BREAKING NEWS

Under the five-year contract, Ball Aerospace and Technology Group of Boulder, Colo.,
BTG Inc. of Fairfax, Va., Computer Sciences Corp. and MacAulay-Brown Inc. of Dayton, Ohio,
will compete for task orders designed to provide the Air Force Information Warfare Center
with a wide range of information technology services.


“We lean on industry through technology to provide us with solutions,” said
Col. James Massaro, commander of the Air Force Information Warfare Center. “As we
come up with problems that need expertise from industry we will then tap our different
prime contractors.”


The IW center was created in 1993 by merging the Air Force Electronic Warfare Center
and the Air Force Cryptologic Support Center.


Compaq Computer Corp. will sell desktop and portable PCs and servers directly to
federal agencies while continuing its sales arrangements with General Services
Administration Information Technology Schedule contractors.


“We’re transitioning Digital Equipment Corp. products to our agent
model” after Digital’s acquisition by Compaq earlier this year, said Gary
Newgaard, director of Compaq’s federal division. The Compaq Armada replaced
Digital’s HiNote notebook on federal contracts last month, and other product lines
will make the transition by year’s end.


Newgaard refused to say whether Compaq plans to bid as a prime contractor on any
indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts. Digital’s federal unit had been a
prime contractor on Postal Service and Veterans Affairs Department IDIQs.


Agencies have demonstrated tremendous demand for Digital’s Alpha servers, Newgaard
said, but he was uncertain about the demand for high-end Digital systems running OpenVMS.


The Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration has awarded contracts to two vendors to
design a new Employee Retirement Income Security Act Filing Acceptance System, known as
EFAST.


Under the $6 million contracts, National Computer Systems Inc. of Minneapolis and Wang
Government Services of McLean, Va., will compete to develop a system that meets the needs
of PWBA. The winning contractor will then have six years to build and install its system.


The EFAST system will capture financial and other benefit plan data from Form 5500,
which pension plan administrators file annually. The information is used by the Labor
Department, the IRS and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation to protect the benefit
plans of some 200 million people.


The Clinton administration’s electronic commerce czar, Ira Magaziner, has
announced that he will resign by year’s end.


Magaziner, who spearheaded the administration’s July 1997 Framework for Global
Electronic Commerce white paper, is expected to leave his post after finishing a follow-up
report.


Magaziner, Clinton’s senior adviser on policy development, has been pushing for
the government to restrain its regulation of the Internet. The July 1997 report instructed
federal agencies to review and eliminate policies that negatively affect global electronic
commerce.


He also played a part in the transfer of the government’s control of the Domain
Name System to a global nonprofit corporation.


An Education Department Web site will gain interactive features and greater public
exposure by partnering with USA Today and Copernicus Interactive, a provider of customized
Internet content for schools.


Education posted the site at http://pfie.ed.gov with
help from the Partnership for Family Involvement in Education, a coalition of 4,500
business and community groups. The site has links to USA Today’s education Web site
at http://education.usatoday.com, and to the
Copernicus Group, a subsidiary of Stream Technology Group of Stokesdale, N.C., at http://www.gocopernicus.com.


On Education’s site, Copernicus will provide customized home pages for local
schools as well as bulletin boards and chat areas, said Copernicus co-founder Dick Nangle.
School program administrators can post their calendars and other information without
having a webmaster, he said.


The Army’s Communications-Electronics Command has awarded Telos Corp. of Ashburn,
Va., a $380 million contract that will replace the company’s existing Small Multiuser
Computer II contract.


Under the five-year Infrastructure Solutions-1 contract, Telos will provide PCs,
servers, operating systems, programming languages, software, peripherals, LAN and WAN
equipment, and engineering, integration and support services. The contract is open to all
Defense Department and civilian agencies, as well as Foreign Military Sales customers.


The Army in September extended Telos’ $907 million SMC II contract through Jan.
31. Unlike SMC II, IS-1 includes PCs, but Telos officials said that desktop computers are
not the focus of the new contract.


Ordering for IS-1 begins Jan. 16. For more information on the contract, visit
Telos’ Web site at http://www.telos.com.


CHAPEL HILL, N.C.—Network administrators who merge voice traffic onto
packet-switched data networks can get a quick payback by freeing up some of their
telephone network budget, said Frank Maly, marketing director for the InterWorks division
of Cisco Systems Inc. of San Jose, Calif. He spoke at this month’s Technology in the
Park Summit.


But Betsy Huber of Cisco’s InterWorks division said the case for merging voice and
data is not as strong in government as in the private sector because government users pay
lower telephone charges.


The traffic growth on networks today is coming from data, whereas most of the revenues
are in voice networks, said Graham Rance, a Northern Telecom Inc. vice president.


Star schemas are the key to successful data warehouse design, said database consultant
Greg Jones, speaking at a recent conference in Arlington, Va.


Warehouse usefulness, performance and scalability all depend on expert design of the
schema, said Jones, who is director of professional services for Sagent Technology Inc. of
Alexandria, Va.


Most relational database and online analytical processing vendors have incorporated the
star schema as a de facto standard in their products, he said. Even introductory computer
science courses are teaching the basics of designing a star schema with a single fact
table and a single dimension table to reduce the number of table joins.


For scalability, large warehouses need interlocking star schemas and conforming data
dimensions, he said, so that dimensions “mean the same thing for every fact table to
which they can be joined.”


The interlocking star schemas and conforming dimensions can work either in a
large-scale design or on an as-you-go basis, Jones said.


—Gregory Slabodkin, Bill Murray, Merry Mayer, Christopher J. Dorobek, William
Jackson, and Florence Olsen.



inside gcn

  • A forward-located Control and Reporting Center. Air Force photo.

    Data security at the tactical edge: Rightsizing solutions

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