Technology providers target public sector

Tempe, AZ  May 8, 2001  Say what you will about government, but the fact is, they have deep pockets and a steady revenue stream. And if you're a technology provider in these days of corporate fiscal restraint, that adds up to an attractive market, as evidenced by announcements this week from two e-business stalwarts.

Exhibit A: Palo Alto, Calif.-based TIBCO Software announced today the formation of a government practice to provide e-business infrastructure software to the federal, state and local government markets.

The launch of the new practice will expand TIBCO's reach into public-sector organizations, such as military and other government-funded agencies. The move builds on the company's involvement in the energy, high tech manufacturing, telecommunications, finance, logistics and transportation industries.

Greg Christensen, who formerly served in Oracle's government practice targeting the federal marketplace, will head new TIBCO practice.

"The government sector is large and complex and represents significant sales opportunities," said Vivek Ranadive, chairman and CEO of TIBCO Software. "All branches of the government can greatly benefit from the advantages of real-time information: from the Department of Defense, to the SEC, to the federal, state and local courts, all the way to Congress."

TIBCO's current government customers include the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, Los Angeles City Fire Department and NASA. TIBCO also has provided its e-business infrastructure software to the University of Maryland's Netcentricity Lab, which is developing a next-generation, real-time supply chain management system to pilot-test for the Department of Defense.

To bolster its new practice, TIBCO has partnerships with government systems integrators, such as KPMG, Deloitte Consulting and Synergy; and it has alliances with software companies, such as Oracle, SAP and Ariba.

Exhibit B comes courtesy of PricewaterhouseCoopers. PwC, which bills itself as the world's largest professional services organization, announced this week that it has teamed with Atlanta-based startup EzGov, an e-government technology specialist, to offer business and technology solutions to improve government services.

Together, the two organizations will jointly provide customer portal technology, transactional applications and consulting services to federal, state and local governments.

Where TIBCO's Ranadive focused on the market opportunities, PwC's managing director for its state and local government practice, Rick Webb, was more philosophical in discussing his firm's latest move. The PwC-EzGov alliance will help governments better interact with and service their private citizen and business constituents while reducing costs, he said. "Citizens are now demanding the same levels of customer service from the public sector as they receive from the private sector," Webb said. "They want convenience and greater accessibility at Internet speed."

Ed Trimble, EzGov president and CEO, echoed Webb, saying that the partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers would "bring the power of e-government technology to government" and ultimately "empower ... constituents to interact with their government on demand."

As part of the joint development and marketing agreement, EzGov will offer its EzGov FlexFoundation and StateSuite products; and PricewaterhouseCoopers will provide process improvement, customer relationship management, strategic change and technology services to meet the needs of government programs.

FlexFoundation allows governments to build and manage their online presence on a single platform, while StateSuite enables state and large local government agencies to provide online transactional services such as driver's license renewal, vehicle registration, payment of taxes, tickets and bills, and registration for permits and business filings. 

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