Software firm makes federal foray

Innovative Systems

Innovative Systems Inc., a software development firm in Pittsburgh, has won a General Services Administration contract and launched an effort to market its data integration products to federal agencies. The company announced the award Jan. 16.

The 34-year-old firm has an established track record with state governments and foreign countries, but none so far with U.S. agencies. Last year, the company approached several agencies about potential sales, but couldn't close any deals, said Jeff Canter, vice president of operations.

"What we found was that getting scheduled is clearly advantageous to a firm where there may not be a need for a larger systems integrator" that the smaller firm can subcontract to, he said. "It's awfully difficult for a small company that is not scheduled to get in the door and get that business."

Innovative's i/Lytics software line cleans databases, scrubbing out duplicate and incorrect entries. The process can make the task of integrating databases go much more smoothly, Canter said, along with making the stored data more accurate. Ensuring data quality is a critical element of information sharing and data consolidation, which are high priorities for many agencies.

Robert Lerner, a technology analyst with Current Analysis in Sterling, Va., tracks Innovative and believes the company is a good fit for agencies.

"Innovative Systems is definitely one of the players in this space," he said. "They have a great technology, and organizations in all walks are starting to take notice that this is important technology."

The firm now draws about 10 percent of its business from the public sector, with customers that include Pennsylvania and government agencies in Mexico and Ireland, Canter said.

Winning the GSA award took about nine months, Canter said. "The number of opportunities justifies the effort," he said. "A number of the projects we were looking at last year did not meet the timelines they had established. Two or three of them have circled back to us now and shown renewed interest."

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