Cynthia Stuebner, director of Defense Business Line for Pegasystems, recently spoke with ExecutiveBiz regarding Pegasystems’ challenges and growth, improving customer relations, modernization and no-code approach that differentiate the company in the federal market moving forward.
“It should not take five years to roll out a pay and personnel system. You can accelerate those types of business system development improvements so they become more effective. Organizations will have more people, more time and more money to focus on new initiatives, and that is really the win-win situation for the Department of Defense.”
ExecutiveBiz: What are some of the methods and challenges you face while growing your government business?
“The main challenge we face as a company is awareness. Pega is not necessarily a household name yet. In most government circles we have become pretty prevalent, but certainly across the government sector as a whole, we’re still investigating new ways to become a recognizable name.
Business modernization ebbs and flows, which is what we focus on improving and understanding. My team focuses on defense specifically, but Pega works across the entire federal government.
Business modernization is always a challenge for the Department of Defense. While being more efficient at acquiring technology and financial management is necessary, these initiatives can be hidden behind more mission critical operations, which can present other challenges.”
ExecutiveBiz: How has Pega been able to improve the customer experience for its clients?
“The main focus for Pega is to help our customers achieve their intended outcomes. We strive to improve how our customers get business done and also how they interact with their customers. So improving the customer experience and helping automate work serve as pillars at our organization.
For example, the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) is very accustomed to realizing that not all their research is going to turn into an actual capability for the Air Force. But they are focused on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of their business systems in order to field cutting edge technology as smartly and quickly as possible.
You can’t do that when you don’t have a holistic view of your operations. And so they have standardized their enterprise business systems organization on the Pega platform, which has enabled them to have not only a holistic view across the entire AFRL enterprise, but allowed them to customize applications to address specific domain needs while still affording a level of standardization across the entire organization.
Our customers are able to tailor all those aspects so they can still achieve the same capabilities while providing a holistic view of what’s going on across and within the organization.”
ExecutiveBiz: What are some of the biggest changes facing defense modernization right now?
“With COVID-19, business improvement initiatives have taken a temporary back seat to more mission-critical support efforts. In some respects, this is business as usual for an organization accustomed to rapid response such as the DoD, so it’s not surprising the country has looked to the DoD to help provide needed support and services during this difficult time; it’s what they do. They are masters at getting the job done with the tools and supplies they have at hand, as they’re always mission focused. However, as one of the three pillars of the National Defense Strategy, improving how the department does business is crucial to drive efficiencies that enable the department to repurpose time and money to improve readiness and support the core mission.
The opportunity still exists, on a massive scale, for Pega to come in and demonstrate how, using our digital automation platform, functional organizations and entire agencies within the DoD can begin their modernization journey. Pega has helped some of the largest organizations and government agencies around the globe address their most difficult digital challenges by identifying the outcomes they hope to achieve, whether those are reducing manual effort due to legacy customizations, wrap around integrations to keep systems up to date with changing rules and requirements, or complete application replacements to enable a new way of doing business that is more efficient and less expensive than in the past.”
ExecutiveBiz: Can you elaborate on the “no-code” approach and discuss the potential benefits?
“The concept of ‘low-code/no-code’ is that application development is done using a visual or what people like to call ‘declarative’, a set of tools instead of a traditional programming process r where you have to manually type in code.
It’s a complete model driven development environment and it helps you build something quickly, in real-time with the user and IT collaborating. No-code enables a level of collaboration that accelerates the development process by as much as 75 percent. Users can build, test and deploy applications in weeks, not months or years.
With our visual development interface, you can always go into the backend and observe the Java code if necessary. But once an organization sees the power of the Pega platform with its visual drag-and-drop tools to build and field applications quickly, they realize it can help them address a number of other issues, whether it’s automating other processes or enabling other outcomes than they ever had originally intended when they first started down the path for that journey of automation.” We like to say we can show our customers the art of the possible with the Pega Platform.”
About Cynthia Stuebner
Stuebner is an expert in identifying and implementing effective business strategies for the future in United States and International Defense markets while positively impacting current and long-term results. In her role at Pegasystems, she focuses on innovative transformation and corporate foresight through use of market leading technology.
Pega is the leader in cloud software for operational excellence and customer engagement. Every day, Pega powers millions of automated processes, billions of customer interactions, and trillions of dollars of business by helping people open bank accounts, change phone plans, get healthcare, manage insurance claims, apply for permits, and more. The world’s most recognized and successful brands rely on Pega’s AI-powered software to optimize every customer interaction on any channel while ensuring their brand promises are kept.
Pega’s low-code application development platform allows enterprises to quickly build and evolve apps to meet their customer and employee needs and drive digital transformation on a global scale. For more than 35 years, Pega has enabled higher customer satisfaction, lower costs, and increased customer lifetime value.