GTSI forges data-rich alliances

Government customers looking for speedy Internet communication via satellite,

or those who want to load their handheld computers with databases full of

government contacts, can meet both needs through GTSI Corp., thanks to two

recent alliances.

GTSI has partnered with Tachyon Inc., a provider of two-way Internet

access via satellite, and will offer the company's products through GTSI

contracts — NASA's Science and Engineering Workstation Procurement II and

the National Institutes of Health's Electronic Computer Store.

GTSI and Tachyon already are conducting field trials with the Defense

Department and civilian agencies.

"They do satellite communication in an IP format," said Dick Collins,

manager of communications and storage in Chantilly, Va.-based GTSI's vendor

relations group.

"This is not a new idea, but what they bring to the table is [two-way

communication] with downlink speeds at 2 megabits/sec and uplink speeds

of up to 256 kilobits/sec. In effect, it's a T-1 circuit via satellite."

Collins said the Tachyon offerings satisfy requirements for any agency

with remote access needs, ranging from the military and medical communities

to distance-learning initiatives.

The partnership with San Diego-based Tachyon comes on the heels of last

week's announcement that GTSI had inked a deal with KnowWho.com, which specializes

in formatting databases for Palm Inc. handheld devices.

"Palms are a great a tool, but they only have limited data," said Bruce

Brownson, president and chief executive officer of KnowWho.com, Alexandria,

Va. "We optimize the data, like our congressional list, by e-mailing it

to the desktop and then right onto the Palm. It includes phone numbers,

fax numbers, e-mail addresses, staff members and some biographical information"

on every senator and representative.

In addition to its congressional member database, KnowWho.com also maintains

information on U.S. military installations, state governments, federal prisons

and the Federal Aviation Administration.

KnowWho.com data is available on the GTSI site under the SEWP II contract,

and plans include maintaining the databases on a GTSI server to allow for

updates and subscription services, Brownson said.

"If we're successful with the basic databases, there's plans to expand

to all of the Department of Defense and civilian agencies," Collins said.

"It's an ease-of-access proposition for government and commercial people."

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