Out and about

By Stan Gibson  |  Posted 2004-06-21 Print this article Print

Hildebrandt International, a management consultant to law firms, is teaming with business process outsourcer OfficeTiger to form a venture that will outsource IT management of large law firms and corporate law departments. The goal of the business, OTH Services, will be to offer everything from secretarial work to marketing and business development, including corporate image and branding. Also included will be finance and accounting and cash management. The venture will target companies and departments with approximately 3,000 employees.

A significant portion of the work will be shipped to India, where New York-based OfficeTiger has major operations. Legal documents in digital format will be stored there. Is that a problem? Where data is stored depends on client desires, said Mike Short, a director of Hildebrandt International, in Somerset, N.J. But he pointed out that plenty of sensitive data is already being stored offshore, including mortgage information and human resources data. "There is nothing on the books today as to where data has to be stored as long as it meets compliance requirements. It has a lot to do with setting up very clear roles and responsibilities. If we do this right, my department is your department," Short said.

A lot is riding on the Accenture-led Smart Border Alliances winning a 10-year, $10 billion contract to build a border security system in the United States called the US-VISIT (United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology) program. Watching how the Smart Border Alliance, which includes Raytheon, The Titan Corp. and SRA International, executes should be a good spectator sport over the next few years from several points of view. First, it will be interesting to see how well the Department of Homeland Security manages the relationship. The recent tribulations of the Navy-EDS contract do not augur well for large government outsourcing deals. A key challenge will be meeting the congressional mandate that US-VISIT must be deployed at the top 50 U.S. land ports of entry by Dec. 31. Also, the contract should be a proving ground for the large-scale use of digital finger scanning and digital photo technology, which are sometimes less than reliable for personal identification. Accenture will have to make the technologies work at 400 points of entry.

Stan Gibsons e-mail address is stan_gibson@ziffdavis.com.

To read more Stan Gibson, subscribe to eWEEK magazine. Check out eWEEK.coms Infrastructure Center at http://infrastructure.eweek.com for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.

Stan Gibson is Executive Editor of eWEEK. In addition to taking part in Ziff Davis eSeminars and taking charge of special editorial projects, his columns and editorials appear regularly in both the print and online editions of eWEEK. He is chairman of eWEEK's Editorial Board, which received the 1999 Jesse H. Neal Award of the American Business Press. In ten years at eWEEK, Gibson has served eWEEK (formerly PC Week) as Executive Editor/eBiz Strategies, Deputy News Editor, Networking Editor, Assignment Editor and Department Editor. His Webcast program, 'Take Down,' appeared on Zcast.tv. He has appeared on many radio and television programs including TechTV, CNBC, PBS, WBZ-Boston, WEVD New York and New England Cable News. Gibson has appeared as keynoter at many conferences, including CAMP Expo, Society for Information Management, and the Technology Managers Forum. A 19-year veteran covering information technology, he was previously News Editor at Communications Week and was Software Editor and Systems Editor at Computerworld.

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