Last June, ACG National Capital held its 20th Annual Corporate Growth Awards ceremony, to showcase and award the region’s most transformational deals, top executives, and fastest-growing companies. This year’s award winners exemplify why the National Capital Region remains one of the fastest growing in the country, and one of the best places to do business.
This week, Corporate Growth, Capital Style is profiling Accenture Federal Services (AFS), the winner of this year’s Corporate Growth Award for Deal of the Year (More than $1 Billion) for its acquisition of Novetta. AFS is a technology consulting firm that is dedicated to assisting federal government agencies on their digital transformation journeys, enabling them to stay ahead of the modernization curve while providing a tech framework that fosters resiliency and innovation for their employees and their constituents.
To learn more about Accenture Federal Services, how the company’s acquisition of Novetta is enhancing its capabilities to facilitate digital transformation within federal agencies, and what’s next for AFS in the near future, we sat down with Tiffanny Gates, AFS’ Senior Managing Director and National Security Portfolio Lead.
Here is what she had to say:
Corporate Growth, Capital Style (CGCS): Can you tell our readers a bit about Accenture Federal Services (AFS)? What services and solutions does the company offer? What industries and markets does it serve?
Tiffanny Gates: Accenture Federal Services (AFS), a subsidiary of Accenture, is a technology consulting firm that transforms bold ideas into breakthrough outcomes for clients at national security, defense, intelligence, public safety, civilian and military health organizations. AFS’ services and solutions include AI, cloud engineering, data analytics, digital platforms, cyber security, technology innovation, customer experience and business strategy.
AFS brings cutting-edge commercial innovation and R&D into client missions, solving real-world problems in new ways.
CGCS: Why do federal government agencies turn to the private sector for assistance and guidance when embracing modernization and adopting digitally transformative technologies?
Tiffanny Gates: The federal government turns to the private sector for its speed, agility, and specialized expertise. This is incredibly important to our clients, who need to mobilize quickly to take on any challenge with the right capabilities, people, and experience to deliver value for their mission. AFS taps into the power of our partners, as well as Accenture’s global network, to deliver the speed and scale these times demand.
CGCS: What are some of the trending challenges that the federal government is facing when it comes to their modernization efforts?
Tiffanny Gates: Federal agencies have an enormous amount of data to secure, process, and analyze. As information gathering continues to grow exponentially, data management has become an increasingly difficult challenge for the federal government. Siloes need to be broken down to improve data sharing and unlock the value resident in large data stores. Modernization requires a partner who can bring the best modern technologies to light, see around corners on their behalf, and leverage our developers, engineers, and analytics expertise to apply those solutions to their problem sets.
CGCS: How do AFS services, products, and solutions solve these challenges?
Tiffanny Gates: AFS is always looking ahead to stay in front of what clients need. For example, we are using immersive learning with clients to help create digital twins of complex mission environments for applications such as training and simulation. This allows interactivity with an environment in a far more immersive way than a traditional screen. By integrating multiple digital twins with real-time data, we improve our clients’ ability to anticipate and react to challenges in new, complex environments.
CGCS: AFS recently won the ACG National Capital Corporate Growth Award for “Deal of the Year: Over $1 Billion” for its acquisition of Novetta. Why was this acquisition in strategy for the company? What did the addition of Novetta bring to the table?
Tiffanny Gates: This month marks the one-year anniversary of Accenture Federal Services’ acquisition of Novetta. The acquisition has enabled AFS to serve new, critical, national security missions. What’s more, the acquisition gives AFS access to a wide range of products and solutions proven in defense and intelligence community applications, including entity resolution, sentiment analysis, command, and control, IoT sensor frameworks, and big data platforms.
With the acquisition, AFS created a National Security portfolio which delivers data analytics and machine learning, full-spectrum cyber, cloud engineering, and enterprise services. This has deepened and expanded our work in national security mission areas and added more scale to our broad digital, analytics, cloud, and cyber capabilities.
This new portfolio supports our combined federal client base to meet the challenges presented by emerging threats – including nation-state actors, extremism, and disinformation – that threaten our country’s national security and outpace the federal government’s ability to respond effectively.
CGCS: Did AFS identify any lessons learned or best practices during the Novetta integration process? Did any unique or interesting challenges (or benefits) arise during the process?
Tiffanny Gates: To begin, throughout the integration, AFS and Novetta transition plans prioritized enabling our teams to continue to focus on their customer missions with minimum disruption and maximum enablement. AFS carefully pulled together information about the broader organization to reassure our Novetta employees that they had a long-term home here, and to view the acquisition as an amazing opportunity for their career.
We also shared information on our teams, programs, and capabilities widely with our new AFS colleagues, identifying opportunities for collaboration and uncovering cases where we could collectively bring new capabilities to existing customers. This discovery phase is still ongoing, but we have been very fortunate to have found countless opportunities where our capabilities are a perfect fit for an existing client need.
As someone who has been through an acquisition on other occasions, I can say that AFS has been very thoughtful about their approach to integration. AFS has been open to collaborating on new ways to optimize processes to meet or improve the pace of mission delivery.
CGCS: What’s next for AFS? Are there any opportunities that the company is currently pursuing? Any upcoming news that you’d like to share with our readers?
Tiffanny Gates: Well, we are about to begin our first full fiscal year as part of AFS, so we are excited to contribute to the company’s overall growth and to operate even more closely with AFS’ three other portfolios – Defense, Civilian, and Safety and Citizen Services. We look forward to bringing our culture of technology and growth to AFS and increasing our momentum in the federal space.
CGCS: What are your priorities as far as R&D and technology investments?
Tiffanny Gates: We are prioritizing investment in areas where we see the greatest customer need, including AI/ML, edge capabilities, and VR/XR. That said, we continually look for new technology areas for investment, understanding that an agile approach is necessary to meet emergent threats and opportunities.
For a full list of this year’s ACG Corporate Growth Award winners, click HERE. For a list of this year’s finalists click HERE.