To run a business within a business, IT Service and Support requires fi rm control over its assets and services. Moreover, fully understanding the location, health and performance of all enterprise assets has a direct impact on the organization’s overall corporate fi nancial performance. To proactively manage assets over their entire lifecycle, fi rms must strive for enterprise-wide visibility and context into utilization, service accounts and historical records. Th e role of Service Management solutions is to provide this view, and automate and support the processes that enable the enterprise to maximize ROI, improve service levels, streamline service delivery and reduce total costs. Additionally, the adoption of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 as a best business practice has provided the catalyst to deploy applications that provide transparency and visibility, fi nancial controls, communications, and fraud prevention. Th is includes business performance management and business intelligence, tightening up processes, and focusing on data quality. Further, to eff ectively comply with SOX Sections 404 and 409, fi rms will need IT support for solutions that can address asset management, as well as the processes used to attain corporate accountability.
Most enterprises, however, do not have adequate strategies and infrastructure to optimally deal with their enterprise assets. In
e new wave
many cases, companies use legacy and paper-based methods to try to get a handle on the plethora of asset and analytical information that is available in the multitude of siloed data systems. Oft en, companies only view one portion of their complement of assets, which in many cases, is not where the majority of their asset base lies. Th ere are many instances where organizations struggle with the burden of vast amounts of un-used assets, simply because they are not visible to the departments that need them.
Companies can no longer rely on outdated systems and processes to manage the strategic initiative of holistic asset management. Th e challenge ahead is to integrate disparate soft ware and tracking technologies, processes AND people across organizations and channels to optimize the business process as well as the life of each asset throughout its lifecycle. Th is whitepaper examines diff erent types of asset management and their advantages and disadvantages. We will then discuss best practices that all enterprises should consider and conclude with solutions that can enable executive management to become 100% confi dent in enterprise asset information but also achieve fi scal accountability and eff ectively mitigate risk.
Asset management – why now?As an initiative, strategic asset management has risen to a high level of importance within the enterprise and has moved from a purely tactical function into and under the guidance of IT Service and Support. As service and support departments transform from cost centers to a business unit capable of delivering competitive advantage, corporate assets have dramatically increased in importance. Clearly, fi rms recognize the untapped value within their asset base as a means to increase productivity, expand on fi scal responsibility, and reduce personal property taxes. Th ey are, however, unable to access and deliver this value because they still rely on manual, data-starved processes.
Further, the regulations and frameworks that have emerged over the last few years mark asset management as one of the areas to increase accountability and mitigate risk. Th ese include the ITIL framework, the oft -mentioned Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, Basel II, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), as well as a host of other regulations dealing with corporate and IT governance. For federal agencies and government contractors (those companies that do business with the federal government), there are still more and increasingly complex regulations. Th e Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) is just one of many that has been revised and signifi cantly impacts government contractors. Th e Joint Financial Management Improvement Program ( JFMIP) is another set of regulations that governs what type of systems federal agencies must use in order to be more accountable for their actions. Others include Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) regulations 34/35 which governs how state and local government agencies establish and improve standards in accounting and fi nancial reporting. What does this mean for asset management as a whole? Asset management is now being seen as having a direct impact on corporate fi nancial performance, rather than just a tactical “inventory” of what assets an enterprise possesses. Th is requires a real-time, business process-centric view on assets. Providing this perspective is the priority and function of today’s service and support organizations. Life-cycle asset management provides direct and complete visibility into eff ectiveness, utilization and re-use. Additionally, fi rms are more and more concerned with hazardous material and sensitive data; that which can jeopardize the safety or security to individuals / organizations and/or dangerous to human health or the environment when mismanaged. Life-cycle asset management enables enterprises to mitigate risk to their company, their employees and customers and the environment.
Types of asset managementAsset management can be categorized into four main areas; fi xed asset management, enterprise asset management (EAM)/computer maintenance management systems (CMMS), IT asset management, and life-cycle asset management. Let’s examine the defi nitions of each, as well as their advantages and disadvantages.
