Vernon Bailey joined SAP NS2 — the German conglomerate’s U.S. national security subsidiary — upon SAP‘s acquisition of Sybase in 2010 and now serves as the subsidiary’s vice president of sales.
The 27-year information technology veteran oversees marketing and sales functions for SAP NS2’s database and technologies business and also is responsible for customer experience initiatives.
In this conversation with ExecutiveBiz, Bailey charts SAP NS2’s evolution since the Sybase acquisition and where he thinks agencies will hone their efforts in the area of mobile devices, as well as the subsidiary’s collaborations with public sector partners in IT security.
ExecutiveBiz: How has SAP’s federal business evolve since the Sybase acquisition?
Vernon Bailey: Since SAP NS2’s acquisition and integration of Sybase, with its strong federal business, in 2011, we’ve seen quite an evolution take place. The new transformation that we’ve witnessed includes our organizations becoming extremely mission-focused. The business sector that we specifically address is all about the success of the federal mission. Everything we do is aligned strategically to support the execution of those efforts.
Additionally, our organization has become far more customer-centric. I am excited that SAP now has a metric for all its employees with respect to customer satisfaction. This is woven into our culture — it starts with our CEO, continues with our executive leadership team and continues all the way down to every level of the employee ranks.
That is a huge difference because it means that the customer experience comes first and foremost. We continue to embrace that ethos and mantra.
Finally, we are more solutions-oriented. We recognize that we have a plethora of technologies that can be sold as individual toolsets, but to protect and extend our position as a world-class leader, it is important to provide higher-level solutions that are of deeper depth and are far more strategic in utilization, as opposed to merely selling databases.
ExecutiveBiz: What have been the main items on your agenda over the past year?
Vernon Bailey: My primary focus has been to take our set of database and technologies solutions and align them more strategically with our customers. This incorporates a lot of the acquired technologies but also includes the new forward-thinking innovation with which SAP NS2 continues to lead. That has been a huge differentiator in changing the paradigm on how customers see SAP NS2 within the federal sector.
We had a well-established customer base in the technology arena. Our focus on the customer experience paired with our technologies enables our customers to use our solutions to accomplish their missions in increasingly diverse and efficient ways. We are thinking outside of the box and helping our customers execute in ways previously unimaginable.
ExecutiveBiz: What cloud computing trend have you noticed the most?
Vernon Bailey: One of the key trends we’re seeing is that more and more federal agencies are accelerating their adoption of cloud services, whether it be a FedRAMP-approved cloud or a highly secure cloud environment, regardless of the integration challenges.
This is a huge differentiator again for SAP NS2. I simply want to share that in the cloud services sector, SAP NS2’s goal is to be in front, leading the charge in helping our customers understand that all of our technologies are cloud-compatible and the advantages that brings.
ExecutiveBiz: Where can there be more public-private partnerships in IT security?
Vernon Bailey: I am excited about our SAP NS2 ecosystem partners. SAP NS2 recognizes that, even with our $3.5 billion investment in research and development and innovative leadership, we cannot build it all. You will not be able to provide 100 percent of the solution. In order to facilitate our customers’ true needs — especially in the realm of security — you have to strategically align with other organizations that are recognized leaders in that space.
The term “ecosystem partners” can refer to some industry leaders, FSIs or organizations we partner with such as Unisys or the U.S. Navy. We are very excited about the strategic partnerships we have developed and the tangible benefits they afford our customers.
ExecutiveBiz: How do you see the mobile push in agencies taking shape?
Vernon Bailey: We’re on the cusp of a significant leap. Two years ago, GSA — as one of the federal sector leaders — took the initiative to establish, recognize and identify key strategic mobile players within the federal government. We are on that GSA list and are working very closely with a significant cross-section of the federal customer base.
When the Census was done in 2010, our mobile platform provided the architecture to support that effort. If you think about the shift of the federal customer, there has been a lot of movement from then to now. Federal employees today are thinking a lot less about the data center — hence the discussion around cloud — but it is just as important for them to receive timely, relevant and actionable information in the field.
That is where we are having a far greater impact. Ultimately, this is because we at SAP NS2 are able to help customers provide accessible mobile applications that are highly secure.