In Other News...

A roundup of new solutions and services announcements from the supply chain community.

June 11, 2003  Following is a selection of recent solution- and services-related announcements that have come into the iSource Business newsroom. These press releases are, for the most part, presented as received. Datelines have been edited for consistency, and trademark and similar notations, as well as "forward looking statement" and similar notices, have been removed.



Vitria Launches Packaged Telecom Framework for Rapid End-to-End Business Process Management

Vitria's New Telecom Process Accelerator Reduces Business Process Management Efforts Up to 80 Percent, Accelerating Time-to-Profit

Nice, France  May 19, 2003  Vitria, a leading provider of business process integration solutions, today announced the Vitria Telecom Process Accelerator, a packaged solution tailored for the telecommunications industry that reduces the integration effort for order management, service level management, and other cross application business processes by up to 80 percent.

Telecom Process Accelerator builds on the proven capabilities of BusinessWare, Vitria's market leading business process integration platform, as well as Vitria's extensive experience in providing business process integration solutions to the telecommunications sector. In addition, Telecom Process Accelerator takes full advantage of the operational "best practices" framework recommended by the TeleManagement Forum (TMF) in its Enhanced Telecommunications Operations Map (eTOM). The Vitria Telecom Process Accelerator is transport independent and can be implemented on BusinessWare, any JMS-compliant integration solution, or legacy messaging product such as IBM's MQ Series.

Vitria's Telecom Process Accelerator includes pre-built solution components that can be easily tailored and extended to fit each customer's integration needs. This significantly reduces the effort, cost, and time required when a business process is implemented across multiple applications. Such integration projects help companies improve operational efficiencies, respond faster to customer needs, minimize order processing and fulfilment errors, and provide more timely and complete information on the status of business processes that cut across multiple systems and organizations. Combining pre-built solution elements with a highly flexible integration platform and a detailed implementation methodology allows Telecom Process Accelerator to significantly reduce implementation time and provide a rapid Return On Investment (ROI).

"Both the fixed line and mobile sectors continue to face increased competition through deregulation and a blurring of traditional industry boundaries, forcing new services and product complexity," said John Philpin, vice president of marketing, Vitria. "As a result, telecommunications companies are forced to focus equally on expense management and growing revenues. By reducing process implementation cycles and putting the business back in control, Vitria's Telecom Process Accelerator enables telcos to control costs, exceed service levels and so widen their competitive lead."

Addressing the broad spectrum of integration needs, Telecom Process Accelerator provides end-to-end business process management solutions tailored to specific customer needs. The Vitria Telcom Process Accelerator:

  • Significantly reduces the time and cost of business process integration implementation

  • Provides process solutions that can be measured and refined

  • Puts process control in the hands of business

  • Is compliant with the telecommunications industry best practice  eTOM

  • Is designed for maximum reuse across the enterprise.

The Vitria Telecom Process Accelerator can be delivered through Vitria's systems integrators or solutions vendors.

About Vitria's Telecommunications Solutions

Vitria's long and successful history in the telecommunications sector spans more than 100 customers worldwide including the top 5 largest telecommunications companies in the world. Vitria's distinguished customer list includes leading companies such as BT, Bell Canada, Sprint, Brazil Telecom, SBC, Deutsche Telekom, EdisonTel, NTT Communications and TeleNorte. Vitria has implemented a number of key solutions for Service Providers around the world, including order management systems for DSL/broadband, catalogue management solutions and number portability.

About BusinessWare

Vitria BusinessWare is a business process integration platform that orchestrates interactions across a company's existing applications, data, people and partners to continuously improve one or more strategic business processes. BusinessWare gives companies complete control and visibility of their business operations across their extended enterprise, enabling them to improve the efficiency of their business operations, reduce time to market for new products and services, develop closer relationships with their partners and customers, and rapidly respond to changing business conditions. The proven BusinessWare solution was the industry's first platform for business process-centric integration and is widely recognized as the most flexible and powerful solution available, adopted by more than 500 customers and partners in a broad range of industries.

