Booz Allen hopes to transcend consulting image

Booz Allen Hamilton officials want to get the word out that the company is more than a strategy shop and believe the company’s recent win on a $3 billion Internal Revenue Service program sends precisely that signal.

The company plays a role as a management adviser and strategy consultant, but it also has a systems practice of more than 3,000 employees. Contracts such as the multiple award IRS Total Information Processing Support Services-2 has Booz Allen Hamilton standing side by side with integration stalwarts such as Computer Sciences Corp., Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman

But the company’s market perception remains an issue when it comes to systems.

“A lot of people don’t recognize us as doing that kind of work,” said Gary Labovich, a Booz Allen Hamilton vice president and lead partner responsible for the company’s civilian agency systems business. “We are known as a general management consultant.”

Labovich said the company’s systems business is not a recent development. What is new, he said, is an effort to go to market a bit louder and “make sure clients and competitors know we are out there.”

Robert Guerra, a partner at Guerra, Kiviat, Flyzik and Associates, said he believes Booz Allen Hamilton needs to do a better job of communicating its systems capabilities to the market. The notion that Booz Allen Hamilton can do it all – both management consulting and systems implementation – has been lost on many observers, he said.

“The market perception hasn’t caught up with the reality of Booz Allen,” Guerra said.

A company spokeswoman pointed to a number of 2005 deals, in addition to the IRS win, as evidence of the company’s systems thrust. Those include a $106 million pact to deliver the functional requirements for the Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System, a $250 million systems engineering contract with the Homeland Security Department and a $550 million contact to provide information technology application services for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

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