Grant Thornton partners with Microsoft to bring AI to federal agencies

12 June 2018

Grant Thornton LLP is partnering with Microsoft to help government agencies improve their transparency and efficiency to help meet federal requirements. The collaboration will focus on digital transformation, bringing blockchain and AI technologies to outdated federal services.

Leading national professional services firm Grant Thornton LLP commands revenues in excess of $1.7 billion. The US firm offers audit, tax and advisory services, with its advisory wing focusing on business and technology consulting.

Grant Thornton’s collaboration with Microsoft enables the consulting firm to harness the computing giant’s deep set of digital transformation technologies. Artificial Intelligence and blockchain are among those highly-sought after emerging technologies which consultancies worldwide are scrambling to incorporate into their client offering.

One area sorely lagging behind in the technological arms race is government, both national and local. That may soon change courtesy of the new partnership forged between Grant Thornton’s Public Sector practice and Microsoft. Together, they have been recruited by a plethora of federal agencies to sharpen the government’s digital tools.

The move is part of the broader President’s Management Agenda, released by the White House in March 2018. The detailed analysis and strategy document outlines the major problem facing government – declining trust among citizens – and the favored solution – a complete overhaul of federal IT to improve transparency and public interaction with federal services.

Grant Thornton partners with Microsoft to bring AI to federal agencies

Grant Thornton’s role will be to advise the government on managing new digital technologies, optimizing its financial reporting, and improving internal auditing procedures. The technical know-how will be Microsoft’s department. The two firms are no strangers, and have previously collaborated on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions.

“Our collaboration with Microsoft will help turn check-box efforts into value-producing insights,” says Carlos Otal, national Managing Partner of Grant Thornton Public Sector. “Just look at compliance: It used to be the table stakes of governance; now federal departments can convert it to results.” The Grant Thornton/Microsoft alliance, he said, would take its government clients “from status quo to status go.”

“Our federal clients talk incessantly about the importance of speed to solve so many of their mission-based needs,” said Greg Myers, Vice President of Microsoft Federal. “Combining Microsoft’s portfolio of secure and innovative solutions across the new frontiers of AI, machine learning, and big data with Grant Thornton’s proven reputation as a thought leader in driving insights is truly exciting.”

Other consulting firms recently drafted in by government departments to improve their digital domains include Capgemini and Booz Allen. Capgemini, a leading IT consultancy headquartered in Paris, was awarded a $79 million contract to help the State of Texas integrate its digital services. Booz Allen, which has a long history of defense partnerships is currently helping the DoD upgrade its cybersecurity platform.


Burns & McDonnell wins $20 million fire protection services contract from US Navy

22 March 2019

Kansas City, Missouri-based engineering consultancy Burns & McDonnell has won a contract to design and evaluate fire protection systems across naval facilities in the Pacific.

With a history dating back to 1898, Burns & McDonnell offers design, engineering, business, technology, and security consulting services to a wide range of private and public sector clients. Among its diverse services is a comprehensive fire protection design and engineering offering. Since launching its fire protection offering in 2007, the firm’s professionals have completed over 1,700 projects, tackling the areas of fire suppression, fire alarms, mass notification, and life safety.

Burns & McDonnell’s fire practice has gained a substantial new project with the awarding of a $20 million Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract from the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Pacific. The contract, which will last up to five years, will see the consultancy deliver fire protection and design services for naval facilities in the Pacific, including Hawaii, Australia, and Guam.

Burns & McDonnell wins $20 million fire protection services contract from US Navy

Burns & McDonnell project teams will work across US Naval bases to conduct fire protection system evaluation, building and fire code analysis, design, post-construction award services, and testing. “Our focus will be on engineering the right systems and delivering cost-effective solutions," Tony Schoenecker, Burns & McDonnell’s fire protection leader, said.

The firm has consulted on military projects since 1941, and has advised on the design and engineering of numerous federal and military facilities. A recent project saw Burns & McDonnell act as the primary architect-engineer on the California Military Department’s new 285,000-square-foot headquarters and training center in Rancho Cordova.

“The integration of fire protection systems into the design of all types of buildings is critical for occupant safety, asset protection and code compliance. Nothing is more important than protecting lives and the safety of our military personnel as they fulfill their duties on bases in the U.S. and overseas," John Bothof, Burns & McDonnell Hawaii operations leader, said. 

In other military contract news, management and tech consultancy IEM was recently award a major IDIQ contract from the US Army to support an array of national security services.

Related: Burns & McDonnell hires water treatment expert Karla Kinser