About Vitria

Vitria is a leading provider of business process integration solutions. The company pioneered the enterprise application integration market in 1994 and the use of business process management in 1997, and is now the first integration solution provider to solve integration challenges through collaborative applications. With 23 offices around the world, Vitria's customer base includes such companies as Bell South, The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, BP, DaimlerChrysler Bank, Dana, Generali, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, PacifiCare Health Systems, Reynolds and Reynolds, Schneider Logistics, Sprint, Trane, and Trans Union, and the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veteran's Affairs. For more information call +1-408-212-2700, email info@vitria.com or visit www.vitria.com.

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PTC's Windchill Pure Internet Architecture Expands Support for Commercial Application Servers

Provides Flexibility, Choice and Reduced Deployment Risk for PLM customers

Needham, MA  May 19, 2003  PTC, the product development company, today announced that release Windchill 7.0 will provide expanded support for commercial application servers supporting J2EE standards, including SunOne Application Server, IBM WebSphere and open source Apache/Tomcat/JBoss.

Windchill is an integral suite of modular solutions powered by a comprehensive set of business services leveraging a common business object and process model. These services are hosted within Windchill's pure Internet architecture consisting of a secure, pure J2EE standards-based framework that facilitates easy deployment and seamless interoperability with other desktop and enterprise systems.

The J2EE application server certification program ensures that any J2EE-compliant application will run on any J2EE-compliant application server. This provides customers with flexibility, choice, and risk mitigation in their selection of industry-standard IT computing infrastructure. It also eliminates wasteful overhead expense and facilitates growth and expansion.

"The maturation of the J2EE standard and the application server market now gives customers confidence that they can select Windchill and not be locked into any particular vendor's infrastructure stack. Windchill continues to deliver a pure, open, standards-based foundation for PLM technology," notes Jim Heppelmann, PTC executive vice president and chief product officer.

While many PLM vendors claim to have J2EE application suites, manufacturers should be careful to examine the history and reality of the multiple architectures being offered. Many PLM application suites are the result of a mix of loosely integrated acquisitions or a thin Java shell on top of older proprietary architectures written in a mix of languages. Such complicated architectures introduce scalability, performance and availability concerns as redundant infrastructure layers complicate the ability of components to scale well together to enterprise levels. Only a pure, native Java architecture can fully utilize the performance, scalability and availability benefits of commercial application services and deliver customers flexibility, faster time-to-deployment, and the elimination of redundant overhead costs.

For more information about the Windchill integral, pure Internet, and interoperable architecture, please view the "Why Architecture Matters for PLM" white paper at http://www.ptc.com/go/pds/architecture/

About PTC

PTC develops, markets, and supports software solutions that help manufacturers win with superior products. PTC is the world's largest software company with a total commitment to product development. The company services more than 35,000 customers worldwide. Further information on PTC is available at http://www.ptc.com or call 1-888-782-3776, ext. 901.

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DS Stores is First Store-Level Replenishment and POS Analysis Software to Achieve GTIN and GLN Compliance

Reduce Out-of-Stocks and Increase Speed-to-Market by Becoming "Sunrise 2005" Compliant

St. Louis  May 20, 2003  Demand Management, Inc. announced that its store-level replenishment and point-of-sale analysis tool, Demand Solutions Stores, conforms to all data structures for the Global Trade Identification Number (GTIN) and the GLN (Global Location Number) initiatives.

GTIN, associated with the Sunrise 2005 initiative, enables more transparent global trading by creating new efficiencies and standardizing how products are handled and traded. Large retailers are expected to be unanimous in specifying GTIN-compliant coding of product numbers, and Wal-Mart has already announced its intention to limit trading partners only to GTIN-compliant firms.

The GLN provides a standard means to identify global locations to support the requirements of electronic commerce. The GLN is designed to improve the efficiency of integrated logistics while contributing added value to partners and customers. Locations that can be identified with a GLN range from a warehouse to the precise location of a particular company's purchasing department.

"With the products being procured globally, there is no reason why product identification should not be global," said Rajiv Kohli, an assistant professor of Management Information Systems at the University of Notre Dame. "A uniform product and location scheme, supported by a reliable information system, will help reduce costs, promote efficiency and give businesses the much-needed flexibility in buying and selling goods," added Kohli.

