Team Deltek’s Brian Haney: A Veteran's Perspective on Driving Customer Success

Posted by Deltek on November 11, 2021

Team Deltek Brian Haney

In this month’s #TeamDeltek spotlight we sat down with Brian Haney, Vice President of Customer Success. A veteran of Deltek and the United States Army, Brian and his team are focused on supporting Deltek customers by enabling them to find, develop and win government contracts.

During our conversation, Brian shared why he chose to enlist in the military, what characteristics are key to a high-performing team and what he appreciates most about Deltek’s workplace culture.  

 

Brian, thank you so much for taking the time to share your story with us. To kick things off, can you tell us what brought you to Deltek and what you’ve been responsible for in your time here.

Thanks for having me! Well, my Deltek story is a little bit of a boomerang story, although I didn’t know it at the time. If I go back to the beginning, which was 1995, I was fresh out of college and had just landed my first job at INPUT, where I began as Research Analyst on the product that is known today as GovWin IQ. After four years, I wanted to expand my horizons, so I went to work as a Director of Marketing for one of my previous clients. However, after several years I decided to come back.

In 2006, we built what is now known as the Customer Success organization, where collectively, we are responsible for enabling our customers to be successful with their product. And then in 2010, the company was acquired by Deltek, and since then we have grown to an organization that is 75 people strong.

I couldn’t be prouder to have spent nearly two decades and most of my professional career supporting the 6,000+ customers of GovWin IQ, as well as customers of other Deltek products, and helping them get the most out of their investment.

Having built the Customer Success organization from the ground up is quite an accomplishment. As a tenured employee and leader at Deltek, what motivates you most about your role?

I would say there are two things that motivate me the most − and they both have to do with people. First, I am driven by seeing the success of our customers – and more specifically, our stakeholders, the individuals that use our products that allow them to be the most successful they can be within their organizations. I believe that everything in this business comes down to the people that we support. They all have their ways of contributing to their companies, their opportunities to grow within those organizations, and their challenges to overcome. So, if Deltek can help them with any of those things, even in a small way, we have done our part, and that is extremely satisfying to me. 

Second, our team's success is what drives me − I love my #TeamDeltek colleagues. I've worked with some of them for 20+ years and others for just a few months, but they all bring their uniqueness to this role. That sense of personalization connects them to our customers and forms the relationships that make this team work. I genuinely believe that we have one of the best teams at Deltek.

Being part of #TeamDeltek is definitely something special. I understand that you are also fiercely loyal to another team. Can you share why you decided to join the military and what you learned being part of the United States Army?

Correct − I am very proud to be an Army veteran! In 1991, I was in high school during Operation Desert Storm, and there was something about that crisis that drove a wave of patriotism in our country. So when I left Philadelphia to attend American University in the fall, I made a pact with myself that I wanted to find a way to serve in some way but also to become financially independent through college and beyond. 

Up until then, my parents had sacrificed quite a bit for me, and I was determined to do it on my own after high school. The opportunities that the Army provided, coupled with the sense that I wanted to do something for my country, led me into a recruiting station during winter break of my freshman year. Luckily, the Army was running a program back then in which you would enlist as a college student, become a drilling reservist during the school year, and then spend summers in training and on active duty. So, in 1992 I became a soldier in the U.S. Army’s Civil Affairs branch and served in the Army Reserve until early 2000.

Team Deltek Brian Haney

Working and serving your country at the same time is quite an accomplishment. How has your military experience transferred to your corporate career?

In the Army, I was part of a Civil Affairs unit that primarily dealt with the “diplomatic” side of the military. These frequently deployed Reserve units mainly work with host nations on humanitarian relief, economics, local governance, education, agriculture, etc. It was these military units that helped support civilian operations during or after times of war or conflict. As an enlisted soldier, I often played a role in supporting some of the unit's lawyers, doctors, economists, etc. Doing so gave me a unique exposure to strategy, planning, and thinking broadly about all the things it takes to support a civilian population – but also, the things it takes to accomplish a mission.

