Iona adds government arm

Iona Technologies PLC will announce a new government subsidiary Monday to boost its marketing power for integration projects such as homeland defense that typically require cross-agency collaboration.

The new Reston, Va.-based company, Iona Government Technologies, will be targeting federal, state, and local defense and civilian agencies, said Jeffrey Goldberg, president of the new venture.

“Our standards-based integration solutions are ideally suited for some of the challenges that the government sector is facing today,” Goldberg said. “We are looking at any business problem or technical problem where you have a requirement to have agencies with their own applications, their own data stores being required to expose those under appropriate authorization and security information to a defined community to achieve some public sector benefit.”

Iona, which has been servicing government clients for more than five years, already counts the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, and the U.S. Geographical Survey among its government clients. State and local government often struggle with integration for highway, prison, and federal reporting projects, Goldberg said.

Iona will face the toughest competition in the government market from webMethods Inc. and Tibco Software Inc., which both have a strong presence in the market, said Jon Derome, an analyst with the Yankee Group in Boston.

However, the government market is a growing one for integration because of the massive amount of data that agencies maintain, the large number of proprietary systems that agencies operate, and the critical need to move information between agencies, Derome added.

“We’ve seen significant investment from the government in integration technology products trying to solve these problems,” Derome said.