"The impact of the Sunrise Initiative and GLN is enormous for CPGs, hard lines and apparel," said Mike Campbell, president & CEO of Demand Management, Inc. "If you want to start down the compliance road today your company can be utilizing the GTIN or GLN within a few weeks implementation time."

By bringing consistency in international product identifiers the Uniform Code Council (UCC) and the European Article Numbers (EAN) become a single identifying data structure that can incorporate all UPCs around the world.

About Demand Management, Inc.

More global supply chains depend on Demand Solutions software by Demand Management, Inc. than any other system. Since 1985 DS products have been the most reliable and cost-effective solutions available for leveraging supply-chain technology to improve bottom-line results, from manufacturing to distribution and retail. Learn more about the industry's leading forecasting and demand planning system at http://www.demandsolutions.com.

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Glovia International Enhances Extended ERP Suite

glovia.com 7 Supports Global Business Models with Enhanced Supply Chain Management Capabilities and a Powerful Collaboration and Integration Platform

El Segundo, CA  May 20, 2003  Glovia International, a subsidiary of Fujitsu and a leading provider of extended ERP solutions for engineer-to-order and high volume manufacturers, today announced the availability of the latest version of the company's extended ERP suite, glovia.com.

The culmination of two years of development effort and customer input, glovia.com 7 represents a substantial increase in Glovia's ability to support the business needs of manufacturers with global operations and complex business structures. The new solution enables companies to improve their supply chain performance by centralizing demand and supply management while decentralizing production optimization. glovia.com 7 also includes a powerful collaboration and integration platform, more than 60 enhancements to its core ERP functionality and integrates several existing Web-based applications.

"Our customers asked for solutions to help them become more productive and efficient and that is what we delivered with glovia.com 7," said Dennis R. Michalis, president and chief executive officer of Glovia International. "Manufacturers will benefit tremendously by being able to more efficiently synchronize global demand with available resources and more easily collaborate with their customers and trading partners."

Improving Global Supply Chains

glovia.com 7 includes new functionality that improves the performance of complex supply chains containing multiple products, production facilities and even business entities and that span multiple countries or regions. The solution aggregates enterprise-wide demand and intelligently allocates it to production facilities based on strategic business goals, such as cost reduction or customer service, while allowing for the local optimization of production. It enables manufacturers to increase supply chain visibility and responsiveness, compress planning times and improve customer satisfaction.

"With increasingly complex and distributed operations and growing competition, manufacturers need a solution that can help them make the best use of their enterprise-wide resources to meet demand," continued Michalis. "glovia.com 7 helps by consolidating demand planning, intelligently allocating demand to individual factories and allowing those facilities to determine the best way to meet the demand. The result is an effective blend of centralized control and localized optimization that manufacturers need to get the most from their global supply chains."

glovia.com enhanced supply chain management capabilities include new solutions for demand, supply and order fulfillment management.

Demand Management

Glovia's new demand management solution enables manufacturers to create a comprehensive, enterprise-wide view of total demand by aggregating forecast and customer order data from sales, marketing, channels and customers. It provides demand planners with views of total item demand and demand allocation, the ability to make forecast adjustments and drill down to detailed information.

With Glovia's new demand management solution, manufacturers can increase the accuracy and reliability of their demand forecasts, improve on-time delivery performance, decrease excess inventory levels and stock outs, reduce costs and minimize the disruption demand changes have on their operations.

Designed specifically for companies with multiple product lines and multiple production facilities, Glovia's demand management solution also incorporates real-time capable-to-promise (CTP) functionality, allowing manufacturers to accurately commit to customer orders and forecasts.

Supply Management

Glovia's supply management solution places global demand in the correct local production facility based on available capacity and inventory levels, while simultaneously considering cost or customer delivery date. The solution enables production planners to optimize their distributed operations to meet demand and allows them to review and adjust how orders are allocated to production facilities.

The new supply management solution provides manufacturers with the flexibility they need to meet changing customer demand while minimizing the impact these changes have on the plant floor.

Order Fulfillment and Management

glovia.com also includes functionality for managing the entire order fulfillment business process, enabling manufacturers to synchronize orders with planned production. Using a memory-resident, constraint-based optimization engine, Glovia's solution determines the best possible supply scenario for given demand. The planning engine takes into account global resources and commitments, including capacity, inventory, orders and critical resources, as well as cross-plant and plant-to-customer lead times.

