From the Editor's Desk

Catching That E-Commerce Fever<@VM>Techtoons

Trish Williams

By Trish Williams

The e-commerce fever among systems integrators and other companies rushing to offer electronic procurement applications to a fast-growing list of government prospects is palpable.

Some analysts estimate the global government and commercial e-commerce market will spiral from $8 billion in 1998 to $12 billion in 2002.

With estimates swirling around business development executives' heads that government e-commerce will grow by at least 100 percent annually over the next five years, it's no surprise that e-commerce mavens are in huge demand.

One leading integrator, American Management Systems Inc., has been on a recruiting tear of late. The $1.1 billion integrator recently hired Bill Kilmartin, a former Massachusetts state comptroller who co-directed that state's pilot E-Mall project, to steer e-commerce initiatives in state and local government markets.

AMS also signed up former Defense Department official Robert Molino, who previously served as executive director of the Defense Logistics Agency, to push the company's federal e-commerce offerings.

And this is just the beginning, many industry experts say. Look for other government officials now turning heads at state and local government levels to defect to industry in droves in the coming year.

Washington Technology Staff Writers Steve LeSueur and Nick Wakeman offer snapshots of companies' differing strategies in the wide-open, e-commerce space in separate cover stories.

Then there's Dell Computer Corp. federal's push to squeeze more money from its Internet, services and enterprise products. The "evolutionary" strategy being pursued by this dominant player's new federal chief is profiled in a piece by Staff Writer Rich McCaffery on page 14.

And don't miss Senior Writer John Makulowich's perceptive piece on the evolving imaging market, beginning on page 26. This feature traces the proliferation of document technology applications, the companies racing to offer new work flow and electronic form initiatives and a new report that lays out channel opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

As always, I welcome your comments about the fast-changing government IT market.

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