Providence Software, a small privately held company, plans to make a bigger name for itself in 2002.

In fact, owner Don Hames will be in Washington, DC, on Friday to discuss building a custom procurement application for the federal government through a high-profile client — software giant SAP.

(In other news, BuildLinks announces plans to open at office in Atlanta, and SAS signs a contract with pharmaceutical firm. Details below.)

The trip comes on the heels of Thursday’s announcement that Providence acquired all the assets of XVT Software of Boulder, CO. Quentin Spencer, director of sales and marketing for Providence, says terms would not be disclosed. Both companies are privately held. The deal was actually agreed to in December.

“We already have relocated all XVT’s assets to Cary,” Spencer says. But whether any of XVT’s 10 employees will relocate isn’t known yet. “Some are working for us on contract, and the option to move here is open,” he says.

Providence currently has 15 employees and is profitable, Spencer says, but he declined to disclose revenues. “We anticipate making future hires,” he adds.

At one time, XVT had 50 employees.

The key to the deal, Spencer says, is the tool for which the company is named. According to Providence, XVT can be used for programming across 50 different systems. Its capability to work across multiple platforms has made it an award-winning C++ program and is used as a client/server graphical user interface (GUI) toolkit. XVT does have an international customer base, and Providence says it will support current users.

Providence has two other primary areas of focus beyond XVT — custom software development plus consulting and outsourced information technology support.

Hames, who acts as president and chief executive software, is a native of Fayetteville, NC and a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill. He worked for several software development companies before launching Providence five years ago.

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BuildLinks to expand

BuildLinks, which recently landed some venture financing, is moving rapidly to exploit the cash infusion. The Cary-based company says it is opening a sales and support office in Atlanta.

BuildLinks is a Web-based collaboration and communication platform for homebuilders and their customers. The company says it already has six clients in Atlanta, including Hedgewood Properties, Davidson/Kopp Group, Samples Designer Homes, McGarrity Garcia Residential, Atlantic Property development and Laurel River Properties.

New contract for SAS

SAS says it has signed a three-year contract worth $9 million with AstraZeneca, a pharmaceutical firm. The company, which already is a SAS client, plans to use SAS products for drug portfolio management. AstraZeneca hopes the software will help it to identify potential new drugs.