MicroStrategy<@VM>EDS Reshapes Government Unit<@VM>McCurdy Takes Top EIA Job<@VM>One Slips Through the Cracks<@VM>PRC Hunts Global Business<@VM>CSOC Countdown Begins<@VM>Y2K Passes Go ... <@VM>Other Tech Issues Stalled<@VM>Copyright Act Raises Concerns
By Richard McCaffery
Fast growing MicroStrategy Inc. expects to duplicate its commercial success in the federal market by creating a new division to help government agencies exploit the information they collect.
"We have achieved tremendous success in the commercial markets and feel that the government sector represents a natural extension of our core competencies," said Michael Saylor, president and CEO of MicroStrategy.
Integrators and IT services companies will play a big role in the company"s strategy to reach both civilian and defense agencies, Robert Silverman, vice president and head of MicroStrategy"s new Government Solutions Group, told Washington Technology.
The 10-person unit, which should double in size within the next six months, will be introduced formally later this month.
Existing partners like CACI International Inc., Computer Sciences Corp., KPMG International, NCR Corp. and Olympus Group Inc. will be key to MicroStrategy"s federal success, but the company also is on the prowl for new ones, said Silverman, a former vice president at American Management Systems Inc., Fairfax, Va.
"I want hundreds of people who know how to implement our solutions across the government market," Silverman said.
MicroStrategy, which makes software that analyzes data to glean information from seemingly unrelated numbers, has more than 500 commercial customers and some government business. The Army and Air Force Exchange Service, which operates a chain of retail stores, uses its software to determine which products to stock.
Founded in 1989, the company had $54 million in revenue last year. For the quarter ending June 30, its revenue increased 100 percent from one year ago to $24 million, and net income soared 642 percent to $942,000.
Electronic Data Systems Corp. of Plano, Texas, renamed and reorganized its government division this week to create a more nimble and responsive unit.
"Our customers are changing, and our markets are changing," said George Newstrom, corporate vice president and head of the Government Industry Group in Herndon, Va.
The revamped unit will be built around these areas: personnel management services, health care administration, financial systems services, logistics systems services, human services, security and intelligence systems, business systems services, integrated solutions and emerging markets.
Newstrom said the realignment is keyed to the search by all governments for technology partners that can help them implement solutions rather than just sell them products. Government business accounted for about 15 percent of EDS" overall revenue of $15.2 billion last year. The old government structure had three units: military, civilian federal and state/local.
Former congressman Dave McCurdy has been named president of the Electronics Industries Alliance, Arlington, Va.
The trade organization, which represents the $500 billion U.S. electronics manufacturing and information technology industry, has more than 2,000 member companies.
McCurdy, a seven-term Democratic lawmaker from Oklahoma who served as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, replaces Peter McCloskey, who is retiring after 21 years as president.
Most recently, McCurdy served as chairman and chief executive officer of the McCurdy Group L.L.C., a business consulting and investment practice in McLean, Va.
While in Congress, McCurdy gained technology expertise as a chairman and member of aerospace and defense panels.
Microdyne Corp., a telemetry and technology outsourcing company in Alexandria, Va., has canceled plans to acquire Veda Systems of California, Md.
Michael Jalbert, Microdyne"s chief executive and president, said this week the two companies could not agree on a purchase price. The collapse of this deal means Microdyne has closed on four of five acquisitions announced by the company within the past two months.
The newly created post of international business development at Litton-PRC Inc. in McLean, Va., goes to Vincent Obsitnick.
Obsitnick, who has worked in Eastern Europe, Russia, Latin America and Asia, will report directly to Leonard Pomata, president of PRC.
Most recently, Obsitnick was president of International Investments Inc., a venture he started to provide offshore software development services in Central Europe. He also has worked at Unisys and IBM.
Lockheed Martin Corp. started preliminary work last week on a huge outsourcing deal involving the consolidation of space operations at five major NASA centers.
A team led by Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin beat one led by Boeing Co. of Seattle for the Consolidated Space Operations Contract, a deal worth more than $3 billion over 10 years.
The Lockheed team will assume full responsibility early next year for the operations currently handled by NASA and other contractors. The team includes AlliedSignal, Booz-Allen & Hamilton, Computer Sciences Corp., GTE and 30-plus subcontractors.
President Bill Clinton is expected to sign year 2000 disclosure legislation within the next week or so one of the only hot-button technology issues expected to move forward this year.
The House of Representatives passed the Y2K Readiness and Information Disclosure Act Oct. 1, several days after an identical bill was approved by the Senate.
The compromise legislation encourages businesses to share information about repairing the year 2000 computer problem by providing them with liability protection. The protection, however, is limited and does not extend to failures arising from year 2000 problems. It just protects companies that share information considered essential for fixing the glitch.
Technology bills awaiting congressional action before the Oct. 9 recess included a measure to raise the ceiling on the number of visas available for high-tech workers.
Congressional negotiators were still trying to work on last-minute compromises at press time. The House passed a measure that would raise the ceiling from 65,000 to 115,000 in 1999, but that bill has been bogged down in the Senate. Stumbling blocks include visa fees and language requiring companies to show they tried to hire American workers first.
Also stalled was a bill calling for a moratorium on taxes on Internet commerce. Negotiations were continuing on whether to grandfather taxes already approved by some states and how to do so. Supporters of the bill want to stop states from placing taxes on Internet commerce for three to five years while a commission studies how or if Internet commerce should be taxed.
Meanwhile, Clinton administration moves to relax some export restrictions on encryption technology offered hope to supporters of legislation to open encryption exports even wider. Such legislation is expected to be introduced when Congress returns in January.
The Federal Trade Commission and leading scientific societies, including the American Mathematical Society and Association for Computing Machinery, have expressed deep concerns about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, H.R. 2281.
The act proposes changes to U.S. copyright law in light of recent World Intellectual Property Organization copyright treaties. One key issue, inside Title V of the proposed act, is the fair use provision for databases.
But the proposed restrictions on fair use privileges for researchers and educators could affect significantly and negatively basic research, as well as slow progress in developing technology, critics said.