P> AmeriData Reorganizes Sales to Tackle Changing GSA Schedule
AmeriData Federal Systems, a subsidiary of AmeriData Technologies Inc., Stamford, Conn., has retrained its sales staff to better manage General Services Administration Schedule sales.
"With the changing procurement regulations, we started to notice a dramatic increase in purchases over $100,000," said Gilbert Gautereaux, vice president of federal sales and marketing. "Customers started to buy solutions off the schedule, such as buying a local area network with 100 workstations and a server, that typically wouldn't have appeared on one order before," said Gautereaux.Although AmeriData's internal sales team continues to handle smaller orders and didn't need retraining, the outside sales team needed to "retrain and refocus in order to sell higher and deeper into their accounts," he said. Gautereaux, however, would not comment on whether the company fired any outside sales personnel who couldn't make the grade. With eight offices nationwide that have dedicated federal sales staffs, he thinks AmeriData has an advantage over other government resellers who have minimal presence outside the Washington, D.C., area.
AmeriData, a government reseller, had more than $58 million in GSA Schedule sales in the government's fiscal 1995.
Sysorex More Selective in Bidding, Says Guerra
Sysorex Information Systems Inc., Fairfax, Va., will pursue more federal contracts that emphasize past performance and the management and technical strengths of bidders, rather than the lowest price, said Robert J. Guerra, executive vice president of the $134 million company.
The move by the privately held company signals a change in Sysorex's direction after gaining a reputation for winning contracts by bidding the lowest price and aggressively negotiating subcontractor agreements.
"If the government wants the lowest price they can get, they should go to chop shops," said Guerra, who derided indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts awarded by the Environmental Protection Agency to Concept Automation Inc., Sterling, Va. Concept Automation is now a subsidiary of BTG Inc., Vienna, Va. Guerra said companies such as CAI bid below cost to win the contracts, then substitute higher-priced products under tech refresh provisions.
BTG spokeswoman Theda Parrish said CAI does not bid below cost on contracts.
Guerra also questioned the conventional Netplex wisdom that all of BTG's acquisitions have been roaring successes. "With Concept Automation, they appear to have chosen revenue growth" and contracts over profitability as the primary factor for buying the company. "How far below cost do I have to go to win a contract?" said Guerra. The 145-employee Sysorex has found the Department of Defense to be superior to the civilian agencies in procurement practices. "They understand the use of IT as a corporate asset."
Approximately 90 percent of Sysorex's business comes from IDIQ contracts, and the wholly owned subsidiary of Sysorex International Inc., Mountain View, Calif., does a relatively small amount of General Services Administration Schedule sales. Privately held Sysorex recorded flat growth from 1994 to 1995 but expects a significant increase in 1996, said Carleton S. Jones, president.
STMS Reorganizes, Adds Tricord to GSA Schedule
Systems integrator STMS Inc., Sterling, Va., now carries the Tricord line of "superservers" on the General Services Administration Schedule 70/A. Tricord Systems Inc., Plymouth, Minn., authorized $12 million STMS to offer the high-end network servers, related upgrades and options, plus technical support and maintenance on the schedule.
Cisco Tells Schedule Holders They Must Be Exclusive
Cisco Systems Inc. has made a risky move to steal some General Services Administration Schedule holders from other vendors in the bridges and routers market, most notably archrival Cabletron Systems Inc.
Cisco, which has I-NET Inc., Bethesda, Md., and Innova Communications Inc., Arlington, Va., as its schedule holders, wants to cast a wider net. So it has decided to approach Cabletron's schedule holders, including BTG Inc., Vienna, Va., and McBride and Associates Inc., Albuquerque, N.M., and offer them the opportunity to carry Cisco's schedule. The only catch is they can't carry a Cisco competitor's schedule.
In the bridges and routers market, the top company is Cisco, San Jose, Calif., followed by Bay Networks Inc., Santa Clara, Calif.; Cabletron, Rochester, N.H.; and 3Com Corp., Santa Clara, Calif. Bay Networks maintains its exclusive arrangement with 8(a) reseller The Presidio Corp., Lanham, Md., to carry its GSA Schedule sales.
"This doesn't really surprise me," said Harry Heisler, a consultant in Chantilly, Va., who worked as vice president of marketing for reseller Government Technology Services Inc., also in Chantilly. "Cabletron is like the Dell of the bridges and routers market. They don't have much of a commitment to the channel, and they'd just as soon sell everything direct," rather than use resellers. "Cisco is much more channel-oriented."
BTG and McBride aren't the only companies caught in a dilemma. I-NET and Innova also must choose to carry Cabletron or Cisco because they carry both. The companies had to notify Cisco of their decision by the end of February. One source says I-NET dropped Cisco for Cabletron, and BTG dropped 3Com and Cabletron to carry Cisco, while Innova has selected Cisco over Cabletron. At press time, none of the companies could be reached for comment.