goal in mind across all those varied entities.
“They are all there to serve the citizens,” he said. “I’m responsible for account management, client satisfaction, sales and quality standards — ensuring they have the technology they need to meet that mission.”
A recent acquisition has strengthened SAIC’s ability to hit that target, while a focus on multi-sourcing integration gives customers the flexibility they need to acquire the right tools in the way that best suits their requirements.
Gartner defines multi-sourcing service integration, or MSI, as the provision of technology consulting, project implementation and operational management services by multiple internal and external IT and business process service providers. In practical terms, this means SAIC can gives its customers multiple pathways to reach their destination.
“It’s really about the power of choice,” Tulsian said. “Rather than have one company provide all the services to them — which is not conducive to innovation — we might give them seven specific vendors with competency in many given areas.”
In this model, the customers get choice — in a turnkey format — and vendors compete on price. Tulsian said this gives public sector IT shops an efficient and effective way to pursue their modernization needs.
To capitalize on that momentum, particularly on the health care side, SAIC recently acquired Halfaker and Associates, with its proven ability to create, modernize, integrate and secure mission-critical systems.
“We are so proud to have them join our team,” Tulsian said. “It reenforces our commitment to supporting the health care mission, especially in support of our veterans. That team’s expertise, and their immense presence among veterans, has been an amazing expansion strategy for us.”
Common core values have ensured a smooth integration of Halfaker’s capabilities into the SAIC operation.
“We considered multiple portfolios for acquisition, and when we looked at their purpose, their mission and their scope, it was a perfect mirror image of what SAIC has,” Tulsian said. “It’s easy to integrate a company when there is that similar sense of purpose.”
Looking across his diverse portfolio, Tulsian said he sees some common needs among the public sector agencies he serves. All are looking to embrace digital transformation as they prepare for the future.
“The pandemic showed us that those at the forefront of that digital transformation were the ones who were able to provide service more effectively, at a much faster pace,” he said.
Shared services, in particular, is an area of common interest. Industry has increasingly learned to deliver technology in support of this model, and government is becoming more sophisticated in its deployment of shared services across the enterprise.
“If you look at the power of shared services at the public sector level, it is doing wonders,” Tulsian said. “We can support that through MSI: It can sit on top of that entire construct, allowing for a plug-and-play approach as agencies look to leverage their shared resources.”
SAIC also is helping customers across the board to implement cloud in support of human-centric design, as a means of elevating the citizen experience.
“A cloud-first expansion is key to making sure they have the flexibility they need,” Tulsian said. “It’s what enables automation, which in turn supports that higher level of citizen service.”
Internally, Tulsian is focused on ensuring SAIC has the skilled personnel available to support customers’ rapidly-changing technology requirements.
“Talent acquisition has become a major war for all of us,” he said. “Key to that is supporting the work-life balance. We are offering a lot more flexibility to our employees. We had been offering every other Friday off. Now, we’re adding a four-day work week. And we’re investing in our employees’ medical needs: For two years in a row, we haven’t raised our premiums.”
Tulsian also is focused on delivering a particular, practical-minded vision of innovation.
“In public sector, our challenge is around the adoption of innovation, not necessarily innovation itself,” he said. “Our role is to be the honest broker for innovation, to make sure that our customers are pursuing the right solution at the right time.”
Looking ahead, SAIC will be seeking to maximize organic growth, while also scouting further potential acquisitions.
“We are again in the M&A market, and we’re looking to that as part of our long-term expansion strategy,” Tulsian said.
As a 23-year veteran of the public sector space, Tulsian said he takes special pleasure in supporting the needs of diverse government agencies.
“For me, it’s always about making sure that we provide the right service, at the right time, for our customers,” he said. “And I also like the sense of giving back to the community. We support organizations like Feeding America and the American Heart Association. It’s a responsibility that we take seriously and one that I feel we should be focused on.”