No slow August this year

Steve LeSueur

Convergence as a concept is nothing new. With the explosion of the Internet in the 1990s, the idea of running both data and voice over the same wire seemed like a no-brainer.

But getting from concept to widespread acceptance has been slow. Now, the evidence is mounting that converged networks are becoming the norm, at least with new projects.

In our cover story, Staff Writer Joab Jackson explores several high-dollar solicitations, from the Army's WIN-T contract to the U.S. Postal Service's universal connectivity project, that require converged networks.

The driver behind these projects isn't just lower costs and simpler management, but the enhanced capabilities such as videoconferencing and priority call routing that systems integrators can bring.

Also on our front page, Staff Writer Gail Repsher Emery talks about how companies are preparing applications for liability protection under the Safety Act, which was part of the law creating the Homeland Security Department. The law provides limited liability protection for companies that apply. Without that protection, industry argued, many companies would be reluctant to sell homeland security solutions, because they could be sued for millions, if not billions, of dollars in the event the solution failed in a terrorist attack.

And, finally, in this issue we bid farewell to Mark Forman, the Office of Management and Budget's administrator of e-government and information technology. He is leaving for a job with a startup in Silicon Valley. After two years of being the Bush administration's point man for e-gov, Forman leaves a list of accomplishments that includes bringing a higher sense of discipline to the way agencies spend their IT budgets.

Mark, you will be missed.

So who's your replacement?

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