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High-Tech — National Guard Hires Websense to Manage ‘Net Activities

New Contract

Marks Addition

Of Major Client

Internet surveillance company Websense Inc. has begun watching over the U.S. Army National Guard.

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A contract that began in April will have San Diego-based Websense managing Internet use for the Guard’s 60,000 ‘Net-using personnel.

The National Guard, the active duty Army and the U.S. Army Reserve are each components of the U.S. Army, according to its Web site. The Guard serves as a federal reserve force and supports the U.S. states and territories.

Financial terms of the Guard’s subscription agreement with Websense were not disclosed.

Websense’s technology comes as an application in the Internet and a database of URLs classified into 63 categories such as electronic shopping, E-commerce, pornography and religion. Each night, Websense updates the database with newly classified Web sites.

Websense’s clients lay out a policy of when and if its employees can access certain categories, and the company’s software enforces it.

The Guard will be a major client but not a landmark one, said Andrew Meyer, the company’s vice president of marketing.

“This is a big account, but we sell 500 accounts a month, so it’s not necessarily one that would make or break the company,” Meyer noted.

Websense has many large clients, more than 200 of the Fortune 500, he said.

“These guys are in that class, although obviously they are not a Fortune 500 company,” Meyer said.

The deal came about through a Washington, D.C.-based reseller.

According to Meyer, Websense advertises a great deal and when prospective clients visit the company’s Web site and download information about Websense’s application and services, it creates a lead.

That lead is turned over to a reseller in that company’s region, he said.

The reseller follows up with the client, answering questions and helping the company order the Websense’s software and product.

The sales process tends to be fast, Meyer said. “Usually the need for this product is a pretty quick one, so once they find something that works, they usually purchase it,” he said.

In a statement released by Websense, Lt. Col. Rusty L. Lingenfelter, chief of the National Guard’s communications operations branch, said that the company will help the Guard conserve bandwidth requirements.

Lingenfelter was not available for further comment.

Websense has been publicly traded since late March. For the period of January through March, Websense reported a loss of profits of $2.9 million, with sales of $3.1 million.

Last year, Websense had revenues of $8.6 million with a loss of $9.25 million. In 1998, the company had sales of $6.9 million with a loss of $5.6 million.

As of the middle of the week of June 26, the company’s closing price was at $26 5/8.

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