Following IBM’s release of new tax compliance software, Autonomy has licensed its IDOL technology to the IRS to keep track of companies’ tax liabilities. While it might be difficult to secure Federal IT contracts now, it could be about to get a lot harder.

Autonomy Brings Compliance To IRS

It would seem that IBM is not the only company looking to do business with the IRS. However, what is maybe surprising about today’s news is that it is British company Autonomy (news, site) that has being doing the business.

In a deal worth an undisclosed sum -- although it will run into seven figures -- Autonomy has licensed its IDOL (Intelligent Data Operating Layer) software to the IRS. This will enable the IRS to plug into companies' and individuals' IT systems to track and read not only their tax returns but any related emails, documents and voice-mails.

It also seems likely that as tax and corporate law is billion dollar business in the US, law and accountancy firms that deal with these issues for corporations will also have to follow suit as they try to follow where the IRS is going with this.

In respect of Autonomy, more regulations means more regulatory burdens, which has created a growing market for its IDOL technology platform as more companies seek to remain compliant.

The demand is so great, in fact, that this is the second major deal it has signed recently in the US. Earlier this week it signed a deal with an undisclosed major global bank for its compliance software that has an initial costing of US $10 million and is expected to make US $25 million for Autonomy over the next few years.

Oracle Enhances Public Sector Software

Oracle (news, site) has also been looking at public sector finance with the release of a new module in its Enterprise Performance Management system that will manage complex budgeting processes in large public organizations.

Oracle Hyperion Public Sector Planning and Budgeting is designed to enable public sector, healthcare and higher education organizations manage their complex budgeting processes with speed and accuracy, while meeting their needs for productivity, accountability and regulatory compliance.

The new module takes advantage of specific enhancements to its existing Oracle Hyperion Planning including process management and workflow capabilities that are now extended to allow finer configurable process control and support for matrix organizations.

In addition, data validation constraints are also configurable to prevent submission of budgets beyond organizationally defined limitations.

The release is part of the wider Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) System Release 11.1.2 which introduces three new performance management applications – Oracle Hyperion Disclosure Management, Oracle Hyperion Financial Close Management and Oracle Hyperion Public Sector Planning and Budgeting as well as enhancements to existing Hyperion performance management application.

Can You Meet Federal Standards?

If you thought it was difficult already to meet the regulatory standards required to win some of the lucrative Federal IT contracts floating about, then it looks like it could get even harder.

In a report to the Government Accountability Office (GOA) entitled Information Security: Agencies Need to Implement Federal Desktop Core Configuration Requirements, Gary Guissanie, DOD’s acting deputy assistant secretary for cyber, identity and information assurance, said that new Federal contracts need to change.

He said they should contain language that ensures all IT purchased by the DoD at least and probably other Departments too, should conform to Federal Desktop Core Configuration (FDCC) standards.

FDCC are standards established by the White House to prevent attacks on desktops and laptop computers owned by the government.

But where there’s adversity there’s also opportunity. The GAO found that the majority of agencies are struggling to meet current FDCC standards, let alone any new ones that might be applied. The report says that no agency required to meet the FDCC standards has fully done so.

The opportunity here is for any company that can show its software is no just making the FDCC mark but going beyond it too. It might be getting more difficult to meet standards, but it also looks like that market is opening up. Interested in more?

Symantec To Unify Information Security

Symantec (news, site) has just announced the upcoming release of new Symantec Protection Suites that will unify information security management across endpoints, gateways and servers, and deliver targeted protection for the Enterprise.

The new Protection Suite solutions are scheduled to be released during the summer of 2010. The foundation of each will be Symantec Protection Center, a single sign-on Web console that provides administrators full access to configuration management, report generation and dashboard views of the multiple Symantec protection technologies relevant to each suite.

In addition, two add-on options for hosted email and Web security from Symantec Hosted Services will bring cloud computing to Symantec Protection Suite users, giving them the flexibility and choice to deploy both on-site and hosted technologies depending on their business needs. Watch this space for release news.