Jonathan Coss is the CEO of Pondera Solutions, a Google Enterprise Partner in Folsom, CA that combines the power of Google’s advanced analytics and massive data centers to combat fraud, waste and abuse in large government programs such as Medicaid, Unemployment Insurance and Public Welfare. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his M.B.A. from New York University.
How did you get started in your field?
“I’ve always been interested in the problem of fraud, waste and abuse in government programs. It has always been around, but technology limitations and the size of the data sets and payments made it a difficult problem to solve. Then along came Google with this massive computing power and advanced analytics. I was invited to Google by a colleague to learn more about its technologies and I instantly saw the opportunity to help solve a big problem with new technologies. I started Pondera within weeks of the visit, hired incredibly talented people and went to work.”
How do you help seasoned workers overcome employment challenges?
“At Pondera, we have a really unique culture. We develop our solutions by defining the problem and then combining technical experts with program experts in independent project teams. We expect tension, disagreements and frustration. But we insist on respect and communication. When you take talented people, define the problem, set the ground rules and let them go to work, great things happen.”
What is the usefulness of re-educating a seasoned workforce?
“We really appreciate people who are experts at what they do but may have limited exposure to other areas. For example, we employ people who know government programs very well but don’t really understand the capabilities of cloud computing and advanced algorithms. In our opinion, these people have great work experience that we can leverage, and we can teach them about technology. When we hire new employees, we always tell them that they are more valuable to us if they continue to think like who they were (after all, they were successful or we would not hire them in the first place). The trick is to combine the two perspectives: old and new.”
Megan Bowyer is a freelance writer in search of the best food and drinks that Sacramento has to offer. You can find her at any number of dive bars or trendy restaurants; just look for the short blonde feeding the jukebox. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.