And Then There Were Four

And Then There Were Four<@VM>ManTech Pounces Again<@VM>Security Alliance Takes Flight<@VM>Navy Casts LifeLines<@VM>IBM Juices Up Deep Blue<@VM>Sherikon CEO Dies<@VM>Gerhards Gets Top Tech Post<@VM>Nichols Spinning Off Unit<@VM>PSINet Expands Wireless

Only four teams remain in the $1 billion contest to take over San Diego County's information technology services.

San Diego officials in December 1998 approved eight companies as qualified vendors for an outsourcing contract worth an estimated $100 million annually over 10 years. But Amdahl Corp., Logicon and Wang Global have dropped out, and two others have joined forces, making for four competitors.

In the race for the contract are Electronic Data Systems, IBM Global Services, Lockheed Martin IRM, and the team of Computer Sciences Corp. and Science Applications International Corp.

A request for proposals should be released Feb. 24, and the contract award is planned for July.
ManTech International Corp. of Fairfax, Va., snagged its seventh acquisition in two years Feb. 1, bagging Advanced Development Group Inc. of San Diego. It develops interactive, multimedia training for the Army.

Their expertise "expands our ability to meet the distance learning needs of our clients," said Kathleen Mohns, group vice president of ManTech's Information

Technology and Training Group. ManTech training clients include the departments of Defense and Justice, the Internal Revenue Service and state and local governments.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Advanced Development Group had about $11 million in revenue in 1998 and has 100 employees. Privately held ManTech had about $500 million in
1998 revenue and has 5,000 employees.

Cisco Systems, Lucent Technologies, Network Associates and Sun Microsystems have formed an alliance that will collaborate on research projects, sponsor education forums and pursue funding and development opportunities related to security.

The Security Research Alliance, formed in January, also will provide corporate information technology decision-makers with a view into advanced security research to aid in long-term decisions on network designs.

The alliance will hold its first "Crystal Ball Symposium" April 13 in Los Angeles, the day before Spring Internet World 99 begins.
Joining the high-end spectrum of World Wide Web sites is the Navy's LifeLines QOL Mall (www.lifelines4qol.org). It's an electronic shopping center with plans for 26 stores where users can find quality of life information by clicking on different shops and department stores for data and services.

Once fully developed, the mall will offer military personnel information on support services including personal finance management, electronic shopping and educational courseware.

The site, which contains "edu-tainment" features such as games, audio and video, is a two-year pilot project constructed with the help of TRW. It even features the requisite talking head ? a picture of Navy Secretary Richard Danzig tied to a 1 minute, 34 second sound bite.IBM stepped up the number crunching prowess of its RS/6000 supercomputer by introducing the Power3 microprocessor, which can deliver 50 percent more power at the same cost of its predecessor.

The supercomputer, known as Deep Blue, will have added punch for analysis and simulation applications, such as those used by the National Weather Service and the Department of Energy's nuclear weapons testing program, said David Gelardi, director of RS/6000 Benchmarking and Solutions for IBM.

The added power also will bring data mining capabilities to a broader et because more power is now available at less cost, he said. IBM also is touting the RS/6000 as a Web server, Gelardi said.
Ed Fernandez, founder, president and chief executive of Sherikon Inc., Chantilly, Va., died Jan. 31 when the private plane he was flying solo crashed in Shannon County, Mo.

Founded in 1984, the 800-employee company had about $74.5 million in 1997 revenue. It provides advanced-level consulting expertise in engineering, information systems, telecommunications, health services, aerospace systems and shipyard operations.

"Few details are known right now," said Steve Wilkes, Sherikon's chief operating officer. "At this point, our main concern is to provide prayers and assistance to members of Ed's family, and to keep the company running as usual."
Charles Gerhards has been tapped by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge as the state's chief information officer, assuming a position Larry Olson has held since June 1995.

Gerhards, who previously served as director of the Commonwealth Technology Center, heads up IT for a state widely regarded as a leader in embracing new technologies.

Olson left the technology post to pursue opportunities in the private sector, said Scott Elliott, a spokesman for the governor's Office of Administration.
Nichols Research Corp. of Huntsville, Ala., is spinning off its Nichols Txen Corp. subsidiary in a public offering expected to raise a maximum of $35 million. According to the company's prospectus, filed at the Securities and Exchange Commission Jan. 22, Nichols plans to sell 2.2 million shares of common stock at a price ranging from $12 to $14 a share.

Nichols Txen, based in Birmingham, Ala., is an IT services company focusing on the health care industry. It has 600 employees. Proceeds of the stock sale will be used by Nichols Txen for working capital and other general corporate purposes. Investment bank BT Alex. Brown is the lead manager on the underwriting.
PSINet Inc. of Herndon, Va., is expanding its wireless Internet access service to 50 new markets in the United States and overseas.

The company's InterSky service, which offers customers access to the Internet at speeds up to 128 kbps, should be available in cities such as Fort Myers and Naples, Fla., Memphis, Tenn., Mobile, Ala. and Tysons Corner, Va., by the end of the second quarter. The service starts at $395 a month and will be up and running in all markets by the end of next year.

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