Fixed Asset Management/Accounting
Fixed asset management/accounting is the process of accounting for asset that is capitalized onto the organization’s balance sheet. A fi xed asset is any asset that costs more to acquire than a defi ned value, which is called the capitalization threshold. Only those assets whose acquisition cost exceeds this value qualify for capitalization. Th ese assets can include items such as buildings and equipment and have typically been housed and managed through fi xed asset modules in a fi nancial accounting application. Advantages
Fixed asset management tools are a good choice if an enterprise is only interested in tracking assets to be depreciated. In general, most large Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems contain a fi xed assets accounting module so at the very least, companies could have the bare bones of an asset management solution.
Fixed asset management breaks down when one examines the defi nition of a fi xed asset. Described above, this defi nition completely ignores every other type of asset – including IT assets - which ironically enough, are the greatest number of assets an organization typically possesses. Fixed asset modules, whether they are embedded in an enterprise system or implemented as a stand-alone application, generally do not optimize the asset management process, properly identify confi guration functions, integrate with the CMDB, or permit the capture of data relevant to all other assets. Th e ability to capture and manage non-fi nancial data related to the asset such as maintenance dates, accountable department or person and incident number oft en do not exist.
Th ese other types of assets are generally critical to mission objectives, hazardous in nature, potential security risks or easily lost. Examples of these types of assets include laptops, cell phones, PDA, fi rearms, uniforms or even parking spaces. Other intangible assets can include the intellectual property of a company or sales lists or proposals to prospects, all of which have no “capital value” but are devastating to the company if the information was leaked out of the internal environment and into the wrong hands.
Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) / Computer Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS)
Enterprise Asset Management or Computer Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) are primarily used to maintain facility operations and can span many diverse functions and responsibilities, ranging from scheduling preventative maintenance jobs to allocating the resources needed to complete the work. As part of these systems, comprehensive asset data is collected as it pertains to the specifi c asset. Typically, EAM and CMMS systems contain “scheduled maintenance” modules so that facilities can determine what assets must be maintained and when. In addition, EAM and CMMS systems can assist enterprises in ascertaining where most advantageous places for production plants should reside. For example, Company A needs to examine the fi nancial impact to the company on either building a new production facility or retrofi tting an existing facility. EAM/CMMS systems are able to analyze asset maintenance data to determine the best course of action.
Maintenance management is important for several reasons. One reason is building complexity. Today’s buildings are more automated, and automation adds to complexity. In industrial / commercial buildings, health care facilities and campus labs, automated HVAC, electric, electronic and pneumatic systems, auxiliary power, and special environmental technologies are proliferating. Th e potential costs of breakdowns to these critical systems are increased risk to building management. Reduced staff s are being asked to maintain more complex buildings.
When scheduled maintenance is not followed, premature breakdown is a certain outcome. Th e attendant costs of breakdown do not stop with equipment repair and replacement. Th ere are also the realities of work stoppage, production downtime, discomfort, displacement of building occupants, uneven workloads, overtime, and emergency inventory purchasing. In addition, historically, most systems for managing maintenance activities have been done manually; everything from index
cards, memo fi les to wall-mounted log boards. Th ese methods were cumbersome, incomplete and ineff ective. What’s more, they were used inconsistently, further reducing whatever minimal benefi ts they could have provided.
While EAM / CMMS systems are excellent for maintenance scheduling, they are not meant to manage the wide range of assets nor are they typically built for the integrated architecture culture of today’s enterprise. Th ey do not manage multiple asset categories or provide the visibility an enterprise requires to be eff ective in its life-cycle asset management initiatives. Many CMMS / EAM vendors claim that assets and equipment can be prolonged through regular, eff ective preventative maintenance. While this is true, this should not be confused with asset management as a discipline. In addition, any advantages to solely using an EAM / CMMS system are overshadowed by the critical need for transparent visibility and context for all assets throughout the enterprise, not those assets used just for production value.
