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Sheila Heinze, the General Manager of Information Technology Solutions at The Buffalo Group, states that the most significant ability of a service-based company is to collect the right amount of resources and implement systems and processes that provide adaptive, scalable, and flexible technology. In an interview with CIOApplications magazine, Sheila Heinze highlights how The Buffalo Group serves their numerous clients with cutting-edge intelligence analysis& information technology solutions supported by their ever-evolving management model.
Could you provide us with the background story of your company?
The Buffalo Group was founded to support specific areas within the federal government. Our prime focus is on the intelligence community, which includes the Defense Intelligence Enterprise. The passion and mission for the company is driven by the fact that we are part of the national security of the United States. We look at two main areas: intelligence analysis and IT. We are aiding the government in ingesting, analyzing, and disseminating information throughout the IT and DoD community.
What are the major painpoints the communities you serve face?
One of the more significant changes in the IT sector is the rapid expansion in the information collection capabilities. We now get data from all over the world at any one time. The enormous amount of data might lead to data overburning if the systems are not updated accordingly. There is a need for the rapid format of data analysis. We work with the government to help them bring all these data to figure out how to get things to turn around very quickly. Later, we work on who needs the data and its analysis in a rapid fashion, finally on the way to get the service to end-users. On the intelligence analysis side, we ensure the Government receives data-attuned, multi-disciplinary experts that can apply their successful experience in the military to the evolving problems the Government faces.
How do you deliver your capabilities that help tackle these challenges?
One of the things that is most challenging in a technology company is having people who are technologists, while the technology in itself is not useful to the customers. Instead, companies must understand the root needs. We combine the capabilities of our business units with our technologists to understand the challenges of our customers.
Our capabilities are our true reflection; it is what our customers need. We want to be businesses that support its customers, providing their needs
It is all about looking at the whole problem or looking at the customer as holistic. But then, it is challenging in the Federal systems because they are broken, and we provide the bridge that could pull these pieces together. Our capabilities are our true reflection; it is what our customers need. We want to be a business that supports its customers, providing their needs. We can create those capabilities to support them.
Could you provide us with a success story where you helped your clients overcome the challenges they faced?
Within the Federal government or system, there are different components, but they all come under one umbrella. If anyone component in the system breaks, the entire system goes down. It is challenging to make changes in the vast system because it takes months to get the entire security process done. Now the systems are adaptable and can change with the demands in the field. We work with our customers to look at all the key parts of their application and create a roadmap accordingly. We help them give the best microservices architecture, one that is much more flexible, adaptable, and independent so that this problem is avoided. We are using the latest technologies in architecture to give them the most adaptable, f lexible solution going forward, and then we create the roadmap with them. We confidently engage with the customers, and get their feedback so that we can make some changes because it is the intelligence field, where things change daily.
What are the factors that differentiate your company from the rest of them in the field?
We are aware of what exactly we need to focus on. We are not building ships or creating a radar system. We focus on a very new world. We have an understanding of what our customers are going through and what they need. If you are in professional services, it is all about resources. A lot of time and energy goes into the development of our workforce, and it creates a physical, mental environment that is stimulating to them. We want to make sure that we have the best resources and that the workforce is satisfied and excited about their job. People here are passionate about the mission, they know they are making a difference, and that is most important to a services-based company. We are taking some of our best intelligence analysts, people who were previously our customers, and have a program where we turn them into technologists. As part of this, we give them ten weeks of intensive IT training, where the employees are given case studies. They go to classrooms, have homework, and are assigned a mentor to work with. It is because our company is aware that there is a significant boost to perspective when you pair and attune pure technologists & developers, people developing the technology, with those who really owned the mission, and understand the evolution in the operating environment that is taking place. The synergy is amazing. This way, we are building ample resources, which is necessary. We make sure that our people have in-depth, nuanced understanding, and with that, the leadership of the organization is able to become much more adaptable and responsive with their mindset toward the customer needs. This capability is the aspect that differentiates us from rest in the field.
Would you tell us about the company's future roadmap?
We are not taking significant steps in terms of changing direction. We do not aim to get wider; instead, our goal is to go deeper. The company wants to get better in touch with the customers, become a part of their problems. We strive to have our customers think of us as a part of our team. When they have a problem, they bring it, and we help them solve the problem, create a solution, and then implement that solution. The ultimate goal or roadmap is on our customers. If our customers indicate that they need extensive capabilities or services, then we are up to adapt ourselves accordingly.