Federal Bytes

Dogged marketing

Dennis Fischer, commissioner of the General Services Administration's Federal Technology Service, is fond of telling vendors that he would like them to become partners with GSA in marketing their services to agencies.

In a speech last week, Fischer likened this arrangement to a partnership established by a veterinarian and a taxidermist. "Their motto was, 'Either way, you get your dog back,' " he quipped.

Presumably, users of GSA's services will be able to specify the condition in which their dogs will be returned.

* * *

I'll do it myself

Frank Lalley, the telecom guru at the Department of Veterans Affairs, has explained that his imminent move to GSA would place him in charge of agencies' transition from the FTS 2000 long-distance network to the FTS 2001 contract, scheduled for award this fall.

Considering the well-documented headaches associated with moving even one agency from one vendor's network to another vendor's, one has to wonder why anyone would voluntarily take on the job of moving the entire federal government. When asked this question, Lalley's answer is simple: He'd rather do it himself than trust someone else to see the transition through.

Let's hope this attitude doesn't backfire and leave Lalley with no one to blame but himself.

* * *

Fat and happy

Following the deal in which Government Technology Services Inc. bought BTG Inc.'s reseller division, employees of the former gave a warm welcome to ex-BTG employees as they arrived to take up new positions at the company's Chantilly, Va., headquarters. It was such an outpouring that some of the 166 former BTG employees expressed amazement at how nice the people were at GTSI, a company that BTG's reseller side had always considered its archenemy.

There was no red carpet or champagne, but GTSI put out balloons and enough carbo-filled bagels and muffins to satisfy the new crew. GTSI chief Dendy Young said it felt like the building might sink under the weight of the new employees, but we think this was a reference to the food and not the employees' appearance.

* * *

Name that tune

Vendors pitching IT-21 solutions to the Pacific Fleet probably already have discovered the musical theme that backs up the floating arsenal at the office of the PACFLT's commander in chief. Telephone callers who are put on hold at Adm. Archie Clemins' office are treated to a rousing version of "Victory at Sea," the music written by Richard Rodgers for the 1950s-era documentary of the Navy in World War II.

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