One of the hottest segments of the computer industry these days is systems integration, with total U.S. revenues of $28 billion and growing at 17% a year. SI, as it's called, is the business of designing, building, and installing complex information systems, customized to a client's special needs. That involves two main skills: understanding well the types of problems faced by customers in specific industries and getting hardware and software from a variety of suppliers to work as a coherent whole in meeting those problems. But with hundreds of systems integrators now operating in the U.S., ranging from global giant Electronic Data Systems Corp. down to local, 10-person shops, where's a customer to turn?
ParaTechnology Inc. in Bellevue, Wash., has just published a guide to more than 200 systems integrators, describing each one's management team, range of services and technical specialties, the industries it serves, and its financial condition--including revenues. The 250-page guide is available in print for $295 or on diskette for $995, which adds a mailing list of some 1,500 systems-integration executives. The company says it plans to update the list several times a year.