If you don't see images, click here to view
Story Ideas  Events 

To ensure delivery, please add newsletter@bisnow.com to your address book, learn how
Tech Bisnow
Real EstateLegalAssociationMedicalThe SceneWomen
November 20, 2008
Jones Lang LaSalle


Everyone wants to know what the Obama administration and the economic meltdown will mean for the world of Federal IT, so we did what we do best: Ask people who’ve seen this movie before. We recently lured some government contracting power players to lunch at Morton’s on Leesburg Pike where they agreed to talk in exchange for a perfectly-cooked filet.


Joining us were KippsDeSanto managing director Bob Kipps, Pragmatics CEO Long Nguyen, former Oberon CEO Jodi Johnson, Sheppard Mullin’s Vic Victorino and Information Management Consultants CEO Sudhakar Shenoy.

Our Doug Anderson led the discussion:

Doug:  Easy place to start: What does the election mean for business?
Sudhakar: I was nervous during the campaigns because Hillary Clinton promised to cut $50 billion worth of outsourcing in the federal government and Barack Obama promised to cut even more. I think that’s all campaign rhetoric and really anything can happen in the future. I’m more worried about Tom Davis retiring, because he always fought for our community.
Long: I tend to be optimistic. There is always going to be a need for IT in government, so we in the high tech industry should be happy for that. Of course things will change, but it’s up to companies to be flexible and to find ways to help government be more efficient.
Jodi:    No matter what happens in Iraq, the DoD and the Army are still going to be in business. The defense services business will keep growing.  You can’t have soldiers and Marines deployed for multiple tours, often back-to-back and not see expansion in the work contractors are doing.

Jodi co-founded Oberon and this summer sold to Stanley for a whopping $170 million after just six years in business.

Doug:  Is the current economy affecting business yet?
Vic: Before I came over I asked one of my M&A partners that question and he said we are just now beginning to see the big companies being conservative with their cash. They are looking harder now at acquisitions because they are seeing what is happening at other big companies who get short on cash in this economy.
Bob:    Most of our clients are in the top quartile of their sectors with respect to both business performance and attractiveness to buyers. Top firms are always in high demand and short supply. In that universe, valuations were as robust as they had been over the past seven or eight years until the economic calamities hit the front page full speed in mid-September. At that point, a lot of people, even in the defense and Government IT sectors, began recalibrating their appetite and appreciation for risk.
Jodi: The budgets are not going to be the same we’ve seen for the last three or four years. As we all look at competing for work, we need to sharpen our pencils and look at ways we can be more efficient and provide more for less.

Roughly 80 percent of Sudhakar’s business is with the federal government, but they also do IT for Pepsi’s online ordering system and a number of projects with Harley Davidson.

Doug:  It feels like just a year ago we were talking about the competition for talent, but with struggling budgets, has the tide shifted back in your favor?
Long: I think the best people that you look for are always in demand.
Jodi: In my 25 years of working in this business space, putting together teams is probably the thing I have enjoyed the most. It’s one thing to have great talent, but it’s also how you manage that talent.  In a service industry, if you treat your employees with respect it shows in how they perform.

Got an opinion on a Federal IT trend? We’re looking for people in the know to talk about today’s hottest issues, so if you think you’ve got what it takes, e-mail David@Bisnow.com. (FYI, David Stegon’s girlfriend thinks this tagline is boring and yelled at him to change it – sorry darling.)

Kipps DeSanto
Nixon Peabody
Cardinal Bank
Advertise with Bisnow

This newsletter is a journalistic news source which accepts no payment for featured interviews. It is supported by conventional advertisers clearly identified in the right hand column. You have been selected to receive it either through prior contact or professional association. If you have received it in error, please accept our apologies and unsubscribe below. ? 2008, Bisnow on Business, Inc., 1323 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036. All rights reserved.

Zegna Adrian Jules Dormeuil email Tech Bisnow Sent Using iContact