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GartnerGroup Hypes Internet Technologies, Network Computing

Internet technologies and network computing will be driving forces in the information technology industry for the next five years, according to a fresh GartnerGroup forecast.

The Internet will be the backbone for the electronic workplace, and by 2002, there will be 300 million Internet "seats," the Stamford, Conn., research company said in a forecast it unveiled this week in San Diego.

While network computing was at the same stage last year as client/server acceptance was in 1991, Gartner predicts network computing will engulf the market far more rapidly.

Network computing will extend - not replace - traditional enterprise application middleware, and the principles of network computing will drive 70 percent of new business applications through 2002, according to the research company.

Wang Global Snags Contract
with Justice Department

The government arm of Wang Global won a blanket purchase agreement this week with the Justice Department potentially worth $100 million over five years, its second major procurement win within the past several months.

Under the pact, Billerica, Mass.-based Wang will supply desktop management and network support services, including support for wide-area and local-area networks, to U.S. Attorney's offices throughout the United States.

The Justice Department's tax division also will be a primary customer.

This win is vital because it fits into Wang's "core competencies in desktop and network integration services," said James Hogan, president of Government Services, based in McLean, Va. Partners on the project include Science Applications International Corp. of San Diego, Indus Corp. of Vienna, Va., and ComTeq Inc. of Rockville, Md.

OAO Buys Applications
Development Muscle

OAO Technology Solutions Inc. has purchased Columbia, Md.-based DHR Technologies Inc. to boost its applications development capabilities.

Greenbelt, Md.-based OAO is primarily an outsourcer of information technology services.

Terms of the April 3 sale were not disclosed, but DHR had about $4.1 million in revenue in 1997. DHR will operate as a division of OAO.

GAO Criticizes Commerce Dept.'s
IT Worker Shortage Study

A new General Accounting Office report claims a Commerce Department study on the shortage of information technology workers had some serious flaws.

While not refuting that there is a shortage of workers, the GAO report said Commerce overstated the shortage.

The Commerce report, which came out in late September, hyped the IT shortage by saying that only about 25,000 U.S. students graduated with computer and information sciences degrees in 1994 while there were 95,000 new jobs.

However, the March 20 GAO report said the Commerce Department did not consider other likely sources of new IT workers, such as graduates with degrees in other areas.

"More needs to be known about the supply and demand for IT workers," the GAO report said.

Nichols Bolsters Civilian Expertise
with Mnemonic Purchase

Nichols Research Corp. of Huntsville, Ala., is pushing further into civilian government markets with its purchase of Mnemonic Systems Inc. for $23 million.

The late March purchase lends Nichols more civilian agency expertise: Washington-based Mnemonic is a systems integrator that specializes in the Department of Justice. Nichols is primarily a defense IT contractor. The addition of Mnemonics' 155 employees brings Nichols' presence in the Washington area to more than 700 employees, officials said.

GovCon Expands Government
Contracts Database

Rockville, Md.-based GovCon Inc. added a new government contracts database to its Internet site late last month. Called the Active Contracts Database, the subscription service gives details on all federal prime contracts worth more than $25,000.

Unlike Commerce Business Daily, a publication that includes required announcements of upcoming contracts, the new database adds in contracting opportunities that may be "discovered" more than a year in advance of an official government announcement, said Dheeraj Khera, president of GovCon. Khera said his site has more than 80,000 registered users.

Gaffney: Year 2000 Problem Has
'Makings of National Emergency'

Frank Gaffney, who made a big splash in the policy arena on ballistic missile defenses in the 1980s, had some harsh words recently on Washington's efforts to cope with the year 2000 software crisis.

The former assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan era told the ComDef '98 conference in Washington that not just the military needs protection. Alarm is the order of the day given the degree of havoc that non-compliance will wreak on programs at all levels of government, he said. "[We have] the makings of a national emergency on our hands."

Unless the situation is addressed by President Bill Clinton, Gaffney said, the year 2000 issue could have an effect "on the nation and national security [comparable] to a deliberate, concerted information warfare attack on the information infrastructure."

U.S. Census Bureau data released this week shows that the taxable revenues from computer services companies climbed 18 percent in 1996 to $184 billion, from $156 billion in 1995. The bureau counted companies providing services such as programming, data processing, prepackaged software and integrated systems design.

William Owens

Gambles on
Greener Pastures
Itching to pilot a company of his own, the heir apparent at Science Applications International Corp., William Owens, resigned after his boss decided to stay in the top job beyond 2000.

Owens, SAIC's president and chief operating officer, will leave June 1.

Owens said his goal when he joined SAIC in 1996 was to become CEO within two years.

Signaling plans to pursue that aim elsewhere, Owens said in a written statement that he would soon seek a position as a chief executive officer.

Chief executive J. Robert Beyster will remain as CEO of the San Diego-based integrator for at least two more years.

" The year 2000 problem is perceived as
"computer geek stuff and and not what
Real men do at the Pentgon."

- Frank Gaffney
a defense policy official in the Reagan adminstration and
director of the Center for Security Policy

Copyright 1998 Post-Newsweek Business Information, Inc. All rights reserved


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