INTEGRATOR INSIDER

P> Everyone, it seems, wants to be an integrator. Amdahl Corp. made its mark in the 1970s as a manufacturer of IBM mainframe clones. But tough times in its market have forced the company to attempt a transformation into an infotech services company. Last November, the company won a bidding war with BDM International for Canada's DMR Group Inc., a consulting and infotech services operation with more than $200 million in annual revenues. Now, for $145 million, Amdahl has added TRECOM Business Systems, an infotech services company with 1,700 people and revenues last year of approximately $140 million.


TRECOM, a privately held corporation with operations in Washington, D.C., is based in the South and East and focuses on telecommunications and financial markets.

SAIC, meanwhile, has been calling itself a "systems integrator" rather than a professional services company. In a recent press release, the company identified itself -- without naming a data source -- as the "eighth largest systems integrator in the U.S."

It has acquired numerous infotech and Internet-related firms, including the company responsible for assigning Internet domain names. And it is forging more formal ties with software companies. In one such agreement, SAIC will be an integrator for Wang's imaging and work flow products -- for both commercial and government markets.

There seems to be a common thread: BDM International is another professional services company moving from professional services to infotech systems integration. And like SAIC, it has forged a new relationship with a product company: Data General and BDM have developed CYBERSHIELD, a security product designed to make the Internet and so-called intranets safe for corporate computing. Another interesting point -- as well as a common strategy among defense-focused integrators: BDM and Data General are taking high-grade security technology originally developed for NSA into commercial markets. Will it work? Wall Street seems to think so. On March 25, BDM completed an additional stock offering of 3.2 million shares. Selling shareholders, primarily The Carlyle Group, made $101.1 million from the sale; proceeds to the company totaled $16.4 million.

BTG Inc. note: In a recent ad in the San Francisco magazine Red Herring, BTG called itself "an international leader dedicated to the commercialization of emerging technology." The defense and intelligence integrator said it has a portfolio of 9,000 patent applications and 500 license agreements.


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