Internet Gains New following <@VM>MCI Nets DISN Deal<@VM>Net Spurs Computer Use Surge<@VM>E-Commerce Has Unisys Hyper<@VM>... And Andersen, Too<@VM>Veridian Shows a Secure Link<@VM>Millennia Lite Deadline Nears<@VM>Applause for Teltech
A group of industry leaders this week plans to announce the formation of a think tank dedicated to the study of the social impact of the Internet.
Called the Internet Policy Institute, the think tank has the backing of such Internet leading lights as Jim Barksdale, former Netscape chief executive; Vint Cerf, senior vice president of Internet architecture at MCI Worldcom; and Mario Morino, chairman of the Morino Institute. Kimberly Jenkins, former president of Highway One, will be the president of the think tank.
The nonprofit, non-partisan Internet Policy Institute will provide independent research and education on subjects such as the Internet's impact on long-term economic growth, its role in democratic governance and its impact on social values and class.
At a Nov. 9 news conference in Washington, the institute will announce research work being done by academia and industry in the months leading up to the 2000 presidential election.
MCI WorldCom Inc. of Clinton, Miss., won what could be a $4 billion contract to provide the Defense Department a host of communications services in Southeast Asia, the Pacific region, Central and South America, Antarctica and the Caribbean. Services include digital, voice, wireless, data and signal encryption.
The DISN Transmission Services Pacific contract has a five-year base with five one-year options. MCI WorldCom beat its potential merger partner Sprint Corp. of Westwood, Kan., for the contract.
The numbers have undoubtedly grown since, but about 50 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and over used computers in 1997, up from 36 percent in 1993 and 18 percent in 1984, according to a recently released report from the Census Bureau.
Access to the Internet spurred much of the big increase in computer use over the last decade. One in 5, or 57 million people, 3 years old and older went on the Internet in 1997. About 92 million adults, or 47 percent, used a computer in one or more places: 64 million at work, 56 million at home and 11 million at school. Of the adults who used computers at home, 71 percent did word processing.
Other common uses included games, 54 percent, and e-mail and communication, 45 percent. About 8 in 10 adults who used the Internet at home used it for e-mail or for finding government, business, health or education information. The next most common uses were looking for news, weather and sports (50 percent) and checking schedules, buying tickets or making reservations (25 percent).
The report, "Computer Use in the United States: October 1997," includes tables with characteristics of households, children and adults, by the presence of computers in the home, whether or not they use computers and their access to the Internet. The report is available on the Internet at www.census.gov/population/
Look for Blue Bell, Pa.-based Unisys Corp. to be touting Web portals, electronic procurement and Web publishing capabilities as part of its major push into the electronic commerce market .
On Oct. 27, Unisys executives in New York unveiled a host of new partnerships with companies such as Microsoft Corp., Motorola, Nortel Networks, Oracle Corp., PeopleSoft and Siebel Systems. The company also announced the availability of several new lines of products and services.
The company's e-procurement solution will allow government agencies to use the Internet, intranets and extranets to automate their procurement processes, Unisys officials said.
The Enterprise Knowledge Portal will help agencies improve management of data through online cataloging, indexing and document management. A third offering that Unisys expects to find a government market for is a Web publishing solution that allows easier updating of Web pages.
The changes at the $7.2 billion systems integrator are part of the company's efforts to position itself for what Unisys Chairman and Chief Executive Lawrence Weinbach calls the second wave of electronic commerce.
Hyper growth is about to begin, Weinbach said. "We fully expect that by capitalizing on that growth, Unisys will derive over 50 percent of its revenue from electronic business engagements over the next several years," he said.
Andersen Consulting's new chief executive officer, Joe Forehand, also has big plans in the electronic commerce arena. The $8.3 billion global management and consulting named Forehand managing partner and chief executive Nov. 1.
The "eEconomy presents unprecedented challenges and exceptional opportunities" for the company and its clients, said Forehand, who has been with the company for 27 years. Forehand, 51, most recently served as managing partner for the global communications and high-tech unit, which posted revenue of $2 billion in 1998.
NASA and Alexandria, Va.-based Veridian Corp. demonstrated a virtual private network last week that will allow a secure Internet link to control experiments on satellites, space shuttles or the space station. Veridian's Trident Data Systems division built the firewall system used in the demonstration.
A secure Internet link should drive down the cost of space experiments, Veridian officials said.
The demonstration at the Johnson Space Center in Houston was part of NASA Inspection 99. In the demonstration, Johnson Space Center was linked to Glenn Research Center in Cleveland via the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite. Through the Internet connection, a user at Johnson remotely controlled a wind tunnel at Glenn Research Center.
Before using the Internet to operate experiments in space, NASA wanted to "prove that we can establish absolute network security, which is what this Inspection 99 demonstration is designed to show," said Phillip Paulson, NASA project manager.
Companies interested in grabbing a piece of the $20 billion Millennia Lite contract have until Dec. 6 to respond to the request for proposals put out by the General Services Administration. GSA released the RFP Oct. 25 for the five- to 15-year contract.
As many as 40 companies should win a spot on the contract, which will target small- to medium-sized task orders. A typical task order is expected to be worth about $300,000.
The base contracts will be for five years, but companies can earn extensions of an additional 10 years by performing well on the contract.
The Small Business Administration presented Teltech Resource Network Corp. with the annual Tibbetts Award for its contributions to SBA's Small Business Innovation Research program.
The Minneapolis-based company was recognized for its development and operation of a national SBIR call center for the Department of Defense. The department outsourced the center to Teltech to create "smart desks" that capture and leverage reusable knowledge.
The content management service solution that Teltech built consists of an integrated collection of proprietary knowledge bases for call-center staff to provide fast, easy access to subject experts, answers to frequently asked questions, relevant Web sources and SBIR program documents.
The center handles thousands of calls each year from small businesses interested in applying for federal research and development awards. The Tibbetts Award is named for Roland Tibbetts, the father of the Small Business Innovation Research program.