Remote-comm vendor enters fed market

Anyware Technology Inc. has begun an initiative to bring its secure remote-communications technology to the federal market, creating a federal business unit and addressing federal standards.

Anyware's flagship product, EverLink Suite, is designed to allow users working remotely to transmit Microsoft Corp. Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations across the Internet in a secure environment.

The product, which also supports secure e-mail and secure chat sessions, supports connections made through Internet service providers, so every connection can be set up as a call to a local ISP.

'Pretty Strong Government Interest'

"We've identified internally that there's pretty strong government interest," said Jonathan Page, Anyware's director of sales in City of Industry, Calif. The company is working to get a General Services Administration schedule contract, with plans to offer its product at 14 percent to 18 percent below retail, Page said.

Retail pricing ranges from $1,395 for 25 users to $12,995 for 500 users, according to the company, and the product scales up to 10,000 users in an enterprise.

Anyware is seeking federal resellers for the product. The company is using BTG Inc. and RF Microsystems and "signing up [value-added resellers] daily," Page said.

Anyware also is in the pipeline for certification under the National Institute of Standards and Technology's FIPS 140-1 security standard, he said. FIPS 140-1 is a mandatory standard for security products sold to federal agencies.

EverLink employs up to 168-bit encryption, using Data Encryption Standard, Triple DES, RSA and other algorithms. The suite also comes with an out-of-the-box certificate authority that agencies can use to mediate transactions between two parties. But agencies also can use the product with their own certificate authorities, according to the company.

"This is a type of product that has not existed before," said David Diaz, a sales engineer with Codaram Corp., an Anyware value-added reseller based in Birmingham, Ala. In the context of remote connectivity, "they provide simplicity and security at a very low cost," Diaz said.

Other remote-connectivity products dial in long distance over analog or Integrated Services Digital Network circuits into a bank of modems, with possibly a password challenge, Diaz said.

In contrast, the Anyware solution provides greater assurance of data confidentiality and integrity while requiring only local calls.

Codaram recommends the product to organizations with "large remote-user work forces" that do not require complex computer support. Remote users can dial in with a user name and password and gain access only to the files to which they have been granted permission. Census Bureau counters might make a good user group, Diaz said.

It is "an interesting product," said Sermin Suer, an industry analyst for defense and aerospace with Frost & Sullivan, Mountain View, Calif. Written using Java technology, the package's platform independence also is a plus for the government market, which tends to have a lot of older equipment, she said.

-- Adams is a free-lance writer based in Alexandria, Va. She can be reached at cbadams@erols.com.

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