Unisys realigns Federal Systems group, alters portfolios

Two hires expected to bolster sales effort

Unisys Corp. has added two new executives and assigned new roles to three others in corporate moves that the company said is designed to bolster its senior Federal Systems management team and, more precisely, target government sales.

Elizabeth Smith, who joins Unisys Federal Systems as vice president of sales, will direct the organization’s sales force, working to extend the consultative sales culture across the organization and drive Unisys' business growth in the federal market, the company announcement today said.

She also will manage the Unisys Governmentwide Acquisition Contract Center.

Smith comes to Unisys from Dell Corp., where she served as executive vice president of sales for Dell’s federal government services business. Previously, Smith managed her own consulting practice and held senior positions at EDS and Booz Allen Hamilton.

Anthony Hess has been hired as managing partner of the health care and natural resources group within Unisys Federal Systems.

He will direct the company’s business with the Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs, Commerce, Energy and Transportation departments as well as NASA.

Most recently, Hess was senior vice president and general manager for the health solutions business unit at Science Applications International Corp. Previously, he served as CEO of HealthCare IT Inc. and as president and chief operating officer of Capital Information Services.

Smith and Hess will report to Ted Davies, president of Unisys Federal Systems.

“Up until this realignment we didn’t really have a separate sales team. All of sales were integrated into the market teams,” Davies told Washington Technology today.

The realignment pulls the sales teams from the accounts group and centralizes them.

“What I found is that we did pretty well capturing mid-size deals that way. But to be able to go after larger deals and better position us across the federal space, we really felt we had to have a strong sales-centralized sales leader,” Davies explained.

“Fundamentally, we’ve kind of changed the dotted line versus the solid line relationship organizationally,” Davies said. “The idea is to get better discipline in our sales processes and just better overall sales leadership in the organization.”

Davies said one of Smith’s duties will be to pursue task orders under all of the major government contract vehicles.

“Being able to bring more discipline to how we bid on individual task orders on these big contracts is another strength of Elizabeth’s,” Davies said.

However, he added, the realignment was not influenced by the loss last year of the $500 million Transportation Security Agency contract, which Unisys had held since 2002.

“We have really largely replaced TSA with a number of notable wins last year,” he said, citing, for example, the five-year $350 million Land Border Integration contract from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and a $150 million award from Agriculture.

In addition to the new hires, Venkatapathi “PV” Puvvada was named managing partner of the Justice, Finance and Administration Group, directing Unisys business with the Justice, Treasury, and Housing and Urban Development departments as well the General Services Administration, the Small Business Administration and federal financial agencies.

Most recently, Puvvada served as Unisys Federal Systems’ managing partner for horizontal services and chief technology officer.

“We were so spread out among so many large civilian agencies that I thought the span of control for one executive was too much. So we’ve broken it in half,” Davis said, between Puvvada and Hess.

Steve Soroka, managing partner of the Homeland Security Group, has been promoted to lead Unisys' business with the Homeland Security Department as well as Unisys’ work with U.S. airports and seaports.

Most recently Soroka led Unisys’ work with the Transportation Security Administration and the Coast Guard.

Gene Zapfel, managing partner of portfolio solutions, also was promoted to lead the team within Unisys Federal Systems that identifies, builds and delivers technology solutions to customers across the federal market.

Zapfel joined Unisys five years ago, and most recently served as a partner managing Unisys contracts with several civilian agencies.

He brings more than 25 years of experience to his new role and was instrumental in the conceptualization and launch of the Unisys Application Modernization Center of Excellence in St. Louis in 2010.

Jim Geiger, managing partner of the defense and intelligence group, continues to lead Unisys work for the Defense Department and intelligence organizations.

Unisys Corp. of Blue Bell, Pa., ranks No. 38 on Washington Technology’s 2010 Top 100 list of the largest federal government contractors.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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