Bill James, VP & Director of Business Development at TechTeam, Talks Future of Government Contracting

Bill James, VP & Director of Business Development at TechTeam, Talks Future of Government Contracting - top government contractors - best government contracting event

As we enter this new decade, we are faced with many questions. Where is government contracting moving? What will be the priorities in the next few years? We had the chance to catch up with Bill James, Vice President and Director of Business Development at TechTeam, to ask him some of these questions. We learned some of TechTeam's goals for the next year and what, in his mind, will be the future of government contracting. Check out the video below to find out which sectors he believes are going to be hit hardest by insourcing.

ExecutiveBiz: Which sectors are going to be hit hardest by insourcing?

Bill James: Frankly I believe the defense market.  They will clearly be hit and have the most challenges when it comes to the insourcing.  Civilian agencies are interested in that and they are pursuing some insourcing and in my mind there are goals to be met that have been handed down within the Department of Defense and there are acquisition agencies and inherently governmental roles that are now being insourced.  By the way I believe those should be insourced.  There are things that need to happen that should have happened that are happening now.  On the other hand just because there is a mandate to do it and there are good reasons to do it there should also be guidance to do it.  I think the inherently governmental roles and functions should be insourced as appropriate and by the way the government has been undersourced to accomplish the roles that are now being insourced for a long time.  The fact that they are being given resources to accomplish that goal, I'm all for it.  I spent twenty years in the government.  I started at the bottom as a GS-1 and left as a member of the Senior Executive Service; so I do have an affinity and a passion for the job that these civil servants do every day.  I'm eager for them to get the resources they need to do the job that they have been given.  On the other hand there is a balance between what the government can and should do and what the contractors should do.  I'm hoping to reach that happy balance.

ExecutiveBiz: Deconflicting will produce winners and losers.  Who are going to be the winners and who are going to be the losers?

Bill James: Companies that do both are going to be the losers. So on one hand you can't advise the government on buying technology and then on the other hand also sell that technology.  Right now we've seen in the Washington Post companies who are actually putting up major parts of their company for sale in order to reduce the exposure to that conflict.  What I think will happen as companies begin to sell off those parts of their company that represent a conflict to the other then I think that you will see some consolidation in the market.  A company that builds aircraft and then also offers advisory and assistance services to support a government client who is buying those aircraft; you'll see that they will be getting out of that market.  On the other hand companies that want to get into that advisory services and SETA market will look to buy up those assets or those requirements.  I see opportunity but I think you are going to see some consolidation here in the market and I think that's for all of us.

ExecutiveBiz: What are your company's top goals for the next twelve to eighteen months?

Bill James: TechTeam Government Solutions, like everybody, wants to grow.  We have some strategies that will allow us to do that.  TechTeam has a strong market in the National Institutes of Health and health is a strong market.  If you look at the Gartner, Forrester or if you look at any report from INPUT ““ all of the opportunity databases will show you that health services is strong and growing market.  TechTeam Government Solutions is in that market and we expect to leverage our position and grow increasingly out of the civilian agencies into, for example DOD Health. It is a huge market and the BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) activities that are ongoing which will move things to San Antonio will be something that we and of course other companies hope to take advantage of.  The other market that I see growing is Homeland Security.  Everybody is looking at DHS and Homeland Security as a market and that is great but there are parts to that equation that I think offer particular advantage to TechTeam and that is the Guard.  TechTeam Government Solutions has a footprint in the Air National Guard.  As you know all of the governors own the Guardsman until they chop to the federal government.  They are the first responders in the event of an emergency, hurricane or tornado.  They are the first ones that the governors call up.  When you play the Guard opportunities with Homeland Security against the position that TechTeam enjoys in that market we think that we are going to have a bright future.

ExecutiveBiz: As a new decade dawns what will government contracting look like ten years from now?

Bill James: The pressures of the acquisition community are immense.  They have a job that is too big for the resources that they have to do.  I expect technology to be applied in the acquisition community just like it has been applied in the functional domain.  We have HR, logistics, finance and all the other business staff areas of any business in any government agency ““ acquisition is one of those.  I think the acquisition community is playing catch up in that technology.  My expectation will be that web 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 will be applied to that acquisition process and will accelerate and enable that process in a way that we can't foresee right now.  I expect big things, big accelerations in the ability to produce results for the client ““ that is the government has to buy things for their internal clients.  I expect that to accelerate and by the way a higher level of quality as well.

ExecutiveBiz: What emerging markets will you be pursuing?

Bill James: Health and everybody knows there is a lot of money moving that way and the demographic as we get older it's going to be an increasingly important market so that is going to be a growth market.  Homeland Security ““ everybody believes that's going to be a big market, I do too.  I think that's going to grow and continue to grow but in ways that just are not obvious on the table.  I think that there are plays there that if you are clever and you get out in front of I see some big opportunities I think our company can be successful.  Cyber ““ we are just at the beginnings of that domain ““ the Air Force, Army, Navy in particular are figuring out what they need to do and how to accomplish their cyber missions offensive and defensive and companies that are prepared to support the Department of Defense in particular are going to be well served.  It's beyond DOD.  The civilian agencies they all need to protect the data, simple HR data; your social security number.  Every agency has employees whose data needs to be protected.  I believe companies are going to be around to help support these agencies perform their missions in cyber; whether it's war fighting and defense or simply doing your business in a secure way that serves the tax payer.  I think it's going to be a big market.

ExecutiveBiz: Which applications and strategies will lead IT spending in the new decade?

Bill James: Typically in the 80's or 90's a lot of the spending was focused on widgets; PCs, servers, storage networks, cloud computing, some IT thing.  I believe that as we move forward IT will become a piece of the functional domain so spending may be in health, spending may be in HR or spending may be in logistics IT will become an integrated component of that.  The whole idea of having spending which is separate and apart from the functional domains ““ I think that will begin to dissolve and resolve in a way that shows up as spending in support of a mission.  The metrics about spending Clinger-Cohen 5% reductions per year will I think in some ways transform to be a 5% improvement in mission productivity as opposed to a 5% decrease in IT spending.  Both companies and organizations as I understand that it is all about mission and it's not just about IT widgets I think it is going to be increasingly successful.

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