Fargo opens D.C. office, lands DoD order

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Tuesday, August 1, 2006

ALEXANDRIA, Va.--Card identity systems manufacturer Fargo Electronics, which made news in June when HID Global agreed to acquire the company, opened its first satellite office here last month in July, just 15 minutes outside of Washington, D.C. John Santisteban, who came on as director of government solutions in January, will head the new location, looking to better serve Fargo's current government customers and to expand those customer opportunities for Fargo and its reseller business partners.
Santisteban said the decision to go forward with the office preceded his tenure, "then they looked for someone who was already knowledgeable in the D.C. marketing and government space," he said. Santisteban has extensive experience selling to all levels of government, through work at access control manufacturer Onity, which had a GSA schedule, and the product side at Ingersoll Rand. Before that, he led the business expansion of reseller and distribution partners for Hewlett-Packard.
Fargo particularly looks to capitalize on the government's FIPS 201 roll-out, which mandates that all government agencies and contractors have a single smart card for physical and network access control by October. Fargo's HDP600-LC laminating card printer/encoder is the "pretty much accepted solution for creating FIPS cards," said Santisteban. "Using the reverse transfer film you can print to these technology cards ... and you have high-res printing in a secured environment," as the printer, itself, has built-in security measures.
As evidence of the solution's acceptance, Fargo in June announced a Department of Defense order for 66 of the HDP600-LCs, which will be used by the Defense Manpower Data Center to create ID cards for active and reserve National Guard personnel as part of the Common Access Card program.
Santisteban said the new D.C.-area office allows Fargo manufacturing and integrator partners to use its demonstration area to sell larger solutions that incorporate Fargo products to government customers. Because FIPS 201 is an "unfunded mandate," he said, government agencies are "looking for an integrator who can come in and modify what they already have ... that's going to be where the near-term successes are. They have a substantial investment in legacy systems, some of which they haven't begun to see a return on investment yet, so they're not going to buy a system that forces them to change completely."
Now, Santisteban said, Fargo has "a place for integrators to come in and get a taste for what we have to offer."