IT Asset Management
IT asset management is the process for tracking and managing only an enterprise’s IT assets throughout a department or an organization. As the enterprise infrastructure becomes increasingly complex and critical to executing strategies, IT asset management can be a powerful tool that helps manage soft ware, networks, hardware, as well as the contracts associated with those IT assets, and the costs.
Clearly, IT Asset Management tools can be an excellent choice for asset management strategies. Auto-discovery features of many IT asset management vendors eliminate the need to manually track each IT component from an enterprise perspective. Th is can eliminate pirated soft ware and/or potentially devastating programs from users’ computers and keeps the enterprise well-informed about what is actually on users machines in real / right-time. In addition, IT asset management can track and manage other IT components, such as network environments, servers, and peripherals such as printers. Th is is a distinct advantage when enterprises bill deliverables, such as copies and / or designs to their clients because accurate data is readily available.
Th e issue with an enterprise implementing and using IT asset management alone, however, is that this type of asset management does not take any other type of asset into account. Th is means that enterprises only track IT assets, and not other critical items such as intellectual property,
vehicles, production equipment, or even furniture and land. Since the typical installation of an IT asset management system is a stand-alone application within a specifi c department, it is very diffi cult to provide tactical and strategic visibility in correlation with the Service and Support functions. It could be argued that an IT asset management system could track those assets, and while these systems could be highly-customized to accommodate other assets in theory, in practice, the customization process is very time and investment consuming for even the savviest enterprises.
Best practices in asset
As can be seen, there are many providers of “asset management” soft ware, solutions and services. Some vendors even suggest that a simplistic barcode reader is an asset management system. In the last section, we’ve discussed fi xed asset management, which as we’ve explored, does not capture and manage assets that happen to fall under the “capitalization threshold”. Other solutions, such as EAM/CMMS systems, have emerged as another piece of the asset management puzzle. But these systems are not meant for the rigorous discipline of life-cycle asset management, nor do they take certain assets, like hazardous materials and sensitive data into consideration, leaving these types of assets to wither on the “asset management vine.”
So what is a forward-thinking, compliance-minded enterprise to do? Let’s examine best practices and what hard questions enterprises should be asking of their asset management solution providers.
Questions all enterprises should ask of their asset management system
Best practices are not a mythical pool of data that resides in middle earth. Simply put, best practices are tried and tested business processes; the best way to conduct business. Asset management best practices match the needs of an organization up against what industry considers best processes to create a consistent and repeatable means to eff ectively manage all enterprise assets throughout an organization.
Does the asset management system have comprehensive and repeatable processes? Processes need to be end to end, from the time an enterprise
acquires an asset to the time that the asset is deposed or retired. And in order for processes to truly be comprehensive, they must be implemented across the entire organization so that all departments can leverage the knowledge that is within previously siloed systems. Th e fi nal piece of the
process puzzle is that it must be repeatable – that means that as individuals move in and out of roles within the organization, the Standard Operating Procedure remains constant. Th is does not mean that repeatable processes are non-evolving; it means that asset management processes do not change simply because the employee changes.
Can the asset management solution align IT initiatives with your business interests? By applying a business value assessment to IT
investments, companies can determine how business goals and technology investments are aligned, capture the fi nancial value of specifi c technology options, and make the right decisions to best benefi t the company. Enterprises know their business is aligned when it operates in synch with market demands and is supported by high-quality and cost-eff ective technology investments. Done right, IT services are directly aligned to business objectives, strategies and tactics, and there is a clear understanding between the business and IT groups.
Th is is a powerful combination; companies have insight, optimize their entire business portfolio and more accurately position resources for implementation and measurement.
Th is turns asset management into much more than a “task” that must be completed for compliance purposes. Asset management now drives strategic initiatives and helps accomplish business interests and goals. By aligning the IT portion of asset management initiatives to overall business goals, there are a number of advantages including cost savings, increasing productivity, right-time data transfer, decreased asset shrinkage, and an increase or decrease of workforce levels.
