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Executive Spotlight: Kevin Parker of Deltek

Executive Spotlight: Kevin Parker of Deltek - top government contractors - best government contracting event
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Executive Spotlight: Kevin Parker of Deltek - top government contractors - best government contracting event
Kevin Parker, Deltek

ExecutiveBiz: Could you tell us a little about your background and how you came to Deltek?

Kevin Parker: I“™ve been at Deltek for almost five-and-a-half years now, but prior to that I was CFO and eventually co-president at a large enterprise software company named PeopleSoft. Before that, I spent 10 years in technology and have always been involved in the software business as either a customer or a provider of software. That background brought me here to Deltek.

ExecutiveBiz: Could you tell us a little about Deltek? What is its edge over its competition?

Kevin Parker: Deltek is a very specialized company in the sense that within the software business we“™re one of the few companies, in fact probably the only large provider that“™s solely focused on meeting the very specific needs of what we refer to as project-oriented and people-oriented businesses. These are companies that get paid to deliver projects for their customers -““ government contractors, accounting firms, engineering firms, marketing agencies and companies like that.  Most of the large players that everyone knows ““ the SAPs and the Oracles and, in my case PeopleSoft, tended to be focused on manufacturing and what we would describe as the widget world where I“™m producing something and shipping it to somebody. Deltek has a very significant advantage over companies like that. Our expertise is around helping companies manage projects and engagements that incorporate a variety of services and potentially some manufacturing.  We really got our start helping those customers and that“™s one of the things that make us very different and extraordinarily competitive.  The recent acquisitions we have made ““ such as our INPUT acquisition ““ build on our project heritage and differentiate us even more because they expand our solutions and the markets that we can target.

ExecutiveBiz: Could you give us a few examples of the project based software you“™ve made for government contracting?

Kevin Parker: As we think about projects, there are a variety of applications that we offer that help project-focused companies manage and grow their businesses. If you are managing multiple, complex projects we offer the tools and technologies that you would use to deliver projects on time and on budget. We deliver everything from human capital management solutions to strong financial management solutions that function as the accounting system, and we also offer reporting and analytical tools so you can gain insight into how your business is performing.  Whether it is sending an invoice to your customer or paying your employees or paying a vendor all of that is done in Deltek. We also help our customers answer key questions around their projects and engagements. What are your profitable projects? What are your unprofitable projects? What“™s on budget? What“™s on schedule? What“™s over budget and behind schedule as well?  Deltek delivers a very broad range of solutions, and because we are so focused on meeting the needs of our specific markets, we“™ve been continuously adding strong capabilities to our solution portfolio over a very long time.

ExecutiveBiz: As president and CEO, what are some of the biggest challenges in your role and how do you hope to overcome them?

Kevin Parker: I think that the company has grown quite a bit since I joined Deltek. We are getting closer to 2,000 employees today. When I joined, we were at about 600. It“™s been a very exciting journey but making sure that we are keeping up with the needs of our customers and thinking expansively about our markets is something we are always focused on. A great example of that is a recent acquisition we did of INPUT that I mentioned before. INPUT is not necessarily a technology solution, it is all about information. INPUT is where those government contractors go for insight as to what contracts are up for bid, and what the bid status is. We“™ve also created solutions that allow contractors to collaborate with each other. The challenge in all of that is listening very carefully to all of our customers and looking back inside of Deltek and trying to figure out how we can innovate, create and combine with other technologies to bring value to our customers. Their needs are very expansive. Their appetite for technology is very strong and that keeps us moving forward.

ExecutiveBiz: What are your goals for the next six months to a year for Deltek?

Kevin Parker: We“™ve really done quite well in the last year in terms of acquisitions. The next year is really about driving value to our customers by integrating those offerings with our existing solutions. Let“™s go back to that acquisition of INPUT. INPUT by itself is a very strong solution.  We“™re looking at expanding their research in some very clear ways to benefit our customers.  We“™re also taking INPUTs research and opportunity database and combining it with our business development and capture management tools that allow companies to know not only what their bidding on but what the bid status is within their organization, who their contacts are and their entire workflow and process of proposal preparation. Driving value and looking for those exciting integration points within our customer base and within the various technologies that we have is really what we“™re focused on in the next year. We“™ll undoubtedly consider making some more acquisitions down the line, but they are all going to be very focused on bringing value to our customers.

ExecutiveBiz: Personally, in terms of your career trajectory, what is the best professional advice that you“™ve received?

Kevin Parker: There are a few occasions where I have received great advice, but probably the best piece of advice that I ever got as a young manager was from a boss who pulled me aside and told me to slow down and start listening and stop talking. I think I was so eager to get my ideas out about what was good and what was bad and what I thought we ought to be doing that I wasn“™t listening very carefully to the people around me, and I wasn“™t listening very carefully to our customers. I think that that was a great piece of advice in terms of really starting to internalize what was going on around me and not be so eager to show everybody that I was the smartest person in the room.

ExecutiveBiz: Outside of work, what sort of hobbies or activities do you enjoy?

Kevin Parker: There are quite a few, and I don“™t get to do too many of them. My wife and my daughter and I enjoy traveling a great deal. We are avid skiers and in the last couple of years I“™ve really gotten involved in photography quite a bit as well. Those things keep me busy when Deltek doesn“™t have me off doing new things and exciting things.

ExecutiveBiz: Where have you traveled most recently?

Kevin Parker: Most recently, I was in Utah skiing, but this summer I was in Alaska. I try to do some new things and see different parts of the world and do some great adventures with the family.

ExecutiveBiz: Is there anything that we haven“™t covered that you would like to discuss?

Kevin Parker: While we have been doing some very exciting things recently, it is notable that we have been in Northern Virginia for 28 or 29 years at this point. We were started by a father-and-son accounting team here in Northern Virginia who were trying to meet the needs of some of their government contracting clients. The business has grown quite substantially since then. We now have over 14,000 customers, 1.8 million users of Deltek applications in over 80 countries around the world.  Our customer base is large and growing, and we count some of the world“™s most impressive companies as customers.  Companies like SAIC, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Grant Thornton, Hill & Knowlton, HOK and others use Deltek every day. What started out as a family-run business has in 28 years turned into a very important global competitor.

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