The order fulfillment solution includes real-time available-to-promise (ATP) functionality, as well as sophisticated business rules that allow manufacturers to instantly offer alternative configurations and substitutions to meet customer delivery dates.

Collaborate, Share and Automate

glovia.com 7 also provides manufacturers with a proven collaborative business integration platform to support their mission-critical operations. The new solution enables manufacturers to increase supply chain visibility and transparency, decrease response times and automate key business processes.

"Our collaboration and integration platform meets the new challenges facing our customers," said Randy Ehler, senior vice president of R&D and products for Glovia International. "Many manufacturers have already streamlined their internal processes and squeezed as much cost as they can from their operations. To realize further improvements, they need to invest in ways they can integrate with their customers and trading partners to share information and automate critical business processes."

Based on an open XML framework, Glovia's collaboration and integration platform allows manufacturers to easily exchange information across disparate systems  whether internal or external. The solution includes inbound and outbound XML transaction sets, XML data synchronization capabilities and functionality for trading partner management, workflow and transaction automation. It also supports the latest technology standards, including J2EE, SOAP, UDDI, ebXML and CORBA, as well as industry standards such as RosettaNet.

Glovia's new platform is built using Fujitsu's collaborative business integration solution, Interstage. With more than 31,000 implementations worldwide, Interstage is a proven solution that represents Fujitsu's global experience in developing enterprise systems with a high level of reliability and performance.

Core ERP Enhancements

In addition to the new global supply chain management functionality and collaboration and integration platform, glovia.com 7 also includes more than 60 individual functionality enhancements to its core ERP applications. The new solution improves the company's Customer Relationship Management, Procurement, Manufacturing, Financials and Projects applications.

Integrated, Accessible Business Solutions

The latest version of glovia.com greatly simplifies Glovia's overall solution offering by incorporating the company's existing collaborative commerce solutions  glovia.e, glovia.ec and glovia.hub  into its glovia.com product suite. The fully integrated solution provides manufacturers with Web-enabled functionality for product configuration, sales and service orders and customer self-service.

"Since introducing our e-business applications in 2000, we have worked to seamlessly incorporate them into glovia.com," stated Michalis. "Now, manufacturers have a single, integrated business solution that provides Web-based access to our industry-leading ERP functionality."

About Glovia International

Glovia International, Inc., a subsidiary of Fujitsu, is a leading provider of extended ERP solutions for companies with global operations. Glovia's ERP suite, glovia.com, delivers unmatched functionality to ETO/MTO, high volume and automotive manufacturers, including engineering, project management, supply chain and collaboration. Headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., Glovia's solution is installed at 1,000 sites in more than 100 countries. For more information about Glovia and its extended ERP solution, please visit www.glovia.com or call 800/223-3799.

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is a leading provider of customer-focused IT and communications solutions for the global marketplace. Pace-setting technologies, high-reliability/performance computing and telecommunications platforms, and a worldwide corps of systems and services experts makes Fujitsu uniquely positioned to unleash the infinite possibilities of the broadband Internet to help its customers succeed. Headquartered in Tokyo, Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 5 trillion yen (about US$38 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2002. For additional information, visit http://www.fujitsu.com.

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Next Generation of IT Benchmarking Now Available from The Hackett Group

Business Value Index Enables Companies to Assess Strategic Value of IT; Average Hackett Clients Shown Ways to Cut IT Process Execution Costs by Up to 27 Percent

Atlanta  May 20, 2003  The Hackett Group, an Answerthink company, today announced the introduction of a new IT Business Value Index (BVI) benchmark. The IT BVI is a streamlined measurement program that offers companies an ongoing assessment of the true business value provided by their IT organization, and their existing application portfolio. The BVI benchmark is designed to help companies identify and prioritize strategies to increase efficiency, enhance strategic effectiveness, and improve return on IT-related expenditures.

