DataStream

Mint Strikes Gold on Web<@VM>Comark Merges Units<@VM>GTSI, MicroStrategy Partner <@VM>PEC Solutions Seeks IPO <@VM>CEOs See Growing IT Gap<@VM>Labor Bureau Expands Web Data<@VM>Andersen Wins NSA Work

What is next for the U.S. Mint? An IPO or maybe a quirky ad at next year's Super Bowl?

The Mint reported last week that its fourth quarter 1999 sales on the Web reached $26 million, giving the Washington-based agency a 12-month run rate of better than $100 million. Fourth quarter online sales were 114 percent higher than online sales for the same quarter in 1998.

Philip Diehl, director of the U.S. Mint, attributed the increase to a new Web site the agency launched in April, www.USMINT.gov. "The combination of a blockbuster product like the 50 state quarters and one of the best Web sites in the business has moved us into the top tier of e-tailers in only eight months," he said.

The Mint averaged $9.2 million a month in online sales during the final quarter, despite many of its most popular products being unavailable after Dec. 1 because of heavy holiday shopping. The Mint sells collectible coins, coin-based jewelry, and related products on its Web site.

"Our big challenge this year will be to feed sufficient quantities of new product to our Web catalog to keep up with the strong demand we saw at the end of 1999," Diehl said.Comark Inc. of Bloomingdale, Ill., has consolidated its federal, state and local and education units into a single organization.

Alan Bechara is head of the new unit, called Comark Government and Education Sales Inc. in Chantilly, Va. He formerly served as president of Comark Federal.

The move streamlines operations and takes advantage of economies of scale, company officials said. The new organization has 80 employees in nine locations around the country.

The privately held company is a $1.5 billion provider of information technology products and services. Government and education sales were $150 million in 1999.Government Technology Services Inc., Chantilly, Va. and MicroStrategy Inc. of Vienna, Va., announced a new partnership aimed at the federal marketplace.

Under the pact, signed late last year, GTSI will market MicroStrategy's e-business solutions in conjunction with its own offerings to the Department of Defense.

"GTSI is striving to introduce Customer relationship Management (CRM) solutions to our customers," said Dendy Young, chairman and chief executive of GTSI. And MicroStrategy's Intelligent E-Business Platform "is a key component in our solution-set," he said.

MicroStrategy's technology helps government departments and agencies delve into enterprise information to uncover patterns and preferences, and delivers organizations such data via the web, wireless and voice.

Robert Silverman, vice president and general manager of MicroStrategy Government, said the value of the partnership could reach "tens of millions of dollars." PEC Solutions Inc., Fairfax, Va., has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of its common stock. The offering is valued at $75 million.

Founded in 1985 as Performance Engineering Corp., the company develops and maintains information technology systems for agencies such as the Census Bureau, Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service. Its services include designing and implementing security systems, intranet and Internet software, and online database applications.

The company posted revenue of $38.6 million for the nine months ending Sept. 30. Net earnings totaled $4 million over that period. Fifty percent of chief executive officers around the world believe the Internet will widen the gap between developed and developing nations, according to the third annual survey of 1,020 CEOs issued by the World Economic Forum and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Thirty-eight percent take the opposing view. And 90 percent of the CEOs believe that continued growth of Internet commerce depends on the development of global standards for privacy protection, security, authentication and dispute resolution. The survey found that CEOs worldwide are bullish about their companies' growth prospects over the next three years.

The survey also revealed that a CEO who is optimistic about his company's overall growth prospect is nearly twice as likely to project growth of e-business at over 20 percent annually over the next five years than his more pessimistic peer.

The report, "Inside the Mind of the CEO: A Global Survey of Chief Executives" and "Inside the Mind of the CEO: Europe: A Survey for the Year 2000," can be found at www.pwcglobal.com.The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has introduced a set of new features on its Web site (www.bls.gov). They include an expanded "Economy at a Glance," the BLS News Service, more options on the home page, news releases in PDF format and new online databases. Users will now be able to gather economic statistics for four regions, all 50 States, many metropolitan areas, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

With the news service, one can subscribe and receive selected BLS news releases by e-mail. On accessing the home page and clicking selected buttons, users can go directly to News Releases, the Occupational Outlook Handbook and K-12 Educational Resources.

Also available are selections for the BLS News Service subscription page, FedStats and a listing of other statistical sites. Specific news releases will be available in PDF and include the Consumer Price Index, Employment Cost Index, Employment Situation, Producer Price Index, Productivity and Costs, Real Earnings and U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes.

Finally, users can access data on Covered Employment and Wages (ES-202), Characteristics Data from the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses and Mass Layoff Survey data with the Selective Access and Most Requested Series applications.The National Security Agency awarded a one-year contract with four one-year renewal options, valued at $13.8 million, to Andersen Consulting of Chicago to support and maintain information systems software for the NSA, the Defense Intelligence Agency and National Imagery & Mapping Agency.

Through the contract, the agencies seek to lower their operational costs and benefit from significant improvements in system reliability, availability and flexibility. NSA and Andersen Consulting will work together on supporting operations and management of human resources, student administration, supply chain management, special security software systems and web-based applications, based on PeopleSoft products.

Andersen Consulting will head a team of IT consulting firms, including Baesch Computer Consulting, Computer Sciences Corp., Keane Federal Systems, Litton- PRC, Oracle Corp. and Sierra Systems Consultants.

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