CA adds Customs Service pact to services portfolio

Computer Associates International Inc. recently captured one of its largest services-oriented contracts ever an estimated $37 million pact with the Customs Service.

Under the five-year contract signed two weeks ago CA's federal services group will support a number of CA products. Those include CA-Datacom/DB a relational database management system CA-Top Secret which is security software and systems management software. Customs is a major user of CA-Datacom which the agency uses to track product movement across borders to stop illegal imports and exports.

"Customs has a big investment in CA products and we're there to make sure things are going right " said Bob Dinkel vice president of federal services at CA.

The award to CA was made competitively Dinkel said. The contract is a recompete of a pact CA was awarded in 1991. Customs officials could not be reached for comment.

Growing Business

The Customs award is one of several services contracts CA holds in the federal market. CA's federal support business generally focuses on the company's systems management product line CA-Unicenter and the various database managers that the company has acquired over the years. CA-Datacom for example stems from CA's 1988 acquisition of Applied Data Research Inc. (ADR) .

CA's support customers include the Census Bureau the Military Sealift Command the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the U.S. Geological Survey. CA also supports its CA-IDMS database product through the Immigration and Naturalization Service's Information Technology Partnership contract held by Electronic Data Systems Corp.

Dinkel said CA's objective is not to become a systems integrator but to provide product-specific support. "Our main objective is to make sure the products sold work as the client expects " he said.

CA employs about 200 consultants in the federal market. Those employees are part of CA's 2-year-old Professional Services unit. The origins of the federal support group however go back several years to CA's acquisition of ADR and Cullinet Inc. in the late 1980s.

Peter Kastner a group vice president with The Aberdeen Group said service represents about 25 percent of CA's total revenue. He said other companies such as Oracle Corp. derive a great percentage of their revenue from services but he added that CA has made a wise investment in federal support given that market's specialized requirements.

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