Effective partnerships between systems integrators and technology providers are paramount for both mutual business growth and meeting government mission needs.
However, the power of industry partnerships goes well-beyond the prime and subs relationship for rounding out capabilities to quickly and effectively address mission gaps for the government – particularly in areas where speed and innovation are critical.
The best impacts for both the government and industry are achieved when systems integrators partner with innovation providers that are both built for government and have strong past performance and predictability in their solutions.
These were the key themes of a recent Washington Technology guest article authored by John Sullivan, Business Development Director at Software AG Government Solutions.
We recently sat down with John to gain his insights around the true value of industry partnerships for Software AG Government Solutions, the systems integrator community, as well as government.
Q: Tell us about Software AG’s approach to developing partnerships with systems integrators, and the value we bring to them.
John: Software AG has been focused on a direct sales model for a long time, but we realized there’s a true benefit for both our clients and for us in expanding into the partner landscape. By doing so, we are able to provide built-for-government software and innovation capabilities to our integration partners who really know how to engage with government at a high level, and leverage the benefits of the cloud providers to deliver more resilient and more flexible solutions to our clients.
Advisory companies like Ernst & Young and Accenture understand the government’s challenges and know how to accelerate effectiveness. We are able to offer data integration solutions to these kinds of companies to further enhance their effectiveness and business growth.
Our approach is also to create a foundation of trust with our partners, where each party brings something complementary and additive to the solution. This removes any competitive concerns, and allows us all to collectively move forward with the right solutions for government.
Q: Overall, why is it important for industry players to partner up to best meet government mission needs?
John: The right partnerships are critical to helping the government meet its mission goals. As I highlighted in the Washington Technology article, the U.S. government always needs to retain its competitive edge on the global stage without introducing new and unintended risks.
Whether it’s for enhancing cyber capabilities or getting the right data into the hands of the warfighter, there are constant challenges that innovation provider and systems integrator partnerships can directly address.
When it takes 18 months to develop a capability that addresses our global threats and challenges, we allow the adversary time to catch up or surpass our strategic capabilities – we must find ways to accelerate the time to effectiveness for our clients to maintain U.S. competitiveness. The right industry partnerships can help the government close the gaps between our capabilities and our nation’s adversaries, who may already have an advantage, in a much quicker timeframe.
With Software AG’s deep heritage in government IT innovation, we offer a comprehensive and validated solution portfolio that is mature and capable of providing the tools that systems integrators need to help quickly fill these gaps.
Q: How does industry benefit from these partnerships?
John: There are tremendous benefits for both the innovation providers and the systems integrators.
For innovation providers, the best systems integrator partners know how to best interact with the customer and understand how to bring their innovations to life for government. This can create a track record of success where the integration partner secures future opportunities for the innovation provider.
Conversely, the right innovation partners can help accelerate projects that best meet customer needs, improve the integrator’s probability of win (PWIN), and help create new revenue generation opportunities.
Q: Can you provide a hypothetical example of these kinds of benefits in action?
John: Sure. Let’s take a hypothetical look at a cloud transformation contract. The technology provider can analyze and rationalize the government customer’s current IT portfolio to provide the best-proposed path forward.
This could include insights on what applications to sunset and which ones to accelerate. It also helps if the innovation partner has mature relationships with the major cloud providers, which can help in delivering faster results, with greater impact, and at reduced costs.
Systems integrators are able to go beyond just moving applications to the cloud to offering a comprehensive strategic IT plan for their customers. This reduces transformational risks and allows them to show the prospective government customer what IT assets they have and how they interrelate. Ultimately, this can lead to a streamlined portfolio, faster deployment times, and cost-savings for the government.
We like to perform this kind of IT analysis during the RFP phase, which helps systems integrators to demonstrate their expertise, and gain an edge over the competition.
Q: Tell us why Software AG Government Solutions’ Built for Government Portfolio is ideal for systems integrators.
John: First, we have had our IT solutions in place at government agencies for nearly forty years, which points to our deep legacy of being truly built for government.
In addition, our comprehensive portfolio of solutions makes it easier than dealing with multiple ad-hoc vendors on a customer engagement. This reduces integration, pricing, and engagement complexities, which together lowers risk to both the integrator and the government. This also improves the likelihood of success in winning contracts.
As an example, if an RFP calls for an API management or data integration solution, we have webMethods or our StreamSets platform. When it comes to application rationalization, our Alfabet solution is ideal for enterprise architecture management, IT portfolio planning and strategic IT planning. There really is no competitor to our Alfabet solution.
When it comes to process mining, our ARIS Process Mining solution is a powerful technology that provides agencies with valuable insights into their business processes. Going beyond traditional methods of process analysis, ARIS leverages data from various IT systems to automatically create a visual representation of how processes truly unfold in practice.
Add the power of our partnerships with cloud providers like Amazon and Microsoft, and you have the flexibility to deploy the right solution to meet the client’s needs holistically.
All of these solutions tie back to the true comprehensive nature of our full product portfolio – allowing us to help system integrators meet a wide-range of government needs.
Q: Are there any key future-focused trends that can be best brought to life through industry partnerships?
John: Absolutely. We all know that artificial intelligence (AI) has reached near ubiquity these days. This topic is also very much top-of-mind for systems integrators, especially when demonstrating effective use cases to government.
From a data integration perspective, we are certainly exploring generative AI capabilities for developing on-demand integrations, easy-to-build integration connectors and self-healing data mapping. These are capabilities that systems integrators will not have to build out internally and can deliver greater capability, faster, and at a lower cost.
This kind of AI-enabled enterprise integration platform will allow agencies to create connected experiences for citizens, constituents and employees. It will also provide end-to-end visibility and governance across geographies, IT environments, and complex ecosystems through connectivity from on-prem to the cloud.
The AI era is upon us, and we aim to be at the forefront of making data integration as seamless as possible. In the end, we all know that data is the foundation for mission readiness. Unlocking this data for government often comes down to the right industry partnerships.
We would like to thank John for sharing his insights with us! Click here to read his full Washington Technology article on the power of industry partnerships.