The new Hackett IT BVI benchmark can be completed in as little as four weeks, significantly less time than is often required for Hackett's previous IT benchmark. The new offering is part of a line of enhanced measurement programs that Hackett will bring to market during the coming year, and the cornerstone of a comprehensive new array of Hackett business process optimization services. In direct response to market demand, Hackett has designed the IT BVI to offer a more rigorous assessment of strategic business value than has been available in the past, and extend the reach of the Hackett process measurement standards relied on by hundreds of companies worldwide. The IT BVI also builds on Hackett's existing knowledge base, the world's leading repository of enterprise best practice knowledge. Hackett Group clients include nearly 2000 companies, including 97 percent of the Dow Jones Industrials and 81 percent of the Fortune 100.

Hackett's approach to measurement and process optimization has proven its ability to help clients recognize real ways to optimize cost while at the same time improving efficiency and achieving world-class performance. On average, Hackett has identified opportunities for clients to save up to 27 percent by reducing the process costs of their IT operation, including direct labor and outsourcing. This has the potential to enable clients to generate average annual savings of $1.5 million per 1,000 end-users, by reducing IT process costs to levels seen at companies with world-class IT organizations. In addition, average Hackett benchmark clients identify a 69 percent under-investment in decision process costs ($.4 million per 1,000 end-users). This under-investment limits the ability of an IT organization to provide its company's managers with the tools and information necessary to make intelligent business decisions.

"In today's tough business environment, CIOs are more focused than ever on improving efficiency. But if they aren't careful, efforts to cut costs and improve efficiency can compromise the quality of service their organization provides and its ability to support strategic decision-making," said Hackett Group President Bruce Barlag.

"The Hackett IT BVI enables CIOs to have the best of both worlds and balance efficiency and effectiveness," said Mr. Barlag. "The benchmark allows IT organizations to identify tactical opportunities to improve efficiency while at the same time focus on creating a world-class IT organization that delivers greater value to their company. Hackett's research clearly shows that world-class IT organizations can get significantly more value from their IT expenditures, and play a more strategic role. The IT BVI shows CIOs how to accomplish this and enables them to track their organization's progress toward world-class performance over time."

Based on each participant's benchmark results, Hackett generates a numerical Business Value Index, a ranking that provides a baseline identifying how well IT has been able to balance the key concerns of efficiency and effectiveness, and how successful it has been at adapting and responding to changes in the company's business. Hackett also provides an assessment of the company's IT applications portfolio, looking at factors that include complexity, costs, and ability to support proven Hackett best practices.

Coming out of each completed IT BVI, Hackett provides clients with prioritized recommendations for how the company can increase the business value provided by its IT organization. Opportunities for cost reductions are highlighted as part of this, with specific dollar amounts that can potentially be saved. Hackett's recommendations frequently include resource reallocations that can enhance efficiency and effectiveness, processes that can be improved through the application of best practices, technology that can streamline operations, and changes that can improve information flow. Hackett consultants are also available to assist clients in making changes to their IT organizations.

Hackett's 2003 Profile of World-Class IT research report, scheduled for release in May, shows that the IT environment at 93 percent of world-class companies is designed, deployed, managed, and monitored to explicitly support overall business objectives. Only 62 percent of average companies hit this mark, according to Hackett's research. In addition, excellence in IT project management is increasingly a required core competence for enterprises, regardless of industry or business model. Today, 100 percent of world-class companies maintain a formal, permanent Program Management Office (PMO) to oversee their wide-ranging portfolios of technology initiatives. By contrast just 37 percent of average companies currently maintain permanent PMOs. According to Hackett, all companies should take steps to embrace this emerging best practice, barring special circumstances. The PMO should be comprised of business as well as technology experts, who have both the skills and the authority to define implementation priorities, allocate and manage resources.

Beyond being vital for realizing a return on technology investments, top companies understand that synchronizing the goals of IT and the business reduces both the financial and operational risks associated with a rapidly changing technology and business landscape. Indeed, the volatility of current economic and market conditions requires continuous monitoring and updating of the IT strategy in relation to business strategy. Here again, Hackett research found that 93 percent of world-class companies indicate they review and update their IT strategy at least once annually, compared to the average of only 75 percent.

