Follow the Money

Recent IT partnerships and customer wins that are turning heads in the consulting sector.

1. $20m Retail Bet

Compaq Computer has invested $20 million in Systech Retail Systems, in a bid to better serve point-of-sale (POS) retail customers.

Compaq and Systech expect their relationship to generate more than $100 million in revenue over the next three years.

The duo will develop POS solutions that use Proliant Servers, Windows 2000, SQL Server 2000 and handheld systems.

Compaqs retail initiative could lead to an eventual showdown with Symbol Technologies, which designs bar-code scanners, wireless LAN devices, handheld PCs and mobile solutions for the retail market.

2. Mass Exodus?

The vultures are swirling over Web-hosting veteran Exodus Communications.

Shortly after Exodus filed for bankruptcy last month, Perot Systems and Qwest Communications united to lure away Exodus customers.

Perot and Qwest plan to jointly provide Web-hosting, network and management services to target customers.

Qwest expects the partnership to generate $20 million in revenue.

A source at Qwest says the deal was in the works before Exodus filed for bankruptcy, though the partnership "will certainly serve former Exodus customers well."

3. Mixed News for AMS

One small victory wont be enough to salvage American Management Systems Q3 results.

The IT consulting firm, which recently won an integration contract with Orange County, Fla., is cutting staff because its Q3 results wont meet Wall Streets expectations.

The Fairfax, Va., company says Q3 revenue will be 10 percent below previous expectations.

On the upside, AMS on Sept. 24 disclosed a new business deal with the Orange County government of Florida.

Under terms of the government deal, the county will test and potentially deploy AMS Advantage 3.0 Financial, an Internet-based financial-management system.

AMS will disclose actual Q3 results on Oct. 18.

4. IBM Books Business

Big Blue has won a $14 million server contract with Bertelsmann book-club operations.

Under the agreement, Bertelsmann will deploy 25 IBM eServers running AIX Unix, as well as CRM and supply chain management software from SAP.

The new applications will manage customer data for 20 million book-club members.

Bertelsmann will use its own integration arm, known as Bertelsmann mediaSystems, to deploy the new servers and related software, according to IBM.

5. Retirement Savings

Covansys has won a $14.5 million contract from Nebraskas Public Employees Retirement Board to install a pension administration system.

The pension administration project will be conducted in four phases and is scheduled for completion in May 2004. The contract calls for Covansys to design and implement a pension system to replace the states existing mainframe-based application.