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The IRS has selected Lucent Technologies Inc. of Murray Hill, N.J., to network 25
geographically dispersed customer service call centers into a virtual call center.


The IRS receives about 60 million taxpayer calls a year, 25 million of them between
Jan. 1 and April 15. Marilyn Soulsburg, the acting assistant commissioner for customer
service, said the IRS needs to improve the efficiency of service to callers.


Intelligent CallRouter software from GeoTel Communications Corp. of Lowell, Mass., will
direct calls and taxpayer data to agents at call centers. The software will work across
multivendor networks and help balance agent workloads.


Lucent’s NetCare Professional Services group also will design LANs and WANs to
support the call centers. The estimated cost of the project is $20 million.


The Navy late last month awarded Lockheed Martin Corp. a $281 million contract for the
AN/UYQ-70 computer, which will run weapons systems for surface, submarine and airborne
platforms.


The seven-year contract follows an initial award that the service made to Lockheed
Martin in 1994. The AN/UYQ-70 is a ruggedized system used on all classes of Navy ships for
command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.


Lockheed Martin’s tactical defense systems division in Eagan, Minn., which
Lockheed bought from Unisys Corp. in 1996, will do the work. As subcontractors, the
company has tapped DRS Technologies Inc. of Johnstown, Pa. and Raytheon Systems Co. of
Fullerton, Calif.


The Java flavor of the month at Sun Microsystems Inc. is Jini, a layer of mobile,
network-based code that detects devices such as hard drives and printers when they are
added to a network.


“Devices using Jini spontaneously configure themselves on the network,” said
Steve Fritzsinger, senior Java technologist for Sun Microsystems Federal in McLean, Va.


Users can install Jini wherever there is a CPU and memory. When Jini code runs on top
of a Java Virtual Machine environment, the need for network drivers and installation
wizards goes away, Fritzsinger said.


The 48K Jini kernel has less than 15 application programming interfaces, Fritzsinger
said. Jini developers “stopped when there was nothing left to cut out,” he said.
The Jini layer soon may become part of Sun’s Java Virtual Machine specification.


Contact Sun Microsystems Federal at 703-204-4100.


The Federal Aviation Administration has awarded FDC Technologies Inc. of Bethesda, Md.,
a $35 million contract to improve FAA’s Air Traffic Management System.


FAA uses the system for air traffic control and traffic flow management. Air traffic
control ensures that planes in the air don’t fly into each other, and traffic flow
management balances the number of planes using U.S. airspace simultaneously, FAA spokesman
Bill Shumann said.


Under the contract, FAA will buy Hewlett-Packard Co. workstations as well as software
and networking gear. Shumann said the communications hardware might include products from
Cisco Systems Inc. of San Jose, Calif.


The five-and-a-half-year contract also includes surveying, integration, installation,
training and engineering services.


Through the project, FAA plans to overhaul systems at 83 locations, said Gary
Strausser, FDC program manager for the FAA contract.


President Clinton has signed the IRS reform bill, approving the most extensive overhaul
of the agency in 50 years.


The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act is the latest among many efforts to improve
operations of the tax agency. One focus of the bill is the department’s long-running
tax systems modernization project. In a near unanimous vote, Congress approved the bill
last month [GCN, July 20, Page 75].


The law encourages the IRS to have at least 80 percent of all returns filed
electronically by 2007 and requires the agency over the next four months to develop a plan
to meet the 2007 goal. It also creates a nine-member board that will oversee IRS
operations.


The law “will help the IRS to serve taxpayers as well as the best private
companies serve their customers, building on efforts to offer simple high-tech options for
filing taxes and making tax forms more easily available over the Internet,” Clinton
said.


The Army’s Communications-Electronics Command at Fort Monmouth, N.J., has awarded
three contracts worth $5 billion to keep critical Defense Department systems operating.


Under the five-year Rapid Response to Critical System Requirements (R2CSR) contracts,
the three vendors—ARINC Inc. of Oklahoma City, Okla., Lear Siegler Services Inc. of
Annapolis, Md., and Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems Inc. of Bethesda, Md.—will
provide services such as engineering, analysis, manufacturing, repair, installation and
integration.


All three vendors had to demonstrate knowledge of various systems technologies,
including high-speed networking, high-end workstations, and computer-aided design and
manufacturing.


“There has been an increasing trend to extend DOD systems significantly beyond
their originally projected life,’’ the Army said in a statement. “As these
systems are extended, critical items not originally intended for maintenance, repair or
replacement require additional operation and support services.’’


Each vendor’s contract has a ceiling: $1.85 billion for Lear Siegler, $1.78
billion for Lockheed Martin and $1.41 billion for ARINC.


The Office of Management and Budget wants agencies to provide more-detailed contingency
plans in their next quarterly year 2000 reports, which are due Aug. 15. In a late July
memorandum, acting OMB Director Jacob J. Lew ordered agencies to include schedules and
milestones in the agency’s business continuity plans.


Meanwhile, the chairman of the President’s Council on Year 2000 Conversion last
week launched the council’s new Web page at http://www.y2k.gov.
The site provides information about the council, links to year 2000 information and links
to 47 state year 2000 pages.


The Defense Department’s missile defense programs could fall prey to date code
errors, the DOD inspector general has concluded.


In status reports to the Office of Management and Budget, DOD overstated its progress
in fixing code for missile defense systems, according to a new IG report, Ballistic
Missile Defense Organization Year 2000 Initiatives.


Because the Theater High Altitude Area Defense and National Missile Defense systems
rely heavily on computers to calculate target coordinates and other data, any data code
errors could prove catastrophic, the IG said.


BMDO incorrectly allowed THAAD and NMD, which has four subprograms, to proceed beyond
the assessment phase, the IG said.


The report recommended that BMDO review of THAAD’s year 2000 efforts, implement
procedures to certify that a system has met certain criteria before allowing it to proceed
to the next phase and prepare an assessment plan for each NMD subprogram.


—William Jackson, Gregory Slabodkin, Florence Olsen, Frank Tiboni, Christopher
J. Dorobek and Bill Murray.

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