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GovTech Business Watch: San Diego County Approves Nearly $1B IT Contract, Mergers and Acquisitions Abound

A weekly roundup of news in the government technology market.

San Diego County spends $918 million to extend IT outsourcing contract

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors has extended a gargantuan contract that will award the continued outsourcing of its entire IT and telecommunication services operation to Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

The contract, which the board approved Nov. 15, is worth $918 million and lasts seven years. The county has outsourced its IT operations to private firms since 1999.

About $12 million of the contract is set aside as a one-time expense to consolidate all of the county’s data into a single center. Some of that funding will also go toward “new technology and projects,” according to the board’s agenda.

HP Enterprise has managed San Diego County’s IT and telecommunications since 2011. Before that, the county awarded similar bids to Computer Sciences Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp.

At the end of the seven-year agreement, the county will have the option to extend the contract with HP Enterprise for another five years. 

Private equity firm merges three defense contractors into single firm

Private equity firm Arlington Capital Partners has merged together three defense contractors into a single new entity called Polaris Alpha.

The move brings together EOIR Technologies, Intelligent Software Solutions and Proteus Technologies. EOIR offers intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance services, ISS works largely in data analytics and Proteus deals in cybersecurity.

Arlington didn’t disclose the terms of the deal, but said in a press release that Polaris will have more than 1,100 employees and projected $250 million in revenue in 2017 for the new company.

“The combination of our technologies and subject matter expertise will significantly enhance our ability to deliver unique, impactful solutions to customers with some of the most important national security missions,” said Polaris President Jay Jesse in the statement. “This combination, facilitated by Arlington, has been years in the making, and adds breadth and depth to our solutions in the space, intelligence, C2 and cyber domains.”

IoT firm Particle raises $10 million in Series A funding

Particle, a company that offers a cloud solution to connect Internet of Things devices, has raised $10.4 million in Series A funding.

The San Francisco-based company offers both software — the platform that enables connected devices to access the Internet, as well as a device management console — but hardware as well. That includes development kits and an “Internet button” that can be pressed to trigger some given event.

The Series A participants were Root Ventures, O’Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures and Rincon Venture Partners, according to VentureBeat. The company has also raised more than $4 million in seed and crowdfunding since 2013.

Though the IoT concept remains more or less nascent, especially in government, there are numerous applications on the horizon. In Miami-Dade County, transportation officials are installing traffic controllers capable of connecting to the Internet in anticipation of vehicles that will be able to communicate both ways with signaled intersections. Chicago and Seattle are both experimenting with a project called the Array of Things, deploying networks of sensor nodes to collect data on traffic, weather, air quality and more.

Oracle acquires Dyn

Oracle Corp., a large provider of enterprise resource planning software and cloud services to government, has signed on to acquire the DNS provider Dyn.

The move might not register visible impacts for many of Oracle’s clients, though company representatives wrote in a press release that Dyn improves speed for cloud-based applications. Dyn also offers Internet performance management tools.

“Oracle cloud customers will have unique access to Internet performance information that will help them optimize infrastructure costs, maximize applications and website-driven revenue, and manage risk,” Dyn Chief Strategy Officer Kyle York said in the press release.

Oracle didn’t disclose terms of the agreement, but Dyn has raised $88 million in two funding rounds.

The move comes a month after a massive distributed denial of service attack on Dyn took down major parts of the Internet for large swaths of the U.S.

Ben Miller is the associate editor of data and business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community features and technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lives in Sacramento, Calif.