The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has turned to Computer Sciences Corp. to help keep its old information systems running while developing software to modernize the way the agency operates.
About 150 employees in CSC's Civil Systems Development division in Alexandria will work on the eight-year, $280 million contract, according to officials with the El Segundo, Calif., company.
CSC is to provide systems design, development, implementation, integration, maintenance, testing and training, said Raymond Henry, CSC's president of federal sector civil systems development.
The company will help the PTO learn about new technologies and determine which ones will help the office meet its long-term goals.
"As the Patent Office comes up with their requirements to move forward, we will help them with that," Henry said.
One of the PTO's prime goals is to replace paper-based systems with electronic ones. The specific tools have not been selected yet, but the office is expected to move toward Web-based systems. "We'll look at enterprise architecture, Web portals, rational unified process and service-oriented architecture," Henry said.
CSC will work with several partners experienced in niche areas, such as Bartimaeus Group of McLean and Portal Dynamics Inc. and Avineon Inc., both of Alexandria. Bartimaeus, for example, specializes in Section 508 compliance, Henry said. Section 508 requires that federal agencies' electronic and information technology be accessible to people with disabilities.
The transition to new technologies at the PTO is expected to be lengthy.
"This will be an evolutionary process," Henry said. "As we move forward, technology will advance, so it's one of these jobs where you're never done. You can move them to a plateau, but while you're getting to one plateau -- with the way technology advances -- there will be something else coming over the horizon."
Doug Beizer is a writer with Washington Technology. For more details on this and other technology contracts, go to www.washingtontechnology.com.