EverTrac Treks Into Gov't Territory

EverTrac Treks Into Gov't Territory

Imran Anwar

By Jennifer Freer, Staff Writer

Formed 10 months ago to pursue commercial markets, EverTrac Inc. is now widening its scope to provide government customers with its wireless tracking technology that can monitor both people and equipment.

EverTrac of Islandia, N.Y., which develops applications for wireless global positioning systems, sees both defense and civilian agencies as prime targets for its technology, said Imran Anwar, chief executive officer of EverTrac.

EverTrac was formed in January as a joint venture of Computer Associates International Inc., a $5.9 billion a year software developer based in Islandia, N.Y., and United Microelectronics Corp. of Hsinchu City, Taiwan, a maker of semiconductor products. The company had $929 million in 1999 revenue.

Although the company does not yet have any U.S. government customers, it has worked with the European Post Office to develop a mobile post office. By working with its parent companies, EverTrac has created a system to scan packages from online resources, use credit cards to pay for the shipping and then have someone come pick up the package to be mailed, Anwar said.

The Defense Department has a high demand for tracking equipment, vehicles and technology devices in times of war. EverTrac, for example, can help find parts for vehicles or locate military equipment in the deserts of Saudi Arabia, he said.

For civilian agencies, EverTrac can help with security by tracking a person's location and finding out if security guidelines are being broken, he said. If a government worker, for example, was to leave his second-floor office and go to the third floor for a meeting, EverTrac would be able to see if someone else was logging in to that person's computer and detect that it was not the correct person, Anwar said.

Police departments can use the technology to track officers and police cars. If there is a person hurt in a robbery, EverTrac will not only find the closest car to help, but also the closest car that is stocked with medical equipment, he said.

"The market for tracking technology is growing," said Jeremy Sharrard, a research associate with Forrester, a market research firm in Cambridge, Mass.

The government-to-government technology applications, like what EverTrac is doing, have been neglected by industry so far, he said. In order for government agencies to meet the needs of their constituents, they must look at their internal processes and the way they are doing business with themselves.

So many different aspects of government need to be tracked, from a service request to fix a street to building permits. Tracking technology could even be used in the procurement process, such as tracking requests for proposal, he said.

EverTrac can customize solutions for government agencies by drawing on Computer Associates and United Microelectronics as well as partnerships with companies such as BellSouth Corp. of Atlanta and Vetronix Corp. of Santa Barbara, Calif., said Anwar.

This concept of partnering to provide customized solutions can be key to winning government customers, said Jeff Chang, an analyst with the Strategis Group, a market research firm in Washington.

  "EverTrac is poised to go after the government market because their solution isn't geared to one network," Chang said. Government agencies' networks are complex, and EverTrac forms its partnerships specifically to meet the needs of its customers, rather than hosting one particular type of solution, he added.

EverTrac can also provide a solution that is less expensive, which is a key factor for government agencies in adopting new technology, Chang said. Qualcomm Inc., an EverTrac competitor and developer of wireless telecom equipment and satellite stations, uses satellites to provide its tracking services. Now tracking services are offered over digital networks, such as EverTrac, and results in less expensive solutions, he said.

The concept for EverTrac's tracking applications came about when Charles Wang, Computer Associates' chairman and CEO, was working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to reduce the number of missing children. He came up with an idea to put a bracelet on children to track them, and realized there were many other applications for the devices.

EverTrac now focuses its technology on four areas of tracking: indoor, outdoor, people and objects. For example, EverTrac's technology is used to track fleets of trucks on the road and the equipment or materials they carry. The trucking fleets can be managed from online applications. EverTrac also can help locate and monitor a truck's mechanical difficulties and have parts replaced before breakdowns occur.

The company can use the resources and contracts held by Computer Associates to pursue government customers because the company does not have contracts of its own. The company is also working on
getting its services put on the General
Services Administration's schedule.

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