Gerstner Goes to Washington<@VM>Unisys on Acquisition Trail<@VM>Horn Gives Government B-<@VM>Internet Punches Up Economy<@VM>In the Know<@VM>Logicon Spreads Wings<@VM>Lucent Plans Tech Trials <@VM>TRW Targets E-Commerce<@VM>OMB Delivers Privacy Directive
The United States risks being an economic also-ran if something is not done to fix America's public schools, Louis Gerstner Jr., chairman of IBM Corp., told members of Congress at their National Summit on High Technology in Washington.
If there is one factor that can halt this new world of economic opportunity and prosperity, "it's the deplorable condition of our system of public education," he said. And government and industry should play a vital role in improving education, Gerstner said.
Joining Gerstner at the June 14-16 summit, held by the Joint Economic Committee, were Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, and Scott McNealy, chairman of Sun Microsystems.
Sen. Connie Mack, R-Fla., committee chairman, said the session would explore how government can encourage economic growth.
In that vein, Gerstner had some words of caution: "Policies hastily put in place today could be obsolete tomorrow ? or worse, ruin this nascent economic engine."
Unisys Corp. of Blue Bell, Pa., is acquiring PulsePoint Communications of Carpinteria, Calif., in a $100 million deal to add multimedia capabilities to Unisys' Windows NT messaging services.
The stock-swap deal is expected to close by the end of September. PulsePoint had $25.4 million in revenue in 1998.
The federal government earned an overall grade of B- for its efforts to make all computer systems year 2000 compliant, up from a C for the previous quarter, according to the latest report card from Rep. Stephen Horn, R-Calif.
Horn awarded 14 As, three Bs, six Cs, and one F to federal departments and agencies. Earning a failing grade was the Agency for International Development.
The government's mission-critical systems are 94 percent compliant, up from 79 percent in February, said Horn. "Good progress has been made, but there are still critical systems to fix," said Horn, chairman of a House subcommittee, in releasing the report June 15.
Still not compliant: the Federal Aviation Administration's air traffic control system and the Department of Health and Human Service's payment management system.
The Internet economy generated $301 billion in revenue for U.S. businesses and 1.2 million jobs in 1998, according to a University of Texas study commissioned by networking giant Cisco Systems Inc.
The study, which measured worldwide sales of Internet-related products and services by U.S. companies, showed the Internet economy has risen at a compound annual growth rate of 175 percent since 1995.
John Chambers, president and CEO of San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco Systems, said the study's conclusions even surprised him. "Once I looked at the data, I realized I had underestimated the impact of the Internet economy," he said.
Shereen Remez has assumed the newly created role of General Services Administration chief knowledge officer, effective June 15.
The former GSA chief information officer will be responsible for nationwide knowledge management. In that capacity, she will work closely with the chief people officer, who handles human resources, and the chief information officer, who focuses on technology.
Remez said she would focus on championing creative and inventive work and encourage GSA employees to embrace change by continuing to learn new skills.
Logicon Inc., Northrop Grumman Corp.'s information technology company, has formed an international wing to pursue opportunities in Europe.
Northrop Grumman IT International will share offices with Logicon subsidiary Inter-National Research Institute in Southampton, England. The new unit initially will leverage the command, control, communications, computers and intelligence products of INRI and expand later to other defense, civilian and commercial IT areas.Lucent Technologies Inc. will conduct market trials of voice over IP technology that lets wireless local-area networks carry voice calls for unlicensed wireless Internet Protocol networks.
The University of Maryland, College Park, and Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Maine will be the first to test applications based on the technology. Both will use Lucent's WaveLAN wireless local area network, IP ExchangeComm system and a palm-sized wireless IP voice and data prototype that can deliver simultaneous voice and data calls over wireless IP networks.
The technology lets voice travel over its WaveLAN wireless local area network, or any compatible IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN, without the loss, delay or poor voice quality that can plague voice calls as they move over local area networks, according to the Murray Hill, N.J.-based Lucent.
TRW Inc. of Cleveland threw its hat into the electronic commerce ring with the formation of an e-commerce consulting and systems integration practice. It will be based in Reston, Va.
Starting in its commercial markets, TRW will extend its solutions for enterprise resource planning, supply chain management, channel integration and payment processing into the e-commerce arena.
But the company plans to target federal customers as well. Many of the technologies and approaches used by commercial companies for e-commerce are similar to those being applied to federal applications for e-government, said Jerry Agee, vice president and general manager of TRW's Federal Enterprise Solutions.
The Office of Management and Budget is requiring all departments and agencies to post clear privacy policies on their World Wide Web sites.
Privacy policies must be posted on the principal Web site of each department or agency within 90 days of the memo date. In 180 days, privacy policies must be posted to any other major entry points of department or agency Web sites, as well as at any Web page where there is substantial collection of personal information from the public.
The full text of Lew's policy memo is at cio.gov/omb.htm.