That said, one of the critical aspects of operating in a military environment is communication. Good communication saves lives. While my civilian career typically does not have that much at stake, the communication skills I developed – especially recognizing that communication is a key component of any high-performing team – are things I leverage at work every day.

Good communication skills will certainly serve you well in life and in business. When it comes to working with our Deltek Project Nation customers, what do you like best about supporting their needs?

As part of my role at Deltek, I primarily support government contracting customers who are focused on selling their products and services to the government. Our Customer Success organization helps them find, develop and win that business which, in and of itself, is extremely gratifying.

Beyond this, our work puts Deltek in a unique place in the market as thought leaders who have important and helpful things to say and share, which ultimately help our customers provide better solutions to their customers. The amazing thing about working with our government contracting customers is that their solutions, in some cases, save lives, provide valuable citizen services, protect the taxpayer’s investment, or support the underserved in our communities. And by being part of this team, we get to be a part of all of that “service,” which is very inspiring.

In addition, many of my colleagues and customers are veterans − which is why it was such an honor to moderate our first Veterans at Deltek (employee resource group) customer panel. It was a pleasure getting to know the veteran-owned business leaders and sharing how their military service has contributed to their business success with #TeamDeltek.

Deltek is proud to support our more than 30,000 project-based customers deliver on their missions. In addition to powering project success, what is it about our workplace culture that you appreciate most?

I appreciate many things about Deltek and its unique workplace culture, which probably has a lot to do with the fact that I’ve been here for so long! In addition to being a Top Workplaces in the D.C. area and offering industry-leading products and services, Deltek supports its employees by providing opportunities to pursue their professional interests and grow their careers.

What I appreciate most is that Deltek is a values-driven organization that puts ethical business and its people above all else. And while many of the things we do to support our employees are internal, it gives comfort to our customers and partners to know that we can be counted upon to “do good business.” Unfortunately, that is becoming more of a rarity in today’s day and age. That said, I think the fact that we retain our talent for so long and have an immensely tenured team is a testament to what a great place Deltek is to work.

Being part of a values-driven organization can be very rewarding. As you look back, who would you say had the biggest influence on your career?

This is a tough question to answer but I would have to say my mom. I was the oldest child raised by a single mother who was able to balance it all. From supporting two young boys and having barely any money, to working multiple jobs and being a great friend to many.  

I was the typical Gen X, early-80s latch-key kid which in many ways taught me self-sufficiency, doing my part, and valuing family. I try to bring that to work now, by doing my part and recognizing the value that my Deltek family plays in that.  Deltek has also helped me to see the world, meet new people, and to generally, “be curious,” which certainly translates into my personal life as well.

Of course, when it comes to my family outside the office, my wife Darlene and are proud parents to two toddlers − my daughter Lennon is 4, and son Harrison is 3. Before kids, Darlene and I were avid travelers.  So, while we’ve spent the better part of the last year and a half at home due to COVID, we are excited show our kids more about our community and our world in the coming years.  Lennie has reached the age where she is becoming a very empathetic and curious kid; eager to learn about other people and cultures so we can’t wait to start exploring as a family.

What great life lessons! To wrap things up, we like to ask all our #TeamDeltek interviewees this: Of Deltek’s ten company values, which one resonates most with you and why?

As someone that manages a profit and loss budget, I could not overlook passion, results-driven, and play-to-win, as some of the values that are most important to me. However, I would put customers before any of these. Our customer relationships are our lifeblood. They are what keep us going – literally and figuratively. They are why I “show up” every day in the ways that I do.

 

Learn more about Deltek’s winning workplace culture and how we are creating a balanced, values-driven workplace powered by collaboration, innovation and authenticity. Subscribe to our Inside Deltek Project Nation newsletter and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to get the latest on #DeltekProjectNation.