Bell Atlantic rings up hardware sales

Although many companies on the General Services Administration schedule benefited from an increase in information technology services sales, one company is growing without relying on services.

Bell Atlantic Federal attributes its phenomenal sales during the summer of 1998 to new hardware. In particular, the company says its Asynchronous Transfer Mode offerings are proving popular with federal agencies.

"We're selling a lot of ATM products," said Alan Ellis, GSA schedule manager at Bell Atlantic. "That is becoming a more mature market."

During the summer of 1997, Bell Atlantic reported almost $4 million in GSA schedule sales. That figure grew fourfold during the same period in 1998, when Bell Atlantic sold $16 million off the schedule-much of that for ATM routers and switches, Ellis said.

Bell Atlantic cannot sell telecommunications services on the Federal Supply Service schedule, although the company has spoken to GSA about changing that policy.

In the meantime, Bell Atlantic sells data and voice networking services to go with ATM hardware through other contracts and on the open market. So far, the firm has not had trouble finding federal customers who are willing to go through more than one contract to fulfill their telecom needs, Ellis said.

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