Benchmark Tracks Performance Drivers

To determine the overall business value and return on investment provided by a company's IT operation, the new benchmark looks at three major areas that affect the ability of these organizations to provide service to their companies. It begins by examining the overall demands placed on IT by the business. This includes an assessment of how complex the business is, how quickly it is changing, and how fast it is growing, as these factors can have a significant impact on the value IT is able to provide. Then the benchmark considers structural factors, including the strategies, processes, and tools that IT has used to meet the company's needs. Finally, it looks at how well IT has executed on its strategy, and the benefits the business has realized as a result.

For the application portfolio assessment of the IT BVI, Hackett performs an analysis designed to provide insight into how well a company's portfolio is supporting strategic business objectives. This portion of the IT BVI assesses the complexity of the application portfolio currently supporting finance, HR, procurement and other key operational functions. Support and maintenance costs are calculated to understand what percent of the IT spend is associated with managing the application portfolio. Finally, the IT BVI looks at the applications portfolio to assess the deployment of best practices to understand the impact on IT's overall efficiency and effectiveness in meeting business demands.

Taking all these factors into account, Hackett offers each company a comprehensive analysis of the business value being provided by its IT organization. This assessment includes an in-depth examination of the impact the company's IT operation is having on overall business performance, tracking factors such as reductions in operating costs, productivity improvements, and shortened cycle time for common activities. A broad array of operations are evaluated against Hackett's database of standard IT processes, to measure alignment with proven best practices and identify opportunities for improvement.

About The Hackett Group

The Hackett Group, an Answerthink company, (http://www.thehackettgroup.com) provides fact-based, objective insights that help clients optimize processes, organization, technology and information in key corporate functions such as finance, IT, human resources, and procurement. Hackett's research-derived guidance is backed by its continuously updated database of benchmark metrics and best practices in use at nearly 2,000 client organizations, including 97 percent of the Dow Jones Industrials, 81 percent of the Fortune 100, and 88 percent of the Dow Jones Global Titans Index. In addition to benchmark studies of finance, IT, SG&A (sales, general, and administrative), human resources, and related areas, Hackett offers management research services and subscription-based collaborative learning programs in shared services and other administrative support processes.

About Answerthink

Answerthink, Inc. (http://www.answerthink.com) is a leading business and technology consulting firm that enables companies to achieve world-class business performance. By leveraging the comprehensive database of The Hackett Group, the world's leading repository of enterprise best practice metrics and business process knowledge, Answerthink's business and technology solutions help clients significantly improve performance and maximize returns on technology investments. Answerthink's capabilities include benchmarking, business transformation, business applications, technology integration, and offshore application maintenance and support. Founded in 1997, Answerthink has offices in 10 cities throughout the United States and in Europe.

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Camstar Unveils New Product for Real-Time Manufacturing Performance Management

LiveAlert allows companies to detect and resolve manufacturing problems immediately, improving quality and productivity

Campbell, CA  May 28, 2003  Camstar, a leading provider of manufacturing performance management systems, today introduced LiveAlert, a new real-time notification and exception management solution. With LiveAlert, Camstar enables companies to reduce the time and effort needed to identify and resolve manufacturing problems through user-defined business rules that identify problems and alert plant personnel.

LiveAlert works in concert with Camstar's InSite, the leading manufacturing performance management system for global companies. Using live production data from InSite, LiveAlert instantly notifies personnel by e-mail, phone, pager or handheld device when a manufacturing issue arises so that they can take immediate action and prevent more serious quality or cost issues. Through user-defined business rules, predefined action plans determine who should be contacted about specific problems, ultimately saving valuable time and resources.

The next big gains in quality and productivity will come from detecting and resolving manufacturing variability as it occurs, said John Beans, Camstar's vice president of marketing. Systemic, ongoing problems can be detected over time using business intelligence tools like our LiveView  but once those issues are resolved, you are left with thousands of one-time events that can be just as costly. Manufacturing performance excellence requires the kind of fast detection and agile response times that LiveAlert can help provide.

Key LiveAlert features include:

  • Prioritization  Alerts are prioritized based on configurable events and business logic.

  • Escalation Procedures  Business rules can be defined to promote an unresolved event to the next layer of management, based on time and/or severity.

  • Proactive Analysis and Response  Issue and resolution analysis reports help determine the impact of an event on key performance indicators, such as cost, efficiency and resource utilization.

