Mustang seeks to expand fed business

Mustang Software Inc., creator of the Wildcat! bulletin board system, plans to establish a federal sales force in 1996 and expand its federal sales up to about $10 million.

Jim Harrer, Mustang's president and chief executive officer, said the new sales force will work with resellers and directly with agency users to keep them up to speed on the company's products.

"We've been on General Services Administration schedules for a couple of years," Harrer said. "We thought it was time that our resellers received some hands-on attention from our company."

He added that the new prevalence of BBS servers in the government also helped convince him of the need for a business unit dedicated to federal customers.

"The idea of agencies setting up a BBS server is now very commonplace," he said. "It wasn't three years ago when we began."

A company spokesman said Harrer hired John Drake, previously federal contracts manager at Software Publishing Corp., as vice president for government programs in November. "We feel our products have a lot of potential for federal applications, and we wanted someone like John who knows the software and is familiar with the government," he said.

Drake said he currently runs the company's federal operation on his own but plans to hire four federal sales representatives beginning this fall. He added that he has already boosted Mustang's standing in the GSA schedule program by inking reseller deals late last year with Government Technology Services Inc. and Stream International.

He said federal sales of Mustang's products have been less than stellar despite their presence on some GSA schedules. "We don't have any presence on the IDIQ contracts because nobody was actually dealing with that part of the business," Drake said. "Mustang sold virtually nothing to the federal government last year. My goal is to build that up to between 5 and 15 percent of overall sales."

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