Industry Watch

Report on fed IT vendors to be published

FCW Media Group this month will release the results of its third-annual survey on the competitiveness and past performance of 83 top product and services vendors.

The overall competitiveness leader this year is again Hewlett-Packard Co., followed by Gateway 2000 Inc. and Intel Corp. Microsoft Corp. is the software leader. The highest-scoring integrators/resellers are CACI International Inc., BTG Inc. and Computer Sciences Corp.

The survey is based on 925 interviews with federal government subscribers of Federal Computer Week to measure their perceptions of technology vendors.

Federal Data buys Telos division

In its second acquisition of the month, Federal Data Corp. last week acquired a service division of Telos Corp., Ashburn, Va., for an undisclosed price.

Earlier this month, Federal Data purchased R.O.W. Sciences, Rockville, Md.

The Telos Information Systems Division, with 60 to 70 people, primarily provides software engineering service and support to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California as well as a number of other NASA and government clients. Among other projects, the division wrote the software for the Mars Rover, a robot that surveyed the surface of Mars last summer.

Observers said this deal complements Federal Data's acquisitions last year of Sylvest Management Systems Inc. and NYMA Inc., both of which do substantial business with NASA.

NLM picks library software

The National Library of Medicine last month awarded a $1.3 million contract to Endeavor Information Systems Inc. to upgrade NLM's library management systems.

Endeavor's Voyager software, a client/server product, will replace mainframe-based applications that NLM uses to track library materials and manage circulation. It also will supplant several online catalogs that are used by the public.

CA, CSC continue battle

Systems integrator Computer Sciences Corp. continues to fight a $9.8 billion takeover bid by software vendor Computer Associates International Inc.

CSC has filed suit in Superior Court in Los Angeles, accusing CA of fraud in its bid and alleging that CA offered CSC chairman and chief executive officer Van B. Honeycutt $50 million to support an acquisition.

CSC is reported to have developed a high-priced compensation package for its executives that is designed to make the company a less profitable proposition for CA. Additionally, according to CA, the systems integrator has amended its bylaws to make it difficult for shareholders to remove a majority of the board of directors, which is opposed to the acquisition.

CA, meanwhile, said it plans to proceed with its takeover attempt and plans to meet with CSC and CA stockholders to discuss the acquisition.

For updates on the CA/CSC story, check throughout the week.

Network Associates buys security company

Network Associates Inc. last week announced plans to acquire Glenwood, Md.-based Trusted Information Systems Inc. in a $300 million stock-for-stock merger that makes Network Associates one of the largest information security software concerns in the world.

Network Associates was formed late last year with the merger of McAfee Associates and Network General. In December Network Associates acquired Pretty Good Privacy, a software encryption company. TIS, whose roots run deep in the federal market, offers firewall, electronic commerce and key-recovery products.

According to a 1998 survey by the Computer Security Institute and Zona Market Research, TIS' Gauntlet firewall technology was the second most widely used firewall product.

TIS' federal customers include the National Security Agency, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Navy Command, Control and Ocean Surveillance Center, the U.S. Atlantic Command and the U.S. Pacific Command.

Microsoft ships Unix browser

Microsoft Corp. last week began shipping the first Unix version of its Internet Explorer 4.0 browser.

The Unix version of Internet Explorer runs on Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Solaris 2.5 and newer versions of Solaris. Microsoft also announced a new administration kit designed to ease the deployment and administration of Internet Explorer 4.0 for Windows 3.1, Windows NT 3.51, Unix and Macintosh platforms.

Internet Explorer 4.0 for Unix is being offered on Intelink, an intranet used by more than 50,000 government personnel in intelligence communities and U.S. military commands around the world.

CheckPoint maps VPN path

CheckPoint Software Technologies Ltd. last month announced a broad new roadmap for various virtual private networking (VPN) product releases and product integrations planned for 1998.

Based on a combination of three key technology components— security, traffic control and enterprise management— the company's roadmap will extend its current VPN products to include public-key infrastructure technology, hardware encryption acceleration, bandwidth management tools, directory services support for integrated user management and new VPN software packages.

In addition, CheckPoint will license technology from Entrust Technologies Inc. for digital signature, authentication and certificate-validation features to be added to its CheckPoint Firewall-1 and remote-access software in the second quarter of 1998.

By the third quarter, the company expects to offer public-key infrastructure software bundled with its VPN solution— bundled as a stand-alone, shrink-wrapped product.

Secure Computing unveils SecureWire

Secure Computing Corp. last month unveiled SecureWire, a software product that is designed to give external users instant, authorized access to internal World Wide Web data without compromising security policies.

SecureWire is designed to allow administrators to pre-define access rights for external users, and it uses a Web browser to authenticate and authorize external users to access real-time data on an internal Web server. External users can link to any Hypertext Markup Language page, including those that act as front-end and back-end services, such as an order-processing database.

The product is designed to grant authorized access permission at the Uniform Resource Locator level, denying access to all embedded or discrete URLs that are not specifically allowed.

In addition, the product hides the names of actual intranet URLs from external users and logs events for audit and analysis.


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