Lockheed, Microsoft target fed IT

A pair of industry titans announced a strategic alliance Thursday targeted at pursuing new business opportunities in the federal information technology market.

Lockheed Martin Corp. and Microsoft Corp. will collaborate on seeking new opportunities as part of a formal alliance, which is actually the continuation of several years of partnerships on various projects, said Pete Harrigan, a Lockheed spokesman.

The initial process will include an analysis of agencies where each company has had past success. This step will help identify departments where the alliance hopes to compete in the future.

"We expect it to be a very rapid process," Harrigan said. "One attribute of the federal IT market is: Those who are nimble, win. We expect this to be a nimble, responsive relationship."

Lockheed Martin and Microsoft have existing relationships on:

The Air Force Integrated Space Command and Control program, an upgrade of the North American Aerospace Defense Command Cheyenne Mountain Complex. The integrated warfare system for the Navy's next nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, CVN 77. The Air Force's Global Command Support System. The Defense Department's Defense Message System. "The more we worked together on these programs, the more we saw how each company has specific strengths that it brings to the federal IT marketplace," Harrigan said. "The trust and respect build by working together, and it made sense to formalize the alliance."

Under the agreement, Lockheed and Microsoft will work cooperatively to identify and pursue new business in the federal market, principally involving IT programs.

The alliance also calls for the companies to jointly develop new business proposals and certify Lockheed technical personnel as Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers and Microsoft Certified Solution Developers. Each of Lockheed's four principal business areas — aeronautics, space, systems integration and technology services — will have access to Microsoft technologies and products.

"The alliance means our customers get an established player in the federal market -- Lockheed Martin -- and an incredibly cost-effective, reliable and scalable software platform," Pete Hayes, vice president of Washington, D.C.-based Microsoft Government. "We've got an incredibly diverse group of programs that we're working on. I'm talking about embedded Windows applications all the way up to super high-end datacenter solutions at the most critical level."

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