$999 million contract for Boeing

Boeing has won a $999 million contract, beating one other bid proposal, to provide wing replacements for more than 100 A-10 Thunderbolt II fighters for the U.S. Air Force.

The contract is part of a refurbishment of the close air support aircraft fleet, which has been in service since the 1970s.

The indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract has a performance period of about eleven years and calls to provide 112 new A-10 wing assemblies and up to 15 wing kits.

The contract continues Air Force efforts to re-wing its entire A-10 fleet of more than 280 fighters.



Cloud computing contract worth $7.6 billion

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and the Defense Department have awarded a cloud computing contract worth $7.6 billion to General Dynamics Corp’s CSRA LLC and its partners.

The ten-year contract, known as Defense Enterprise Office Solutions (DEOS), is aimed to replace the Defense Department’s IT office applications and provide tools such as word processing, email, collaboration, file sharing and storage.


Information Technology

Lord + Taylor department store business to be sold

Hudson’s Bay Co is to sell its Lord + Taylor department store business to fashion rental service company Le Tote for about $100 million, as the retail operator culls its portfolio to a few key brands. The retail company has been selling businesses and closing stores over the past few years to focus on luxury department store chain Saks Fifth Avenue in the U.S. and Hudson’s Bay in Canada as shoppers withdraw from brick-and-mortar stores to shop online instead.

Le Tote will pay Hudson’s Bay in cash over two years and receive a 25 percent equity stake in Le Tote.

Lord + Taylor has seen its fortunes fall while Saks Fifth Avenue has managed to increase sales.

Under the deal, Le Tote will acquire the Lord + Taylor brand and related intellectual property, while assuming operations of 38 stores, Lord + Taylor’s digital channels and the associated inventory.

Le Tote will set up drop-off points for its apparel rental business in the stores. Apparel rental is a small but fast-growing part of the clothing sector, with retailers like Bloomingdale’s and Banana Republic launching subscription services.

Le Tote competitor Rent the Runway entered a deal with Nordstrom in June to install ‘drop-off boxes’ in Nordstrom stores for customers to return rented clothing.



Theft is not innovation

The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) has filed criminal charges against a former senior engineer at Google’s owner Alphabet alleging he stole car technology secrets. Anthony Levandowski was charged with 33 counts of trade theft involving Alphabet’s self-driving car technology. Mr Levandowski left Alphabet’s Waymo unit in 2016 and later ran Uber’s self-driving car project, only to be fired.

The claim is that before leaving Waymo, Mr Levandowski downloaded thousands of files in 2015 related to Alphabet’s self-driving car technology, including details related to Lidar, a crucial sensor technology for self-driving cars. David Anderson, a Californian federal prosecutor, is reported to have said, ”All of us have the right to change jobs, none of us has the right to fill our pockets on the way out the door. Theft is not innovation.”

Mr Levandowski faces up to ten years in jail and could be fined $250,000 per count, $8.25m in total.


Robocalls may meet their match

Unwanted robocalls may soon meet their match. Pushed by more than a dozen state Attorneys General, including Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, landline and cellphone providers are about to employ a new technology designed to thwart the calls.

The people behind the calls may soon face difficulties getting through to your phone. In an agreement with Attorneys General from around the country, providers have decided to crack down on robocallers.

As part of the agreement, the dozen companies have to reach out to customers and tell them what’s available and when, so look for a notice from your provider in the months ahead.

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says 18 companies were fined just over a million dollars this past year for violating the state’s do not call list.


“Fast-growing, highly skilled community of tech talent”

Customer relationship management tech company Pipedrive said Friday it has opened its second office in the United States in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida.

Pipedrive’s platform is a sales management tool designed to help small sales teams manage lengthy or complex sales processes. Founded in 2010, Pipedrive has raised $90 million in funding and has 500-plus employees worldwide working with more than 90,000 companies.

“St. Petersburg is a fast-growing, highly skilled community of tech talent,” Pipedrive chief revenue officer Jeff Paradise said in an announcement. “Plus, it is a vibrant, high-growth business community evidenced by it being the second leading community in job growth in the state. We are confident that this market is an excellent match for Pipedrive in our continued employee growth to further bolster support for our customers.”

Employment, Florida Information Technology