Can the system ensure the most accurate version of the truth? As we
all know, numbers can tell an enterprise anything they wish to hear. Th e question “tell me the total value of assets” could be sliced into a number of diff erent values including capital assets, sensitive assets, accountable assets, and so on; there is diff erent value for each of these categories. By creating the integrated enterprise, executive management would have the most accurate version of the total value of all enterprise assets – no matter where that asset information resided. Implementing the semantic enterprise means that multiple lines of business can share and act on the same asset information including fi nancial depreciation, net book value, shipping, asset locations, customer issues, recalls, life, and replacement value.
Can the system draw functionality and context from existing applications? In the previously siloed enterprise, each department
information from another, that data would take a signifi cant amount of manual labor and would be next to impossible to obtain. Moreover, stove-piped data means that each system could not take advantage of information that resides in other siloed systems. Case in point: an enterprise has purchased an eProcurement application for new purchases and a service and support application for help desk / asset management, and is using an existing system for ad-hoc transactions. Th ey are using the eProcurement application for items found in a catalog, but want to initiate an auction event for items not in the catalog, and return the result to the eProcurement application AND send the fi nal transaction to the service and support system. If this setup is like most enterprises, all three applications are managed in separate departments, requiring the user to call an auction expert to create and conduct the action, and then call the service manager to ensure the information is properly created in the asset management system.
In the integrated enterprise, seamless processes now exist between fi nance, procurement, inventory, service management and customer service systems. No matter where a user enters the process or which system they enter, context is synchronized. Th is minimizes data entry points and duplicate eff orts, allows control of new and existing incidents faster and creates an audit trail that would not be possible without the integrated enterprise. Manually-linked steps are reduced which helps to produce more accurate results. Th e end result is signifi cant time and total cost of ownership savings, as well as the added benefi t of compliance with present and future reporting regulations.
Does it support visibility and decision support for business users without process re-engineering? How oft en have you heard that it
takes days or weeks to get a simple report into the hands of executive management because current siloed data is too complex to compile quickly? In today’s world of accountability and fi scal responsibility, executive management must attest to the veracity of their fi nancial statements or risk heft y fi nes or worse. Siloed systems simply will not work. Executive management and business users must be able to view every piece of available data about all enterprise assets in a manner that will help them in their mission, not hinder them in their eff orts. Centralized and decentralized organizations benefi t equally from the integrated enterprise simply because both can be supported from a single infrastructure.
What about wireless technologies? Enterprises live in the age of
right-time / real-right-time data. Th e combination of wireless technology and the integrated enterprise greatly increases asset accuracy, enables real-time / right-time detail, and assists in the initial identifi cation, delivery and transfers of assets. Inventories can be conducted in near real-time with
wireless handheld devices. New technology has enabled image capture embedded in the handheld that can help ensure accurate representations of the asset in question. Information can be synchronized in real-time with automatic updates or synchronized in near real-time by batch loading inventory data on a specifi ed schedule.
Is the system included as part of the IT Service Desk? Th e ability to deliver service and support has a direct impact on business performance. To ensure that service levels meet both customer requirements while keeping employee productivity high, service and support must reduce service outages and streamline operations. If strategic asset management is not included as part of the IT Service Desk, this means that there is a breakdown in the communication with how assets are being used and when they are maintained. A stand-alone asset management system – even if it is an enterprise-wide system - will not be successful in supporting enterprise goals.
Does it support inventory sampling standards? Wall-to-wall physical
inventories are oft en costly, time-consuming and disruptive. Real-world events occur during the time wall-to-wall inventories are conducted. By the time the inventory is completed, an asset may have moved or transferred, or retired. Creating and using sampling standards rather than complete wall-to-wall inventories can assure enterprises of repeatable processes and statistically accurate results.
Can the system integrate Radio Frequency Identifi cation (RFID) technology or is RFID on its product roadmap? RFID technology
signifi cantly reduces the time needed for labor-intensive activities, such as initial identifi cation and delivery, physical asset inventories, and location management. RFID technology can contain more information about specifi c assets than bar-coding technology and include such items as make, serial number, etc. Working within the integrated enterprise, previously siloed departments are able to use the data captured with RFID to determine utilization metrics, total cost of ownership, service agreements, re-utilization timeframes and disposal requirements.
