U.S. Army Named Excellence. Gov Award Finalist for Bantuís DefenseConnect
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Julie Litzenberger; Sage Communications, LLC; 703.748.0300, juliel@aboutsage.com

U.S. Army Named Excellence.Gov Award Finalist for Bantu’s DefenseConnect

Unique Platform Allows Secure, Real-Time Information Sharing Across Military Networks

Vienna, VA - January 10, 2007 - Bantu today announced that its customer, the United States Army, has been named a top 20 finalist of Industry Advisory Council’s (IAC) 2007 Excellence.Gov Awards for its DefenseConnect initiative, powered by the BantuConnect technology. The Excellence.Gov Awards honors government organizations use of innovative technologies to achieve their objectives and work together more effectively.

Bantu’s DefenseConnect is a secure, web-based, enterprise-wide instant-messaging platform that allows 3.5 million military personnel to search, identify and communicate with each other across the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force networks. In 2006, the Army’s Army Knowledge Online (AKO) Portal deployed DefenseConnect as an extension of the AKO-IM, providing a new cross-agency communication backbone as part of its enterprise portal. The Air Force’s Air Force Portal (AFP) and the Navy s Navy Knowledge Online (NKO) Portal leveraged the technology to connect to the AKO shortly thereafter. No other communications platform to date has allowed all military personnel to instantly locate their counterparts in other services and connect with them securely and in real time.

"We’d like to offer our congratulations to the U.S. Army for this extraordinary honor", said Larry Schlang, Founder and CEO of Bantu. "One of the most prominent challenges facing the Department of Defense - and government as a whole - today is enabling broad information sharing across government agencies in order to get vital information to the right people at the right time. Bantu is honored to help support the U.S. Army’s initiative and the work that it is doing with the Air Force and Navy toward conquering this goal."

The Excelllence.Gov Award finalists were selected from 115 entries and evaluated on criteria that included: clearly articulated means of collaboration enabled by technology; use of innovative IT to support the objectives of collaborating organizations and federal strategic goals; demonstrable efficiency gains, cost advantages or superiority over previous collaboration methods; and a sound approach to addressing issues of data security and privacy.

About Bantu, Inc.: - Headquartered in Northern Virginia, Bantu, Inc. is a leader in secure Enterprise Instant Messaging (EIM). The Bantu EIM Platform provides robust messaging, presence, alerting and conferencing that enhance real-time communication and collaboration, resulting in greater productivity and operational effectiveness. Bantu EIM provides the highest levels of security and scalability, is platform-independent, and easily integrates into any business application or service. Bantu’s government, corporate and education customers include the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, British Army, HSBC, Sprint, Wells Fargo, The George Washington University and Johns Hopkins University. For more information, visit www.bantu.com

About the American Council for Technology and the Industry Advisory Council: - The American Council for Technology (ACT) is a non-profit educational organization established in 1979 to assist government in acquiring and using information technology resources effectively and efficiently. Working with all levels of government, ACT provides education, programming, and networking opportunities that enhance and advance the government IT profession. In 1989 ACT established the Industry Advisory Council (IAC) to bring industry and government executives together to exchange information, support professional development, improve communications, and build partnership and trust, thereby enhancing government s ability to serve the nation. ACT and IAC work together to provide an objective, professional and ethical forum where government and industry leaders can collaborate on addressing common issues towards a shared vision. For more information, visit www.actgov.org