Barbara Humpton elevated to the CEO post in October at the federal business organization of global conglomerate Siemens and has held executive roles in the segment since its October 2011 inception.
Humpton joined Siemens Government Technologies initially as head of business development and took the chief operating officer role last year.
In the first part of this two-part conversation with ExecutiveBiz, Humpton overviews her outlook for the business and energy-related trends at agencies such as the use of smart buildings and what she calls the “unmanned everything.” Part two includes her perspective on energy savings initiatives in government and where SGT eyes opportunities in the federal healthcare arena.
ExecutiveBiz: What are your short-term and long-term goals for SGT?
Barbara Humpton: In the near term, my top priority is the successful integration of Dresser-Rand components into SGT. SGT is absorbing Dresser-Rand locations that support federal customers, primarily the Navy. These new SGT facilities include a manufacturing plant and several service centers. Completing a smooth integration will ensure we offer a broader portfolio to our customers, with the combined capabilities of Siemens and Dresser-Rand.
Over the longer term, we will continue our focus on renewable energy and energy efficiency. As a leader across the energy value chain, Siemens recognizes the significant shift to distributed energy systems driven by cost reduction, supply resiliency and sustainability.
The federal government also understands how the greater use of distributed energy can strengthen our nation's energy security and promote sustainability. This is an area where SGT, as Siemens’ lead federal energy services company, is a proven and reliable partner.
We see tremendous potential in automation technologies. Siemens’ product lifecycle management software gives our customers the opportunity to conceive, design, model, simulate and optimize manufacturability of new products and systems on an entirely virtual basis. These tools include Teamcenter, NX and related products that can help the federal government work even better and faster.
We also see an exciting trend toward “unmanned everything.” Many agencies are increasing their use of autonomous land, underwater and aerial vehicles. Siemens has automation technology that will enable significant new capabilities in the future. As the use of unmanned vehicles grows, we want to make sure they are safe and reliable.
ExecutiveBiz: How do you envision SGT bringing the parent's commercial offerings to the public sector?
Barbara Humpton: The federal government is being asked to do more with less. We are already helping agencies like the Defense Department and National Park Service improve the efficiency of their operations though the full spectrum of Siemens' globally trusted and recognized products and services.
SGT doesn't develop its own products or customize Siemens products for federal customers. Our job is to combine an understanding of the Siemens portfolio with an understanding of the federal government's needs. We ask ourselves how Siemens' products and services can support federal missions in the most cost effective manner possible.
The federal government buys very differently from the commercial sector and we have the know-how in SGT to bring the best of Siemens' offerings to the federal government, through whatever channel the government chooses to use.
ExecutiveBiz: Where do you see the smart buildings trend going in the federal market and what is driving it?
Barbara Humpton: Energy efficiency has become a priority across the globe for individuals and commercial entities, as well as governments. At the global level, Siemens is conducting relevant research and delivering technology that SGT can leverage for its federal customers. The Obama administration in particular has been very active in smart buildings.
In March of this year, the President issued Executive Order 135693, “Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade,“that lays out a U.S. Government approach for promoting energy conservation specifically in Federal buildings.
The General Services Administration has also had a robust smart building strategy for some time. It uses every available contract type and vehicle to introduce new technologies into federal facilities and processes to meet the energy efficiency goals the president has laid out.
We see our federal customers making greater use of metering so users understand both energy intake and return-on-investment of new technologies. They are starting to understand how energy resilience can be a mission-critical differentiator.
We see a trend toward incorporating smart grids into federal building frameworks so critical assets are not susceptible to disruptions. The seamless provision of energy from renewable sources into microgrids that serve critical assets at a military installation is a growing trend. We are working with Army installations to help them establish the beginnings of their smart grids. It is amazing to see them build this capability in an evolutionary way.
As they identify available funds, they can apply these to upgrading components of their overall transmission and distribution systems. Over time, they are taking more control of their energy destiny.
Click here to read Part 2 of this interview.