With the recent news that NetImpact Strategies recruited a new CEO, MileMarker10 CEO Susan Sharer sat down with Founder and Chairperson, Kavita Kalatur, and CEO Venkatapathi “PV” Puvvada to discuss the company’s success to date, introducing technology and informing Government, and what comes next for NetImpact.
Growing to its Next Stage
NetImpact has seen phenomenal growth over the years and Kavita said that the company wanted to continue along the path of what has made it successful – serving as a trusted advisor to Government. “We are at the crux of so many changes in the market, there is pressure on Government and industry to be able to support the same missions, and growing missions, with less. We are also at a nexus of exciting new technologies and Government being open to adopting in a new and bigger way.”
She says she believed there was an opportunity for NetImpact to advance to the next generation of transformation through a leader such as PV, backed by a proven record of success and a solid understanding of supporting true transformation.
PV says underpinning that understanding is a focus on outcomes, rather than just inserting technology. “It is not just about technology but about transforming clients’ business processes and accelerating high impact modernization initiatives to deliver significant benefits to the mission.”
He also says the key is to focus on building high performing, collaborative teams. To be able to do so within the culture of a small, agile company but with large company capabilities, to differentiate by investing in solution capabilities, is the way to stand out in a mid-market field that is very crowded. “Leveraging NetImpact’s Health IT experience, we will look to invest in opportunities to accelerate, and to continue to operate with the customer at the center and being people-focused and that means motivating and enabling our people to succeed.”
The Future of Innovation
Kavita says that more than ever, agencies are being pushed to deliver more with less while missions remain with the same focus, and in some cases, larger populations to serve. “Technology supports that concept of driving efficiency without losing effectiveness, but it must be a meaningful application of technology, about technology with a solution focus, not just about inserting a shiny new object.”
NetImpact, backed by extensive experience in the market, is skilled at bringing accelerators to deliver faster and moving forward, focuses on the view that platform solutions can be built in a scalable way to support both the needs of today and the opportunities of tomorrow. “Solutions must be able to move both horizontally to cover new and emerging needs, but also vertically, to meet growing demand. We expect to see some of the accelerators we have invested in through our Innovation Hub will become these optimizers.”
According to PV, automation is part of the solution to acceleration and that ability to do more, but automation in a smart way, around workflows, and business processes, which become an essential element of transformation. “Putting automation in the hands of the user, creating tools and processes for end users to enable them to configure, to personalize their digital experience is key.”
PV says understanding various personas from the user perspective across various domains creates the opportunity to apply NetImpact’s Mission-Centered DesignTM. “We aren’t just thinking about today’s processes but the future needs, and the flexibility that will be required,”
The other side of innovation, he says, is about leveraging data into information analysis – both predictive and cognitive analytics. This requires technologies such as AI, and Machine Learning being deployed in the context of the mission and based on use cases within the mission.
Cloud as a mechanism, as a business model and technology, is a big part of innovation that must also include cybersecurity built in for data, privacy and ensuring the overarching ecosystem is secure and robust. It is critical to consider all of these aspects and how best to stitch them all together.
One of the advantages of NetImpact, PV says, is its role as a Trusted Advisor. There are other companies that are skilled in technology, but perhaps not in the strategic consulting side, he says. “Any kind of transformation requires skills such as strategic road mapping and organizational change management. This means alignment to where an agency or organization is in its transformation so you can meet the customer where they are in their journey. That combination of technology and mission-focused consulting enables to bring it all together from end to end, that is our secret sauce in ensuring we are helping to co-manage and collaborate to support the transformation process.”
PV says that in order to stand out as a solutions provider it is key to proactively share insights with customers in the context of best practices. “If you can inform Government in a way that shows specific examples of what works and the benefits, they will be able to better relate how their digital modernization as part of the overall strategy fits in. You must be specific on best practices that apply in their environment and to understand their business needs.”
By creating a dialogue early on and demonstrating through solutions, you enable more effective conversations. “Federal procurement is not perfect. Government ultimately is looking for solutions that will work for them and, since the solicitation may or may not have articulated everything, it is up to industry to be creative in that context of sharing what else the customer needs to know.”
Kavita says successful engagement is 80 percent psychology. “Part of our DNA is recruiting and staffing projects with people who are emotionally intelligent. What makes us unique is ensuring we have a team that is both technically proficient and emotionally intelligent so they can best support the client through implementation.”
Beyond that, meeting the customer where they are, ensuring solutions are repeatable as part of a maturity model and ensuring that organizational change management is in place are key.
Introducing Emerging Technology
Kavita says this is another place that a mission centric view can create success. “When you can explain to a customer what a technology is, what it means and how it can be used in the context of their specific mission, you can speak from the same page.”
