Bellcore buy would broaden SAIC's talent base

Recent reports of Science Applications International Corp.'s negotiations to buy Bell Communications Research Inc. (Bellcore) have focused on the diversification angle.

The thinking is that a Bellcore acquisition would help SAIC push into commercial and international markets from its base in the Defense Department and other federal agencies. SAIC generates 85 percent of its revenue from federal accounts. Indeed Bellcore's researchers and engineers offer SAIC plenty of skills in the expanding fields of networking and security. But those skills play into the federal market as well as the commercial sector.

Bellcore already has been a subcontractor to SAIC on the Defense Information Systems Agency's Center for Information Systems Security - Infosec Technical Services multiple-award contract.

Bellcore also plays a role on a number of research and development-oriented federal network projects. The company is a subcontractor to Bell Atlantic Corp. on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Advanced Technology Demonstration Network one of the nation's largest test beds for asynchronous transfer mode networking technology.

Bellcore's networking skills fit nicely with SAIC's moves in the Internet. And Bellcore offers a pool of talent that SAIC could draw upon in the course of its multiple-award task-order oriented contracts. Such deals typically call for a wide range of skills and services and require integrators to maintain an extensive bank of talent.

SAIC's multiple-award deals include CISS-ITS and the Transportation Department's Information Technology Omnibus Procurement.

Both companies have declined to comment on the reported talks.

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