Throughout his career, Dave Patterson has led a variety of businesses ranging from technical and professional services, to manufacturing management and consulting. Today he serves as president and CEO of Siemens Government Services, Inc. (SGS). In the following Q&A, Patterson talks about his overall approach to the federal space, his biggest challenge in business today, and how he’s helping create a little harmony in the world.
We spoke earlier about the differences between Siemens Government Services and Siemens Corporation, can you please elaborate?
Dave Patterson: SGS is a special purpose, wholly-owned subsidiary of Siemens. The company itself was formed in 2001 in conjunction with a Siemens acquisition of a company holding federal contracts. In order to support these contracts, Siemens created a new, self-contained entity specifically designed to perform federal work. SGS maintains its own board of directors and acts as an independent, yet affiliated Siemens company. We are specialists in federal program management and integration, providing Siemens technologies and solutions to the federal marketplace.
What is your overall approach to the federal space?
Dave Patterson: We are what I like to call a “technology practitioner.” We implement customized solutions in conjunction with key strategic partners. In fact, some of the 4 x 24 member companies are organizations we work with to support federal customers. The technologies that we bring to the market are focused on infrastructure improvement — things such as building automation systems, fire and security systems, telecommunications, and other types of IT-enabled solutions. We also have extensive maintenance and logistics capabilities to install and service these systems across the U.S. and around the world.
What is your biggest challenge in business today?
Dave Patterson: Focusing our sales efforts. The portfolio of Siemens products and services is extensive, so we must direct our time and energy towards opportunities where our solutions represent the greatest value to the government. We all deal with the long cycle times associated with federal procurement, so it is imperative that we work smartly in our own business development and also collaborate effectively with others.
What is your strategy to grow your business?
Dave Patterson: SGS is structured around three areas of expertise: improving safety and security, reducing energy consumption, and ensuring the interoperability and integration of federal programs. We provide end-to-end solutions in these areas.
The safety and security of America’s assets and infrastructure remains a key priority for our nation, and we work closely with customers to refine integrated security systems for buildings, airports, and other locations. These solutions include building automation, fire and life safety, physical security, RFID, biometrics, and HSPD-12 based technologies. We can design, install and maintain a wide range of systems.
SGS is equipped to manage energy savings projects as the U.S. government expands its focus on reducing energy consumption. This is another area in which SGS draws on the experience of Siemens, where the commercial market has been served for years.
Our third area of focus is in integrating people, processes, equipment, and systems for optimal program performance. SGS maintains robust program management disciplines supported by industry-leading data management software. Our technical staff offers solutions ranging from call centers, to dispatch and maintenance services, designed to maintain systems and infrastructure optimally and avoid unnecessary expenses and downtime.
What hot trends will impact your customers over the next 12 to 18 months?
Dave Patterson: I believe the government is going to continue its focus on strengthening the critical infrastructure of our country. As we enter into a new administration, the president and congress will continue to face the challenge of defending our nation in an effective but practical manner. SGS provides technologies and solutions that meet many of those needs. I think that the current energy crisis is a reminder that we must become more energy efficient as a country. I am pleased that Siemens is able to bring proven solutions and experience in energy savings performance contracting to the federal marketplace directly through SGS.
What is something most people don’t know about you personally?
Dave Patterson: Most people don’t realize that I love Barbershop Quartet singing and in fact, used to be in a group.
A long time ago?
Dave Patterson: It’s been several years ago, but I guess it has to do with my family roots back in Tennessee. I grew up listening to the harmony in bluegrass music and found Barbershop to hold a lot of similarity. I think we need more “harmony” in this world!
Interview with Dave Patterson conducted by JD Kathuria
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