Game time

It's never easy to break into the federal market. Many of the established players have close ties with existing customers and a deep understanding of how the community works. Now more than ever, though, federal officials are looking for new ideas, so opportunities do exist for new players.

Why some companies succeed when others fail depends on many factors, some of them intangible. But this much is clear: To even have a chance to play, companies must present an innovative solution to a pressing problem. There's no point in selling yourself as a linebacker when a team is looking for a good fullback.

This year's list of the 10 companies to watch reflects that principle. Although it's difficult to say which companies have a real shot at success, our sources from throughout the federal technology community identified those that appear to be in the best position to become the next generation of stars.

SecureInfo Inc.
President and CEO: Steve Kiser
SecureInfo has attracted a federal following. The company's certification and accreditation tools have hit home with government entities responsible for ensuring compliance with the Federal Information Security management Act. Future prospects include an asset discovery tool, which company officials plan to release in the next six months.

Segovia Inc.
President and CEO: Mike Wheeler
This young company, which specializes in global IP satellite networks, has quickly made a name for itself with its military customers. In a major win, Army officials chose Segovia to create a network in Iraq to support the ordering and delivery of supplies.

Popkin Software and Systems Inc.
CEO: Jan Popkin
Popkin has jumped on the government's enterprise architecture trend, winning business for its enterprise-modeling product. The company covers a lot of modeling ground, backing time-tested Integrated Definition Languages and newcomers such as Business Process Modeling Notation and Business Process Execution Language for Web Services.

Roving Planet Inc.
CEO and Chairman: W. Greg Mesch
New to the government market, Roving Planet officials seek to improve agencies' wireless local-area network defenses. Teammates such as Apptis Inc., GTSI Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp. help with the company's federal marketing push. Another ally, former Hot 10 winner Fortress Technologies, lends wireless data encryption muscle.

Lumeta Corp.
CEO: Tom Dent
Lumeta's network vulnerability assessment tool has earned the company a place at a number of federal agencies. A 130 percent revenue spurt has made government the company's fastest growing vertical market. Expect a new release of the company's flagship IPsonar in the next few weeks.

ProSight Inc.
President and CEO: John Cimral
Highlights of this company's federal market surge include wins at the Homeland Security Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Bolstering ProSight's core portfolio management offering are software modules covering enterprise architecture and capital planning/investment control budgeting. A Federal Information Security Management Act compliance addition is in the works.

Cross Match Technologies Inc.
Chairman and CEO: Theodore Johnson
Cross Match Technologies' biggest win in the federal market is an ongoing effort to deploy fingerpring-scanning technology for the U.S. Visit and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology program. Another potential breakthrough: The company is readying a ceramic sensor designed to pack forensic-class technology in a smaller package.

American Power Conversion Corp.
Chairman, President and CEO: Rodger Dowdell
The growth of disaster recovery sites and voice over IP has given APC a fresh impetus in the government market. The company's product lineup has expanded to include cooling systems and power generators in addition to its core uninterruptible power supplies.

Planar Systems Inc.
Chairman, President and CEO: Balaji Krishnamurthy
Planar specializes in a wide range of areas in the federal market, from medical imaging systems to desktop computer displays. The latter category marks a new venture for Planar, which crafted a product line that complies with the Trade Agreements Act and a sales channel to break into the federal market.

DigitalNet Inc.
CEO: Ken Bajaj
This company bulked up its government presence with the 2002 acquisition of Getronics Government Solutions LLC. But DigitalNet officials have since generated organic growth in enterprise architecture, information assurance, secure systems and managed network services. The company is such a hot prospect that, as this issue went to press, BAE Systems officials had decided to acquire it, subject to the usual regulatory approvals.

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