DataPower offers freebies

DataPower Technology Inc, a developer of Extensible Markup Language (XML) network infrastructure, is taking a twin-pronged approach to marketing its new products to agencies: a partnership with a systems integrator and free samples.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based company, which has been selling to state, local and federal agencies for about four years, believes the approach will give it an edge over other small businesses, said marketing manager Kevin Anderson.

"Technology companies are used to selling to the private sector. The government behaves a little differently," he said. "They don't buy into the hard sell, the fast sell. They need a much more intelligent approach, that we hope is satisfied by our no cost program. Because [the technology] is so new, and not well understood, how do you figure out what to buy without being able to try it, and how do you try it without spending a lot of money?"

There are too many small businesses trying to enter the government market that don't appreciate the difference between commercial and government customers and the processes each must use to make buying decisions, said Eugene Kuznetsov, Data Power's chairman and chief technology officer.

"Because a lot of smaller companies don't know how to do this properly, the government doesn't get access to the latest and best technology," he said.

The new partnership with Science Applications International Corp. also gives the company an edge, he said. Although DataPower spends a lot of time in agencies helping them understand the technology, SAIC has the relationships built and the sales infrastructure in place to better handle the contracting process, Kuznetsov said.

"We still expect to do a fair amount of work directly with the customer. It's just easier for them to buy it through SAIC and get them to install it and so on," he said.

SAIC sees DataPower's offerings as a natural adjunct to its TeraText Database System, which is geared toward large XML implementations, said vice president Steve Rizzi. SAIC can also use the products in other engagements, he added.

"We see a role for DataPower's product line in our complex system integration efforts, which involve high volumes of XML data," Rizzi said.

The free package includes a white paper, an on-site briefing and a 30-day trial of DataPower's new XML XS40 Security Gateway. The Gateway provides firewall, filtering, access control, digital signatures and other security services for XML Web service data.

DataPower is banking on the ongoing push toward integration to create demand for its products, Kuznetsov said. "We have had quite a bit of traction and interest from government customers. We've learned a lot about the kinds of problems they've had," he said. "Down on the ground you see the promise of XML Web services. Then you look at the higher political level and you see one of the biggest issues today is the integration of information."

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