INTERVIEW | Angela Mondou, President and CEO of TECHNATION on Modernizing Procurement

Angela joins TECHNATION with over 25+ years of exceptional global and Canadian experience driving transformational programs in the tech sector. A visionary executive with a passion for leadership, Angela’s unique career path includes 10 years as a military officer and 18 years in senior level leadership roles in the tech and defence sectors, including as a strategic marketing director with BlackBerry, and a global solutions leader with Nortel Networks, where her team was responsible for delivering technology to over 127 countries. Angela’s career has taken her through leading and launching teams and technology in several continents, and dozens of countries.

Angela brings collaboration, energy and innovation to all her roles. As program creator of the public-private sector leadership forums “Strategic Knowledge Exchange” aimed at driving change on a national scale, Angela’s experience in developing strategic partnerships across national organizations and around the world, will support driving TECHNATION’s vision to influence Canada’s position as a global tech leader into the future.

Author of the leadership best-seller ‘Hit the Ground Leading!’, and award-winning founder of her own strategic leadership company, Angela has delivered programs and keynotes to companies and teams around the world. She has held positions as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Ivey School of Business, as EVP of Leadership with the International Women’s Forum, and as an Honorary Colonel of the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace, Technology and Engineering.

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Question 1. Many regions around Canada are now moving from the crisis management phase of the global pandemic to the recovery phase, and this includes economic recovery.  One of the crucial components of this recovery is agile and effective procurement. TECHNATION, with the Council’s support has recently launched TECH2GOV, the Innovation Exchange and Digital Marketplace. Can you speak to how this new national platform can help technology companies of all sizes showcase their technology and increase visibility with government procurement at all levels? 

AM: I sure can!  We are quite proud to have launched this leading edge digital platform — a first of it’s kind in Canada!  In terms of economic recovery, Canada’s SMEs and tech SME’s have taken quite a hit over the past months.  It has always been one of TECHNATION’s mandates, to drive more innovative and less prescriptive procurement with all levels of government.  We are thrilled to share that Shared Services Canada, recently agreed to collaborate with TECHNATION on an Agile Procurement pilot project, which is ‘challenge’ based, encouraging technology companies to come to the table with their own solutions, while leveraging the Digital Marketplace!

In recent months, TECHNATION has partnered with technology associations across the country to support this open-access / completely ‘inclusive’ platform and encourage their members to register their companies and areas of tech specialization – a 5 minute exercise.  We are working with governments at all levels to develop a more agile  ‘challenge based’ procurement process, which will result in much greater accessibility and opportunity for Canada’s SMEs to participate.  To date we have over 250 technology companies across Canada registered and rapidly growing partnerships with technology associations and organizations across Canada.

With government’s support such as SSC’s PP3.0, the Digital Marketplace can showcase the varied expertise, products and services Canada’s tech industry offers and includes:

  • Improved outreach: The Digital Marketplace enables greater outreach with SMEs that could potentially have the required capacity to perform in accordance with the requirements of the resulting contract.
  • Simplified submission process: Procurement Process 3.0 offers a less administratively burden process for Bidders to participate to solicitation process.
  • SME’s improved access to demonstrations and prototypes activities:  PP3.0 is designed to improve SMEs’ access to demonstration and prototype.
  • Providing the Government of Canada with greater visibility of the rapidly evolving technology solutions available in the marketplace.

Question 2: You mentioned that the new Digital Marketplace, created in partnership with Shared Services Canada has seen over 200 technology companies across Canada register to participate. The CIO Strategy Council is proud to be one of the first sponsors of this initiative. Can you share how you envision this collaboration moving forward and what can CIOs from across the country do to support and enable the growth of the Digital Marketplace?

AM: We are thrilled that the CIO SC has stepped up as one of our first significant sponsors by the way!  Over the past several months we have been working with the Centre of Excellence at Shared Services Canada to co-develop a more agile procurement process and have run through several procurement opportunities – large and small.  The results have been simply tremendous.  SSC has experienced far greater participation in the process, we have launched a weekly industry feedback process to make recommendations to the challenge-based procurement every step of the way, and have witnessed the participation of both SMEs and large tech companies across the Canada.

Next steps will be to formalize the success of this unique Industry-Gov’t collaboration – we expect to do so over the next few weeks, and continue to co-design a truly agile challenge-based procurement process.  This means a process that supports Governments needs to deliver an open transparent and fair process, while enabling industry’s diverse technology companies to provide government with unique solutions to technology ‘challenges’.  Most importantly, ensuring the procurement opportunities are both inclusive and accessible to tech companies of all sizes.

How CIO’s support the process is two-fold.

1.  Get your companies signed up!  The greater representation we have on the Digital Marketplace, the greater the visibility government leaders (in any office) will have to the extensive innovation that exists across Canada. If CIOs and tech leaders get their companies signed up on the site (click here) and ensure they complete the ‘Areas of Specialization’ section – the greater the understanding and visibility Government and Industry procurement leaders will have of the tech that exists in Canada.  As I keep saying to our many government partners ‘you don’t’ know what you don’t know’.  The technology and innovation available in this nation is astonishing!

2.  This platform is free and inclusive – invite all of your tech partners to do the same.  CIO’s often have extensive supply-chain partners, and can direct their partners to take advantage of the platform.

Question 3: The CIO Strategy Council’s Standards Policy Committee is presently considering a proposal received from stakeholders on the Council developing a national standard for agile and open procurement of digital products and services. How would a national standard help solidify national growth and ensure long-term nimble and Canadian-tech focused procurement practices?

AM: As we co-develop what an agile / challenge based procurement should consider – through various pilot opportunities, and on-going collaboration,  the SPC can use this real-time collaboration to develop a standard or successful template of what a truly agile procurement / challenge based process needs to incorporate.  This could enable a base ‘standard’ to drive specific success criteria for both government and industry – we will have the ‘final’ piece of the strategy in place to complete this digital transformation for Canada.  I would include standards around the following critical areas, based on my experience to date:

  • Open, fair and transparent process for government
  • Agile – the longer and more cumbersome the process, with any un-necessary delays between phases of a procurement – can have detrimental impacts on SMEs in particular;  creating a standard of what ‘agile’ means in terms of government and industry and the importance of consistency once deals are signed to business.
  • Accessibility and inclusiveness – should be a standard ‘by product’ of Government’s needs to be open and fair.
  • Consideration from a WTO perspective – ‘set asides’ / carve-outs for SME’s – supported by many other nations;  it appears Canada is perhaps more harsh in adhering to this concept and the appearance to be preferential of our Canadian SMEs.

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