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Feb 14 2012

Views from the Executive Suite: Bettering Government Through Commercial Best Practices

 

An exclusive interview with Teresa Bozzelli, President, Sapient Government Services

 

When Sapient successfully recruited Teresa Bozzelli to head the company’s Government Services business line I suspect the company recognized and appreciated her diverse professional background. Bozzelli had worked alongside rocket scientists, as a technology and management consultant, and as an entrepreneur.

 

Yet, in her two years at the helm Bozzelli has proven to be quite adept at driving a growth strategy for the company by focusing on a core set of capabilities.

 

I recently spoke with Bozzelli to learn more about Sapient’s work in the public sector and how the company is applying commercially-proven best practices to the business of government.

 

Hausman: Please share with GovWin’s members your professional background.

 

Teresa Bozzelli: My initial job out of college was with IBM supporting the space shuttle program in Houston. I guess you could say it was rocket science, yet my responsibilities were more in the area of operational engineering.

 

From there, I moved into the management of technology working for Booz Allen Hamilton for 16 years. I was a partner for nearly six years and it was during this time I focused on working with government agencies.

 

Then I took on a more entrepreneurial position with the research firm IDC where I was responsible for standing up the firm’s government business. My job at IDC was to evaluate the transformative nature of government.

 

I’ve now been with Sapient for two years leading the company’s government group. One of the reasons we have been successful is our ability to impact our clients’ mission through the convergence of Sapient’s expertise in strategy, digital engagement and technology.

 

What are Sapient’s strengths in the public sector? What type of services do you provide to agencies?

 

I’m all about focus and going deep with our capabilities. We’re going to the best in a set of core competencies. Our expertise is in three important areas: operational and mission-related strategy to help agencies define their long-term mission; constituent outreach, marketing services and communications; and program management.

 

Can you talk about any growth for Sapient in the public sector? Where do you see the opportunities in 2012?

 

This year Sapient’s business will expand with non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Their mission is growing in importance which creates a strong case for them to retain a firm like ours to help enhance efficiency and effectiveness, while defining a long term vision and strategy.

 

Our partnership with the Washington National Cathedral is a great example. We’re working collaboratively with their leadership to clarify the organization’s mission as the spiritual home of the nation.

 

In many areas NGOs have stepped in to provide critical constituent services as government agencies have cut back due to budget stress.

 

I also anticipate our government customers will continue to task us with assignments that will help them deliver services in this reduced cost environment. Sapient is uniquely qualified to address this area based on our extensive experiences with commercial customers.

 

For instance, based on a commercially-proven methodology and suite of best practices, we have enhanced the content management systems for a number of government Web sites and are helping improve access to deep and rich content across all media channels.

 

You define Sapient’s business in the public sector as focused on a set of specific capabilities. This must make partnering a key part of your to-market strategy, right?

 

No one company excels at everything. Sapient’s responsibility as a trusted advisor to its government customers is to understand their mission, devise an appropriate solution and then to build a team that can deliver.

 

We have four criteria we employ when evaluating a partner:

 

• Are they a cultural fit with Sapient’s intensive focus on customer service and responsiveness?

• How strong is the partner’s commitment to doing what is right for the customer?

• Does the partner provide complimentary talent and capabilities?

• Do they have an understanding of the needs of the agency?

 

Our teaming relationships extend across the entire spectrum of integrators, professional services firms, software vendors and technology providers. We work with global organizations, smaller companies and minority-owned businesses.

 

Article by: Mark Hausman

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