Industry Executive of the Year: David Moskovitz
After several years of retrenchment in federal IT, the past year saw “green shoots” that hint at new opportunities for government contractors. And more often than not, it seemed, those sparks of growth and innovation have involved Accenture Federal Services and its CEO, David Moskovitz.
Accenture won a high-profile contract to put HealthCare.gov back on track and this summer scored a big win as part of the team awarded the Pentagon’s much-awaited Defense Healthcare Management Systems Modernization contract. But the firm also had success in other fields, including student loan processing for the Education Department, logistics management for the State Department and suicide prevention efforts for the National Guard.
“Tackling the heart of the largest and most complex issues is really our sweet spot,” Moskovitz told GCN.
He has also worked to broaden the firm’s range of expertise. The purchase of Agilex Technologies in March enhanced Accenture’s analytics, cloud and mobility capabilities. And the company continued to build on its earlier acquisition of ASM Research, which brought expertise in health IT as well as analytics and cloud.
Such moves are helping Accenture Federal Services deliver better solutions to agencies that are modernizing old infrastructure and systems, and Moskovitz has the added advantage of being able to draw on the larger firm as well.
“It’s what we call ‘powered by Accenture,’” he explained. While Accenture Federal Services has some 6,800 employees, the parent company numbers 380,000, and other divisions can bring world-class expertise in health care payment systems or clinical policies to complement the core team’s deep knowledge of the federal space.
With HealthCare.gov, Moskovitz said, “my phone was ringing off the hook from people around the firm...who wanted to help. We landed about 500 people on the ground within six weeks. And about 150 of those people came from outside AFS.”
He attributed much of that talent stampede to his colleagues’ desire to make a difference. But his management and recruiting style plays a part as well.
“I think of myself as a player-coach,” Moskovitz said. And while serving the client is always the top priority, he said he spends a tremendous amount of time thanking and recognizing staff members and making sure Accenture is “an amazing place to work.”
“Our aspiration is to be the employer of choice within the federal marketplace,” he said.
And although it’s clear that growth for the federal market overall will remain limited, Moskovitz’s strategy is to focus on key specialties, such as health IT, cloud and analytics, and invest in its employees so it can seize the opportunities that come.
“We have this tremendous culture of client,” Moskovitz said. “As long as we deliver, stay close to our clients and provide innovations, we’ll continue to do well.”
Troy K. Schneider is editor-in-chief of FCW and GCN, as well as General Manager of Public Sector 360.
Prior to joining 1105 Media in 2012, Schneider was the New America Foundation’s Director of Media & Technology, and before that was Managing Director for Electronic Publishing at the Atlantic Media Company. The founding editor of NationalJournal.com, Schneider also helped launch the political site PoliticsNow.com in the mid-1990s, and worked on the earliest online efforts of the Los Angeles Times and Newsday. He began his career in print journalism, and has written for a wide range of publications, including The New York Times, WashingtonPost.com, Slate, Politico, National Journal, Governing, and many of the other titles listed above.
Schneider is a graduate of Indiana University, where his emphases were journalism, business and religious studies.
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