  • Persistent tracking  Alerts are captured and stored over time for later correlation to larger trends and for scorecarding purposes.

LiveAlert also provides an easy-to-use Web-based interface that allows multiple users to collaborate on problem resolution. Suppliers and partners also can be granted secure access to collaborate on solutions.

About Camstar Systems, Inc.

Camstar is a leading provider of enterprise manufacturing performance management systems for life sciences, semiconductor, electronics and other global industrial manufacturers. Camstar's InSite product suite extends traditional manufacturing execution systems (MES) to monitor and synchronize manufacturing activities across globally distributed plants, and integrates them in real-time core business processes. The system enables customers to respond rapidly to changing demand, optimize the use of production assets and quickly ramp the production of new products. More than 100 leading companies, including IBM, Corning, Kodak, Hitachi, Lexmark, ALZ Steel and La-Z-Boy, rely on Camstar as a trusted software partner.

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Elance Online Services Marketplace Introduces New Features Designed to Increase Project Outsourcing Success

Enhanced Project Posting and Business Terms Features Help Small Businesses Successfully Outsource Any Type of Project

Sunnyvale, CA  May 27, 2003  Elance, Inc. today introduced new features in the Elance Online services marketplace, designed to help small businesses outsource services more easily and more successfully. Elance Online allows small business to post descriptions of their projects free of charge in categories such as graphic design, Web design, software development, engineering and business strategy and receive proposals from a global pool of professional service providers. The new enhancements allow small businesses to post detailed project descriptions to find the ideal service provider for their projects. The system has also been enhanced with new features that help buyers and service providers negotiate and track business terms.

"The successful outsourcing of any project starts with a clear statement of what you are hoping to accomplish. Detailed project descriptions help service providers place more accurate bids, resulting in a better experience for all users," said Beerud Sheth, vice president of product strategy for Elance Online. "In addition, the new business terms features help buyers and service providers agree on project deliverables, ensuring that the project will be completed on-time, on-budget and with a high-degree of customer satisfaction."

New Project Posting Features

Elance Online's enhanced project posting system lets buyers provide more detailed project descriptions, including the budget range and timeframe for completing their projects. In addition, a new "Project Clarification Board" allows buyers and service providers to discuss and clarify project details during the bidding process. These new features will enable buyers to select the ideal service provider for their projects.

New Business Terms and Change Order Features

Once a buyer has awarded their project to a service provider, the new "Business Terms" features of Elance Online help the two parties establish precise terms for the completion of the project. Buyers can fill out a business terms template, to define delivery milestones and a corresponding payment schedule, as well as upload their own "statement of work." A convenient message board allows both parties to discuss the terms. Once the buyer and service provider have agreed on business terms, the project is accepted and work can begin.

If the terms need to be changed during the project  due to new or modified project requirements  a "Change Orders" feature allows the buyer and service provider to negotiate and document the new requirements, schedule and any changes in project costs.

About Elance, Inc.

Elance improves the way organizations buy and manage services  one of the largest components of corporate spending. With Elance's Services Procurement and Management (SPM) solutions, businesses can improve the success rates and lower the costs associated with a wide variety of external services. The company's SPM offerings include Elance 3, an easy-to-adopt application suite for Global 2000 companies, Elance Clarity, for managed service providers and Elance Online, a Web-based services marketplace that lets small businesses benefit from the industry's largest network of professional service providers and procurement experts. For more information on Elance, please call 408-524-7500 or visit www.elance.com.

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IAS Launches Powerful New Version of Web-Based Asset Management Tool

Added Features Streamline the Equipment Repair Cycle with Enhanced Visibility and New Exception Reporting Capability

Oakland, CA  May 21, 2003  International Asset Systems (IAS), a leading supplier of asset management solutions to the container shipping industry, announced today it has implemented dramatic enhancements to its popular suite of services for the equipment repair cycle. The services are part of the IAS Hub platform, an Internet-based gateway to a series of integrated work tools and services that help ocean carriers, lessors and other equipment operators better manage their container assets worldwide.