NetImpact has developed a model of proof of concept, demonstrating one example from a client’s business process. “For one customer we demonstrated the ability to turn an 8-hour manual process into a 4-minute automated process.”
PV also notes that the insertion of new technology is about risk management. “We don’t want to wait until technology is so tried and true that we lose the opportunity to be innovative. This means any new technology must come with a risk profile, an understanding of how it scales to the level Government will require and how it fits into the overarching innovation roadmap for that client.”
He says it all comes back to testing technology against those known dimensions, about ensuring you aren’t bringing a solution that doesn’t cover all of those contexts. “Prototypes and demos are a good way for a client to see the viability of a proposed solution. Government has become more focused over the past few years on inserting new technology and is using OTAs, that have multiple methods through which a customer can buy. These kinds of approaches to leverage procurement to demonstrate the art of possibility present a great opportunity to accelerate transformation.”
As he transitions into his new role, PV says he will be conducting a detailed review focused on viewing NetImpact as a next generation Digital Transformation company to understand from an end-to-end view what immediate needs and his leadership priorities are, where investment needs to continue and where perhaps a new approach may be warranted.
“For the short term, there is such an amazing energy throughout this company that has done phenomenally well from the start. We’ll be focusing on opportunities that are really aligned to our position in Healthcare, law enforcement, financial and other focus areas and will look to accelerate that engine.”
He says there will also be a focus on accelerating transformation offerings with more aggressive marketing and branding of those. “As we open ourselves to more clients, we will be looking to reach out to our teaming partners and clients to ensure we are continuing to bring value to the missions.”
“Culture is so important to any success and the culture here at NetImpact, that culture of being people-centric is wonderful. To be focused on connecting with people, going the extra mile to be transparent, to ensure employees are engaged and connected is amazing. It explains why NetImpact has consistently been recognized as among the top places to work.”
Kavita says there is understandably a lot of excitement within NetImpact at every level. “Across the board there is engagement and commitment to the vision. It is exciting and there is great joy in working together as a team to get something done.”
“At the end of the day, game changers for any organization are the people and the culture, not just capabilities,” says PV. “NetImpact has both and I’m excited to craft the next stage of our growth journey.”
About NetImpact Strategies Inc.
NetImpact has been a Trusted Advisor driving impact through digital transformation for the Federal Government for over a decade. We solve complex problems with innovation and agility to create meaningful, transformative, and enduring change. As Trusted Advisors, NetImpact professionals partner with customer agencies to deliver solutions that empower them to not only meet their missions but also realize their strategic vision through agile, outcome-focused solutions addressing both strategic and tactical requirements. NetImpact’s core values and commitment to a customer and results-oriented delivery approach has propelled our growth and enabled us to deliver impactful value across Strategic Consulting, Process Automation, Cloud, DevSecOps, Data and Analytics, and Cyber Security for the Federal Government.
About Venkatapathi “PV” Puvvada
Puvvada brings a strong history of results-oriented operational and financial success across Federal, State & Local, Global Public Sector, Financial Services, Health, and Manufacturing industries. He has also led strategic refreshes that improved membership growth, retention, and organizational performance and engagement as the 2018 – 2019 Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Professional Services Council (PSC) as well as 2006 – 2008 Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Industry Advisory Council (IAC). Most recently, he served as the President of Unisys Federal, a Washington Technology Top 50 government contractor, where he supported over 90 clients and oversaw a team of over 3,000. As a savvy and growth-oriented leader, Puvvada more than doubled Unisys’ revenue in approximately six years and guided the organization through a successful $1.2B sale to SAIC in March 2020. During his Unisys Federal tenure, Puvvada redefined the company as digital transformation market leader – elevating their status as one of top four digital transformation companies (as rated by global industry analyst firm IDC). He attributes this achievement to a collaborative leadership approach, innovating on deep domain expertise, and smart investment in next generation technology in Cloud, Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML), Agile DevOps, and Cyber.
About Kavita Kalatur
Kavita is the Founder and Chairperson of NetImpact Strategies Inc., and spearheaded NetImpact’s growth at a staggering 75% CAGR since inception. With a “Customer-First” approach, she has built a collaborative culture where NetImpact professionals work as Trusted Advisors driving innovation and outcome-focused results to meet customer. NetImpact has been recognized by the CARE (Companies as Responsible Employers) award six years in a row (2014-2019) and Washington Post’s Top Work Places three times to commend the company’s outstanding culture and employee engagement strategies. NetImpact ranked as the 9th Largest Women-Owned Business in the DC area (WBJ, 2020). Kavita was inducted into the FedHealthIT 100 Hall of Fame in 2020, honored with the WBJ Minority Business Leader Award in 2019, and recognized by FedHealthIT with the Women in Leadership Impact award.