DC Pulse: VA Spending Big Money on Ambitious Tech Goals

Washington DC$480 Million VA Contract Goes to Four Firms: Four companies won parts of a $480 million Veterans Affairs contract to provide IT services. Now they’ll compete for task orders. The winners are Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Services, SRA International, Insignia Technology Services and VetsAmerica Business Consulting. The VA said it would use the contract to improve communications between the VA and veterans, no matter what technology they are using to communicate with the department. GovPartners.com

VA Wants to Reach Vets by All Communications Methods: As that latest contract shows, the VA is motivated to use online and mobile to better serve veterans. It wants to iPhones, iPads, Androids and other popular mobile devices on the departmental network by October 1. Details of how they’ll be connected, secured and used, and whether the department will help buy the devices for employees, still being worked out. Federal Computer Week

Microsoft Is Selling the Cloud to the Feds: Microsoft officials say its new cloud-based Office 365 is a good choice for federal customers because of its tiered subscription structure and secure management. Office 365, unveiled last week, is an updated version of Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Standard Suite and includes improved, Web-based versions of its word processing, collaboration, PowerPoint, e-mail, calendar and instant messaging products. Next Gov

Washington Education Software Blackboard Sold: Educational software maker Blackboard has agreed to be acquired by an investor group led by affiliates of Providence Equity Partners.  The all-cash transaction is valued at about $1.64 billion, plus the assumption of approximately $130 million in net debt. Providence will pay $45 per share, a 21 percent premium over Blackboard’s closing price on April 18, the day before the company said it was up for sale. Washington Business Journal

Which is D.C.’s Fastest Cell Network?: PC Magazine says the Washington metro area suffers from generally slow mobile connections. Although Verizon 4G LTE is the fastest network in the area, it was less consistent than in some of the other cities tested. T-Mobile came out with the best track record of reliable 3G connections. That makes it a good alternative for the region’s residents. PC Magazine

DC’s Top Tech Companies Honored: The Northern Virginia Technology Council announced the winners of its 10th Annual NVTC Hot Ticket Awards, honoring the region’s best and brightest entrepreneurial technology companies for 2010. The winners in  seven categories were:

  • Hottest Bootstrap: AirWatch
  • Hottest Buzz: Living Social
  • Hottest Emerging Government Contractor: Invertix Corp.
  • Hottest Exit: BroadSoft Inc.
  • Hottest Management Team: Opower
  • Hottest Startup: myRete
  • Hottest Venture Capital Deal: ScienceLogic

Washington Technology