"This upgrade enables our customers to obtain the information they need to improve their asset decision-making and streamline their asset management processes," says Steve Dowse, Chief Technology and Operating Officer at IAS. "Our application provides what information our customers need to see  or more importantly not see  in a real-time, online environment. These enhancements are expected to significantly increase operational efficiencies and yield dramatic savings in both overhead and direct container operating costs."

In March of 1999, IAS successfully launched InterBox, an innovative asset management application that enables container owners to reduce their equipment imbalance costs. The company expanded its suite of IAS Hub-based services with the additions of IAS Event Manager, which tracks the first and last mile of the transport chain, and IAS Depot Manager, to bridge technology gaps, enabling users to manages their equipment repair operations. The newest IAS enhancements now provide greater connectivity and services to customers worldwide, including 16 of the top 20 ocean carriers, dozens of intermodal marketing companies, several major container lessors and over 450 depot facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

According to Dowse, the major benefits of IAS' service enhancements include:

  • The ability to manage container events and repairs by exception

  • The automation of routine, often fax-based equipment review and repair processes

  • Increased accuracy of container event data

  • Control of repair costs through IAS hosting of customers' repair tariffs

  • Direct system integration that incorporates all elements of the repair process  from estimates to accounts payable  from the IAS real-time database

"The true power of the system is now beginning to emerge," explained Dowse. "With its ability to process raw container event data from multiple sources  depots, terminals, trucker yards, rail ramps  our customers can now manage their equipment by exception and segment the workflow process, so they receive only the information they actually need, at the right time and in the right format. For example, if you're an asset manager responsible for repair estimates of up to $1,000, your customized data will only display estimates that fall within those preset parameters. So there's no need to waste time sifting through stacks of paperwork trying to find what you need."

Through its suite of integrated applications, IAS offers global equipment visibility, provides container event management and analysis, facilitates the exchange of equipment and vessel slot capacity, and hosts other powerful tools which compile diverse data from multiple ocean carrier and vendor systems within the transport chain onto a single platform  for the first time in this industry.

IAS Enhancements

Data Validation: A major feature of the IAS application is its data validation capabilities, which ensure the integrity of the container event data that IAS captures, processes and either integrates into its customers' in-house systems or makes available via online IAS work tools. IAS validates and organizes critical maintenance and repair (M&R) information  ensuring all trading partners are working with accurate data. IAS virtually eliminates potentially expensive data errors by screening all the information uploaded to the system and rejecting data that is determined inaccurate or does not meet customer criteria. IAS issues a transmission audit report to facilities whose equipment event data is nonconforming.

Automation & Exception Management: Another IAS technological innovation is the addition of work tools that manage by exception to virtually automate routine M&R tasks. Once a customer has established their specific parameters or business rules, the auto-approve feature, for example, can automatically "review" online estimates and issue work orders. IAS customers also can request equipment surveys and repair estimate revisions online. These capabilities dramatically shorten the repair cycle, improving equipment turn times and reducing costs. IAS can host customers' repair tariffs to help depots create more consistent and accurate estimates, and automatically check incoming estimates against the tariff for discrepancies. Critical M&R event information is tracked so electronic notifications, approvals, and work orders can be automatically sent to appropriate parties

Management Information: Like previous versions, the new suite is also a powerful information management tool that enables customers to utilize detailed operational, cost and status reporting on a real-time 24/7 basis. This data, which is stored in a secure online database, can be utilized, via the IAS Hub's reporting features, to deliver tailored M&R information directly to a manager's desktop, ensuring decisions are made using the best, most current information. Captured data is also used to trigger and automatically send depots and equipment managers electronic alerts when an action is required to keep the equipment repair cycle moving forward.

About IAS

Founded in 1998, International Asset Systems provides the global container shipping industry with innovative asset management applications and Web-based services. IAS Harnesses the power of data captured in a shared infrastructure and utilized on a common operating platform  the IAS Hub. By developing solutions that increase equipment visibility and facilitate the seamless flow of information between trading partners in the container transport chain, IAS enables its customers to reduce asset management costs and provide enhanced service to their customers. Backed by a global private investor, IAS has built a management team with extensive experience in the container transportation industry. IAS is headquartered in Oakland, California and has offices in Chicago, Hong Kong, Aarhus and London. Press kits and additional information can be obtained at www.interasset.com. Media with questions should contact our representatives.

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