Systems Integrator Sees Its Government Star Rising

Systems Integrator Sees Its Government Star Rising

By Nick Wakeman
Staff Writer

Systems integrator Noblestar Systems Corp. plans to increase its government work by nearly 60 percent in the coming year with help from a dedicated business unit and some winning partnerships.

Noblestar Federal Systems, a unit with about 75 people, was rolled out in January to concentrate on the government sector, company officials said. Roughly 85 percent of the privately held Falls Church, Va., company's revenues come from commercial work.

In 1997, the company took in $5 million providing consulting and professional services to the government. Its goal is $8 million for 1998, said Paul Pocialik, Noblestar co-founder and chief technology officer .

"The biggest step last year was getting on the GSA schedule. Now we can go anywhere and do business."
-Stuart Hill

"We've been experiencing a fairly rapid growth rate," Pocialik said. Overall revenues for the company have gone from $3 million in 1993 to $32 million in 1997. The goal for 1998 is $50 million, he said.

The company's government focus picked up last year with work on projects with the Federal Reserve Board, Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Defense, company officials said.

The company's work is split evenly between developing customized solutions and implementing packaged software and covers enterprise resource planning, client/server systems, Internet and intranet applications, database systems and hand-held mobile computing.

"The biggest step last year was getting on the [General Services Administration] schedule," said Stuart Hill, the federal unit's managing director. "Now we can go anywhere and do business."

Noblestar Revenues:
1996: $22 million
1997: $32 million
1998: $50 million projected
Source: Noblestar
As part of this push, Noblestar has built strong relationships with key software vendors including Baan, Microsoft, Oracle, PeopleSoft and Sybase, company officials said.

Its relationship with Pleasanton, Calif.-based PeopleSoft is particularly noteworthy because it is a leader in the field of
enterprise resource planning software, said Grant Challenger,systems integrator and channel manager for Sybase Inc. of Emeryville, Calif.

Noblestar is among the top 10 integrators of Sybase's tool kit, database and middleware offerings, Challenger said. Sybase bases its integrator choices on such factors as technical skills, certifications, training programs and dollars sold.

"I think their focus on the federal market is a wise one," Challenger said. Noblestar's com- mercial background should play well as the government moves to greater use of the GSA schedule and more open market purchasing, he said.

Key Noblestar
Partners:
  • 3Com
  • Baan
  • Boeing
  • Microsoft
  • Oracle
  • PeopleSoft
  • Sybase
Source: Noblestar
"Noblestar continues to expand, which helps us," he said.

World Wide Web technologies and wireless connections to computer systems are among the types of projects Noblestar is interested in pursuing in the federal government market, Hill said.

The company is working on a project for the SEC to help the agency use brow- ser-based technology to give wider access to SEC databases, said E. Wayne Jackson III, director of Noblestar's emerging technology division.

"The people that do the work are in disparate locations," he said. "We are allowing the migration of mainframe data to more modern systems."

In addition to partnering with vendors, Noblestar also wants to expand relationships with larger systems integrators. Seattle-based Boeing Co. chose Noblestar to be on two large indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity efforts, the Defense Enterprise Integration Services contract and the Defense Financial Integrated Systems Services contract.

"You can't do business if you are not on [IDIQ] contracts," Hill said.

Noblestar also has worked on projects with Computer Sciences Corp., based in El Segundo, Calif., DynCorp of Reston, Va., and Litton-PRC Inc. of McLean, Va., company officials said.

Typical projects for Noblestar, Hill said, are worth between $200,000 and $500,000.

A key to the company's continued growth is its dedication to pursuing cutting-edge technologies, Pocialik said. "We'll invest in technology before we have a paying customer," he said.


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