Upson joins webMethods' fed push

Integration software specialist webMethods Inc. is sending a clear signal about its focus on the government market with the hiring of former Virginia technology czar Don Upson as a vice president of business operations for its new public-sector unit.

The move reunites part of the team that built Litton PRC Inc. into a major federal integrator.

Len Pomata, who was president and chief executive of Litton before its purchase by Northrop Grumman Corp., joined webMethods in March as the president of webMethods Federal, a new public-sector business unit of the company.

Upson, who is expected to begin work at webMethods in June, was vice president at Litton before his appointment as Virginia's secretary of technology in 1998. It marked the first time that a technology executive had been given such a prominent role at any level of government.

Upson stepped down from that position in March.

WebMethods is making a bold bid to capture a large share of what it sees as a major developing market. Company officials expect that government business eventually will provide about a quarter of its total revenues, up from 5 percent to 10 percent now.

"Every potential customer I've talked to over the past few weeks has the problem of stovepiped legacy systems that don't talk to each other," Pomata said. "I feel that [webMethods' integration software] is the secret weapon that was needed for what Don and I tried to do during all those years we were in government."

Company representatives said that other major hires, particularly to handle sales for the new unit, will be announced soon.

Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be reached at hullite@mindspring.com.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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