NCI is a leading enterprise solutions and services provider of cybersecurity, advanced analytics, and engineering logistics to the government. The company works to understand the granularities of emerging technologies so it can provide actionable guidance to clientele looking to embrace new tools.

This requires NCI to find the value that can come from new technology — speed, agility, and cost reduction — without sacrificing the security and reliability of more traditional business practices. “Our objective is to operationalize innovation. This means that NCI has to stay at the forefront of technology, but it can’t be so out there that it’s too painful to make the transition into an operational environment,” said Allen Badeau, Chief Technology Officer. Badeau also leads the NCI Center for Rapid Engagement and Agile Technology Exchange (NCI CREATE), an innovation lab that explores the strategy and implementation of new and advanced technology.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is an emerging technology especially relevant to NCI as of late.
Government agencies, along with their industry partners, are seeing people, processes, and devices connect to one another in unprecedented ways, generating more data as each interaction comes online. As a result, organizations benefit from having more context and greater insight to the programs, services, and events that have the biggest impact on the mission. Organizations benefit from having statistical significance which, when paired with the computing power of the modern era, drives the AI frontier like never before.

Bill Eggers, Executive Director for Deloitte’s Center for Government Insights, commented on this phenomenon in a recent episode of Salesforce’s Our Digital Nation podcast: “No technology is going to play a more important role in all of our lives over the next 10 years than cognitive technologies or AI. None.” Tomorrow's leading institutions will be those that understand not only how to develop data-driven strategies, but also how to place them into practice using the latest tools and innovations—those that take action like NCI.

“Leaders would like to use AI, but they don’t know how. My team works to understand emerging technologies with clear-eyed perspective. We help clients move past buzzwords and hype to find the right solution through objectivity and honest answers,” said Badeau.

Recognizing that effective pioneering in areas like technology or AI tends to require fast, flexible collaboration, NCI turned to Salesforce. Badeau and his team developed an innovation management platform that is making it easier for employees to enhance internal business processes, engage one another around real wins, and explore future-leaning solutions on behalf of their government clients.

GovCon Capture, a bid-and-capture solution built using Sales Cloud, gives NCI’s customer-facing teams a 360-degree view of the data generated about a given contract, big or small. With GovCon Capture, NCI is able to:

  • Standardize processes for big pursuits help the business development team properly scope activities to rein in costs.
  • Automate task-order management enables rapid response for smaller deals that, together, add up and deliver significant value to agencies.
  • Data housed in third-party systems, like ERP systems, on-premises solutions, or other platforms, can be easily integrated.
  • Information sharing from a common platform promotes collaboration and prevents “tribal knowledge” from getting lost when people change roles or leave the company. It also lays the groundwork for rich business intelligence - for example, metrics from proposal wins scorecards help the business development team analyze trends and make smarter bids.

Community Cloud was implemented to support nontraditional groups —like NCI CREATE —helping teams with unique goals deliver greater value to clients long-term.

  • Drag-and-drop community templates create “digital spaces” for subject matter experts to collaborate, communicate, and find solutions to internal and client challenges.
  • Metrics such as frequency of logins from a person or team, popularity of a given topic, recurring questions, and more help NCI encourage participation, drive innovation, and foster a culture of sharing.

“We first looked at the cloud for its broader ability to cut down on infrastructure costs. It took weeks to upgrade our old system due to highly customized code,” said Badeau. “But then the bigger things like collaboration, centers of excellence, enhanced mobility — those were some of the things that we really focused on in terms of outcomes.”

“We have customers that want access [to information] at their fingertips but in the locations that they’re at they can’t get it; our employees work in those same environments,” Badeau continued. “The cloud gives us hands-on experience that not only helps the team understand the technology, but also how to apply it in mission-critical environments.”

Allen Badeau joined us on epsiode 9 of Salesforce's Our Digital Nation podcast to share more perspective and insights regarding NCI's use of the cloud.

By establishing a digital, future-ready platform, Badeau and team are giving NCI leadership the visibility and insights they need to inspire the right questions, automate the right processes, and provide the right guidance to their clientele. “We tailored our solution to focus more efforts on the customer’s mission,” said Badeau. “Work that took a person about six months to finish is being completed in about 15 minutes, for about 15,000 people. That means our system architects can focus on cybersecurity threats or network optimization; we can reprioritize daily activities.”

NCI is opening the window for growth, innovation, and customer satisfaction.

Sales Cloud, Government, Manufacturing, Service Cloud
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