Four CyberMedia products should be of special interest to federal customers, company officials say: First Aid, which detects and fixes Windows 95 PC problems; Oil Change, which taps into the Internet to automatically replace outdated, bug-ridden software and hardware drives with updates; PC Guard Dog, a system security, firewall product; and UnInstaller 4.5, the winner of an editor's choice award from PC Magazine, which removes unwanted applications and files from PCs on Windows 95 or Windows NT 4.0.
Many of these products will be available in a package deal that will cost $129 to government customers. Also, First Aid and UnInstaller will be given away free to federal customers of Houston-based Compaq Computer Corp. that are using the GSA schedule program as well as NASA's Scientific and Engineering Workstation Procurement II contract.
The Navy Management Systems Support Office in Norfolk, Va., already is a CyberMedia customer. In addition, CyberMedia tools have provided computer support to the National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and the National Eye Institute.
"These products give the user total control,'' said Anne Lam, co-founder and vice president of business development at CyberMedia.
The company has recently announced reseller agreements to push its products through the GSA schedule sales system with Gaithersburg, Md.-based Data Procurement Corp. and Chantilly, Va.-based Government Technology Services Inc.
Ultimately, the company is striving to take advantage of the need for government customers to increase the efficiency of their computer systems due to downsizing and other budget constraints. CyberMedia's tools are designed to allow expensive managers to avoid spending hours dealing with systems failures, company officials say.
Taking those downtime costs into account, it's estimated that the five-year total cost of ownership and management of a PC has grown from about $19,000 in the mid-1980s to $40,000 now, sending the cost in many cases well over the value, according to a 1996 study from Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Group, a market research firm. And capital investment only accounts for 21 percent of that cost, Gartner Group reported. The other 79 percent went to inventory tracking of hardware and software, software audits and update, data loss and downtime.
Michael McGrann, marketing executive of software and hardware vendors for GTSI, said CyberMedia's products - especially First Aid - are a natural fit for federal customers seeking to get more out of their technology.
"In the commercial world, these things are the hottest ticket in the industry,'' he said. "Computer stores can't keep them on the shelves. With the government customer, it's just a matter of getting the word out.''
Founded in 1991, the 220-employee CyberMedia reports a financial picture to be expected of an aggressive, growth-intended company.
Overall sales increased sevenfold in 1996 to $38.5 million. But, overall, fast growth and acquisition expense caused the company to report a net annual loss of $3.5 million. The fiscal picture picked up during the quarter ended March 31, as the company reported sales of $16.5 million and a net income of $1.4 million, in contrast to sales of $7 million and a net loss of $1.1 million during the same time period last year.