Search engine cuts through contracting material

Between now and July 5, state and local governments can access for free a new procurement search engine that cuts through the noise of government contracting material now flooding the Internet and brings back only those hits relevant to information technology buying.

Between now and July 5, state and local governments can access for free a new procurement search engine that cuts through the noise of government contracting material now flooding the Internet and brings back only those hits relevant to information technology buying.

Wood River Technologies Inc. has developed ITBids (itbids.bidengine.com), an enhanced service of Bidengine (bidengine.com), to separate the different bids into distinct IT categories and to provide direct links to the sites where they can be found on the World Wide Web.

Breaking out the technology opportunities at all levels of government was crucial because the IT needs of government are changing by the second. And IT contracts and bid notices from the smallest towns to the busiest metropolises are flooding the Internet with greater frequency everyday.

The information is out there, but actually accessing it using keywords on standard search engines can lead to an endless array of useless links and sites.

Researchers for the new venture use the technology behind Bidengine to scan thousands of bid opportunity Web pages using IT keywords, such as "Y2K," "network installation" or "computer equipment." They then place the bid notices into specific categories and subcategories.

"For information technology, bidengine.com, which is basically a very sophisticated focus search engine, produced so many results that it was almost unmanageable," said Richard White, president of WRT. "ITBids essentially puts professionals at both ends of the process."

ITBids covers federal, international, state, county and city governments as well as universities, school districts and other public buying authorities. The service reaches 45 state sites and more than 600 county and city sites.

About 300 active IT bid notices can be found on the site at any time, and about 40 new ones are added each day. After July 5, the service will cost $890 for an annual subscription.

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