Bruno Mahlmann currently serves as vice president of business development at Salient Federal Solutions, where he is responsible for strategic planning, go-to-market strategies and capture efforts.
Founded in 2009, the Fairfax, Va.-based firm has 1,100 employees at more than 140 offices and client sites worldwide specializing in intelligence, defense, homeland and cybersecurity.
Prior to joining Salient, Mahlmann spent time at Perot Systems/Dell Services Federal Government and Electronic Data Systems.
Before entering the private sector, he served as a CIA staff officer for 18 years.
He recently spoke with ExecutiveBiz about what it is like to be a part of the fresh agile contracting firm and how it plans to attack the market through new cybersecurity, social media and other offerings.
ExecutiveBiz: Can you explain what you do on a day-to-day basis and some of the challenges or obstacles you face on a daily basis?
Bruno Mahlmann: I’m the Vice President of Business Development for the national security domain to include the Director of National Intelligence, DoD organizations and elements of DHS.
In terms of challenges, I think some of the largest challenges are understanding the direction the government is taking in the federal sector and also in the national security market segment in general.
This sector is moving fast with respect to cloud implementations, data analytics and agile software development instantiations.
We have been engaged, like the rest of community, in understanding the implications of the IC-Information Technology Enterprise (IC-ITE) Directive initiated by General Clapper. I believe we are in a unique position to provide value in those areas.
ExecutiveBiz: Salient recently acquired the civilian information technology provider ATS Corp. How will the acquisition impact Salient’s overall service and product offerings?
Mahlmann: The ATSC acquisition is an attempt to round out or existing DoD, IC, Homeland Security portfolio and expand in to the Federal Civilian and commercial Markets. Historically, Salient Federal Solutions has been more of a DoD provider, and we support clients in DoD, Department of Homeland Security and the intelligence community at large.
The ATSC acquisition expands our portfolio for the federal civilian business areas providing capability in secure mobility, software development, cross boarder solutions and a comprehensive social media exploitation capability.
ExecutiveBiz: What is Salient doing to ensure the prosperity of the company in a time of economic constraints and increased competition?
Mahlmann: We feel like we’re in a very strong position.
We’ve built a company that’s very agile and nimble, and we, frankly, welcome the IT efficiencies that the federal government is now implementing; its well over due.
As I said earlier, our leadership team has structured our company to be very agile and to be very flexible with respect to being able to maneuver with those cuts and provide value the government sees to reduce costs with increased efficiencies.
With respect to the competition, we know some of the larger systems integrators are somewhat overburdened with legacy infrastructures, architectures and standing armies of personnel.
I think they will feel the impact of the IT efficiency directives to a higher degree. So, as a mid-tier, we feel like we can be a lot more agile than some of our larger competitors and provide a higher degree of value to our client base.
ExecutiveBiz: Are there any specific products or services that the company is currently working on or recently deployed that you feel will have a major impact on the market?
Mahlmann: Generally speaking, we believe the particular areas where the government is looking for efficiencies would be cloud services and moving specific data to cloud services and that will also facilitate the recent, and ongoing, cyber security initiatives. So, we feel like we’re very well positioned in those areas.
Several other areas would be the agile software development. Software development comprises a significant number–or significant capability for us supporting our main client base in the IC security domain. And so, the client is also moving toward iPhone type applications, and we’ve positioned ourselves to meet that demand as well. We are particularly happy with our social media capability.
ExecutiveBiz: Describe your time in the public sector and how that has that positioned you to take executive roles within private industry? In addition, how has it enabled you to look at things in a different light than maybe someone who hasn’t spent time with the government?
Mahlmann: I was a public servant to the Central Intelligence Agency for about 18 years, and I supported technical operations for many years.
My IC and general technical background have prepared me well for my current position. Many of our senior executives here have spent time with the government. So, we have a unique opportunity to understand, as a staff employees, mission imperatives for our security domain clients.
When we retired or have taken industry positions, I believe we have bridged that knowledge gap between what the government believes their products and services should be and what the value that they should be getting from industry.
Being on the industry side now, I think we’re uniquely positioned to provide significant value back to the Government.
ExecutiveBiz: Salient is a new company and has an eclectic staff of individuals from around the public and private sectors. What is it like to walk into a room with industry veterans that have different perspectives and outlooks?
Mahlmann: It’s actually quite exciting and dynamic. When you walk into a room of our senior executive staff who have decades of experience, and dedication, to our government clients, I’m reassured that we are providing optimum value to our clients from an executive level.
Our leadership team believes, as a mid-tier, we have to remain agile and provide those services and products to our clients that are the highest quality and value. That’s where we have a competitive edge.