Sun, NIC Form E-Government Alliance

NIC will soon become the first e-government company to join Sun Microsystems Inc.'s elite Initiative, which offers customers a package of products and services tailored to their needs.

The deal, announced Monday, will also have both companies jointly promoting NIC's e-government solutions worldwide.

NIC is obtaining SunTone certification, which includes an audit of its infrastructure, operational practices, hardware, software and overall service delivery for its e-government infrastructure.

Once that process is complete, NIC applications and Sun platforms will be integrated into solutions for federal, state, local and international government clients, said Chris Ramsey, vice president of the market development division at NIC.

"We've been working successfully with Sun for the last couple of years, and this was the next logical step," Ramsey said. "This shows the technology we're using is leading edge, [and is] sound and secure in implementing our enterprisewide government portals."

NIC, based in Overland Park, Kan., has more than 100 government partners, including the Federal Election Commission, the General Services Administration and the states of California, Texas and Virginia.

Ramsey said a joint marketing plan is being developed that will allow both companies to go out and "broaden the depth and breadth of [our] offerings around the world." Financial terms were not disclosed.

"This [partnership] will make it easier for our customers to implement e-government and get a faster return on their Internet investment," Ramsey said.

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