When Google, a fast-paced, dynamic industry leader, was looking to bolster their ability to provide solutions to the government, they found MJ Pizzella; a federal veteran whose personality and skill-set fit right in with the Internet giant.
Pizzella, who left the position of associate administrator at the GSA's Office of Citizen Services to join Google, shed some light on the issue of switching from a government official to a contracting leader.
“The work is much the same: you are still at the table with the government, but it is the other side of the table,“ said Pizzella. “You're the person making suggestions for solutions, but not the person making the final decisions. It is a different role, but I'm still involved in solving problems with the government so that feels natural.“
The dynamic has also changed at Google somewhat, according to Pizzella. She credits Google's wild success in the market to the company's ability to stay agile in a demanding environment and the ability to improve and refine already successful products.
“It has gotten much more interesting (since arriving in 2006) — though I know that is hard to believe,“ she said. “The transformation of technology everywhere has been so fast, but at Google it is really at warp speed. In the enterprise area, the products we work on are constantly improving. We are rolling out new versions of products, almost to the point where it becomes a little hard to keep up with. It is a challenge to keep up with the innovation across technology.“
In the already quickly evolving realm of government contracting, where the federal demand seems to shift as frequently as the latest technology, Pizzella must stay on her toes to make sure the Government gets the product they require.
“There really is no typical day at Google, at least for me,“ she said. “If there is one thing that is the same, it's that we are constantly working on problems we can help solve for the government. (On the Google Federal Enterprise Team) many of us worked for the government prior to joining Google, so there is a dedication here that runs deeper than just business. Everyday there is a different challenge, but there is always a challenge of some kind. We are always working to help some agency, or some part of an agency, work more effectively. Generally these are large challenges, but that's what makes it interesting.“