Axent lands its biggest deal ever, with Xerox

Md. firm's products battle hackers menacing networks

Technology

May 25, 2000|By Mark Guidera | Mark Guidera,SUN STAFF

Axent Technologies Inc., which provides corporations with security systems for their electronic business and Internet networks, said yesterday that it signed its biggest contract ever, a $20 million deal with Xerox in Europe.

John Becker, president and chief executive officer, said the five-year deal involves installing a range of Axent products to prevent and detect hackers attempting to enter or disrupt networks that Xerox plans for new e-commerce initiatives and its mobile sales force.

The Rockville-based company will also provide security-consulting services.

Jim Lawler, senior director and general manager of XPRESS, Xerox Europe's purchasing group, said the company was placing a priority on network security as it moves away from strictly selling and servicing analog copier machines to providing digital document and information technology services.

The big win

Becker said the company sees the deal as a big win because it's the first large contract that involves installing the company's full portfolio of security products as well as consulting services.

Axent is hoping that the Xerox deal helps marketing efforts to gain additional large security consulting contracts.

International Data Corp. estimates that spending worldwide on computer network security will rise to $8.3 billion in 2003, up from $3.2 billion in 1998.

Becker said Axent, which posted $1.5 million in net income on $30 million in revenue for its first quarter, expects to see revenue from the deal beginning in its third quarter, which starts Sept.1.

He declined to cite specific revenue estimates from the contract for the quarter or year, but said it would not be the company's largest source of revenue this year.

Axent, said Becker, sees "enormous opportunity" in security consulting services. "Many small and mid-size companies lack this type of expertise in-house, but this embodies what Axent is all about," the executive said.

The company, which has 611 employees worldwide, expects to hire an additional 10 security engineers as a result of the contract, Becker said.

Shares in the company, which have dropped from a 52-week high of $33 in February, closed yesterday at $16.5625, up 50 cents.

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