From the Editor's Desk Trish Williams

From the Editor's Desk Trish Williams<@VM>TECHTOONS

Trish Williams, Editor

Flying High in 1999


Systems integrators are ringing in the new year in high-style thanks to a slew of lucrative information technology contract awards from the state and federal government.

Electronic Data Systems Corp., the $24.3 billion systems integrator based in Plano, Texas, nabbed the coveted award to outsource all of the Constitution State's IT processes. Worth $1 billion, it's the first of its kind. This landmark contract will be watched closely by other state and local governments, including San Diego County, which are readying plans to launch similar outsourcing efforts.

Several weeks earlier, it was celebration time at Computer Sciences Corp.'s federal business, which ran away with the Internal Revenue Service's prime integration services contract. Potentially worth $8 billion over 15 years, it marks another first.

Hailed as the first performance-based contract in the federal arena, it also carries the stamp of IRS Commissioner Charles Rossotti, the former president and co-founder of systems integrator American Management Systems, who helped mold the effort. The $7.1 billion contractor and its team have high hopes of leveraging the IRS win in future efforts by other agencies.

Meanwhile, the General Services Administration named 10 companies winners of its $25 billion Applications and Support for Widely Diverse End-user Requirements indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract.

All of this comes as no surprise to leading sector analysts, who are very positive in their outlook for this group. Check out Contributing Writer Bill Loomis' Market Share column on page 8 for an in-depth look at the sector .

While most analysts anticipate an even wilder ride for the IT sector in general in 1999, new opportunities abound for government systems integrators and their partners in areas such as outsourcing, computer security, e-commerce and anything Internet.

Our first editorial package of 1999 offers a prelude to our continued commitment to provide compelling coverage of the people, companies and government agencies shaping the high-stakes government information technology market.

Our core readers are systems integrators as well as solution providers, value-added resellers and small businesses serving the federal, state and local governments in this booming market.

These creators of large, customized computer systems and their partners are the ones winning 85 percent of all major government IT contracts. Combined federal, state and local IT expenditures over the next five years are estimated at more than $250 billion.

That's the business we make it our business to cover.

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