Golden Key Group LLC (GKG) scored a major feather in its cap Wednesday with a contract to provide the Department of Commerce’s human resources information technology services — but that’s just the start for the company, executives said.
The six-year, $110 million contract is part of the Reston HR services provider’s strategy to take a bigger piece of the growing managed services market within federal agencies. That market’s expansion has been fueled both by IT modernization trends and the technology infrastructure needs of a remote workforce in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
GKG secured the enterprise Personnel Action Request, Payroll, and Benefits (PP&B) services award after beating out incumbent Accenture PLC (NYSE: ACN) and is backed by a teaming partnership with some pretty big names, including Northrop Grumman Corp (NYSE: NOC) and International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM), among others.
“It has been a long time in the making,” said Gretchen McCracken, GKG CEO and managing partner. “Our primary competitors are the large consulting organizations that would be familiar names around the Washington, D.C. Area. For us to be able to come in, step into that arena and say, ‘we’re here to play as well,’ that’s a big step for us.”
While agencies have already been seeking new cloud-backed technologies to manage their mission and citizen-facing services, back-end operations such as HR also need an infusion of customer experience (CX) tech that can help shoulder more of the labor as the talent pool in that discipline gets older and smaller, McCracken added.
“The federal government, as a whole, is struggling when it comes to human resources from a personnel position, meaning that our younger generation workforces are not particularly interested in going into human resources,” McCracken said. “It requires some new thinking as to how we are going to do this in the future? So you need a combination of workforce and some enabling technology that’s going to improve the way that services are delivered.”
That’s where its teaming partners come in. Northrop has experience with the Department of Commerce’s two HR software platforms, HRConnect and electronic Official Personnel Folder (eOPF), and GKG executive vice president for strategy and execution Janet Clement said the company can lean on the larger company’s technical expertise in service delivery of those two systems.
Through its partnership with IBM, Clement said GKG will capitalize on the computing firm’s skill with artificial intelligence and automation tools to optimize the user experience on the pay and benefits portion of the Commerce contract.
GKG will leverage those partnerships in a 20,728-square-foot service center the company is redeveloping in Landover, which is slated to open in March 2021. Clement said that the center, which can hold up to 100 employees, is being developed with remote technology and furniture reflective of a more Covid-safe environment. The Reston-based contractor also plans to roll out some proprietary software solutions in addition to its partnered offerings.
GKG sees its push into providing managed services for the Department of Commerce as the first step in a bid for more business, possibly including future mergers and acquisitions activity, McCracken said.
“We are excited about being able to move forward into the managed services environment,” she said. “We do see is as a movement into the future when we look across the federal marketplace. We’re on an incredibly aggressive growth pattern right now and as part and parcel of that, getting our entrée into managed services, where we played on the periphery in the past, but now we are fully immersed.