Studied approach aids Booz Allen success

Company focused on Obama reforms to help its customers

For Booz Allen Hamilton, 2009 was a year to understand the times and find the best course ahead as the Obama administration brought significant changes to Washington.

The government consulting company received no year-defining contract in 2009, said Patrick Peck, executive vice president of technology. “Last year was more about understanding what’s coming,” said Peck, who’s been with the company since 1984.

As a trusted adviser, Booz Allen took time to gather insights into how President Barack Obama planned to tackle government challenges and change Washington’s tenor.

And the company's success was still enough to place it at No. 9 on the Top 100 with $3.4 billion in prime contracting revenue during 2009.

Booz Allen said its clients will face new challenges in finance, health care, energy, the environment and transportation.

Notably, the president and Congress reshaped the landscape of the health care system and are working on ways to reform the U.S. financial system. The health care reform law includes numerous major changes in the way health care is delivered in the country, and agencies will need advice on how to apply various aspects of the law, experts say.

As it is working through the details of the new law, Booz Allen has expertise in security and information technology that will be crucial in building a national system of electronic health records.

Meanwhile, Congress and the administration are working on financial reforms. But even before those reforms reached the drawing board, Booz Allen had gathered its experts more than two years ago to bolster its capabilities to help government clients prepare for the financial changes that could become law.

The company also is working with the Defense Department’s Base Closure and Realignment efforts and advancing networking capabilities for soldiers, in addition to offering technical help with DOD’s anti-drug efforts, Peck said.

Peck said cybersecurity is a major challenge for the government because increasingly sophisticated attacks are striking various infrastructures.

Information systems overlap among agencies with similar responsibilities. The private sector also is entwined with government operations. The need for government contractors to work together to solve problems for customers is more important than ever, Peck said. "Cybersecurity goals can be met only through a comprehensive and synchronized approach,” he said.

On the civilian side, Booz Allen has been helping agencies with organizational strategies based on new regulations and processes related to financial reforms. The  company also conducts systems integration work with agencies throughout government.

Despite a down economy in 2009, Booz Allen saw its revenue grow. The company is generating more revenue now than it did before it spun out its commercial business in 2008, according to its 2009 annual report.

“The true test of such a major transaction is how a company performs in the aftermath,” Ralph Shrader, chairman and chief executive officer of Booz Allen, wrote in the report. Overall revenues increased to more than $5 billion in its fiscal 2010, which ended March 31, 2010, and its total backlog of work now exceeds $5.3 billion, according to the annual report.


About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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