Feds Get a Week to Wallow in E-Commerce

Electronic commerce and communications are taking center stage in Washington, DC as the weeklong E-Gov conference and exposition kicks off.

Running June 28 through July 1, the conference provides the best opportunity for information technology companies to catch the attention of the many government agency decision-makers trying to shift the government from paper to computer files.

The conference and expo will focus on every division of the federal government, primarily examining areas where government agencies can improve their use of computer and e-commerce technology. It will also highlight two dozen success stories of new technologies and systems already in place at some government agencies, to give others a look at how those systems could be adapted. Hands-on tutorials will also provide instruction on how to plan, implement, evaluate and refine electronic government programs.

A special “Electronic Enterprise Pavilion” is expected to give attendees a glimpse of the future of e-commerce in government. At 50 separate stations, IT vendors will display applications designed to improve government service to its citizens, interaction between industry and government, and efficient design and use of technology and infrastructure.

The exhibit hall will feature more than 200 exhibitors, including all the usual suspects — such as 3Com, Dell, IBM, Microsoft. The hall will also include a few unusual exhibitors, such as Access America for Students and JetForm Corp.

Access America provides students Web-based access to government services, electronic signatures for Internet transactions and a student account to track the delivery of student loans and aid. In addition, the site also contains a variey of governmental information and statistical data.

A welcome partner for the government, which loves to inundate its citizens with forms, JetForm is showing Internet-based software to help government agencies automate form-based transactions by creating customer-specific electronic forms.

The show will also feature the requisite speeches by various members of the administration and the private sector, no doubt enthusiastically cheering the government’s move toward e-commerce and prognosticating a glowing and profitable future for companies that do business with America’s biggest spender.

Among those slated to speak for the government are General Services Administration chief David Barram and Secretary of Commerce William Daley, one of the administration’s most vocal e-commerce proponents. From the private sector, MCI WorldCom Sr. Vice President, Internet and Technology Vinton Cerf and Computer Associates International, Inc. Chairman Charles Wang are among those expected to speak.

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