Life-cycle Asset Management
What is Life-cycle Asset Management?
Life-cycle Asset Management is the process of monitoring, controlling and accounting for assets throughout their lifecycle and is part of the overall service and support business process. Every enterprise asset is tracked and managed in a single system of record or CMDB. All asset changes, including maintenance information, trouble ticket data, status inventory,
utilization metrics and usage, are recorded in its central repository and linked to other BPM tasks. Other critical tasks include disposing of assets properly when they have reached the end of their useful life to ensure that all possible revenue is reclaimed, including items such as soft ware licenses. Life-cycle asset management mitigates the risks associated or triggered with asset disposal such as hazardous waste, export control technology, the unintended disclosure of trade secrets, or the loss of leased property. By capturing the data for each of these stages and then analyzing and reporting on this diverse information, enterprises can establish a complete representation of the vast number of assets into which they have invested their resources. In turn, this information becomes the foundation for optimizing the use and deployment of all assets enterprise-wide.
Life-cycle Asset Management – a best practice
Life-cycle asset management lives in a process-driven and knowledge-centric environment. Th e real-time support and analytics required for optimal business process management means that stand-alone service desk and asset management systems are now insuffi cient. LAM requires a knowledge-centric architecture that is part of the overall service and support environment. Consider how an asset travels through the lifecycle: Phase 1: Th e enterprise begins with the specifi cation, procurement and receipt of an asset. Pre-existing assets are repurposed. If an asset must be purchased, new acquisition data is captured to be semantically viewed by the aff ected departments and automatically understood by IT Service and Support.
Phase 2: Th e asset is assigned to the department and person that will be responsible for the asset. Movement, upgrades, maintenance, and other lifecycle events are captured to enable effi cient management and tracking as well as potential security breeches.
Phase 3: As assets reach the end of their intended use, they must be re-purposed, put into storage, or retired.
Th ese phases demand a holistic solution for asset management. Th ere are seven requirements that are overwhelmingly essential to a strategic asset management solution:
1. Asset management must have a comprehensive and repeatable process that is practiced for all assets from the time they are acquired until the time they are disposed based on the specifi c business needs to the enterprise.
2. Th e system must be accessible for all enterprise users through IT Service and Support and provide an intuitive interface that can derive context
from other applications.
3. Th e system must include a self-service interface that allows users to submit tickets, view updates and search an intuitive knowledgebase for solutions
4. Detailed and reasonable verifi cation audit processes must be followed to ensure the system is accurate.
5. Th e asset system must be one piece of enterprise Business Process Management applications that include CRM, Service and Support, Application Lifecycle Management and ERP.
6. Th e asset system must help to support current and future accountability initiatives such as ITIL, SOX, Basel II, HIPPA, UID initiative, and JFMIP requirements.
7. Th e system must be secure so that sensitive information is not revealed to unauthorized users, externally or internally.
Business Process Management
Comprehensive and repeatable processes
Employing comprehensive and repeatable business processes for assets ensures that the enterprise can better plan new asset acquisition and reallocate assets that are either already deployed or are not actively used. It also initiates tracking once an order is placed and before an asset is received in the enterprise. Purchase commitments can now be monitored for receipt and cost validation, providing enhanced fi nancial control.
Th is philosophy also helps prevent the inappropriate or reckless disposal of assets. Th e transfer of some scientifi c or technical equipment is prohibited, equipment subject to hazardous substances must be sanitized, and data contained on computers must be cleansed before disposal. All these instances can be prevented by comprehensive asset tracking and management.
Proper asset disposal
Retiring workstations and other IT assets is a lot more complicated than disposing of most big-ticket items. Should you recycle the components, cascade the assets to employees with fewer computing needs, or resell the used assets? Should you donate them to a charity for a potential tax credit? How do you comply with requirements such as those arising from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for proper disposal? Companies oft en pile obsolete assets in storage closets to avoid dealing with these complex issues. Strategic Asset Management enables a company to maintain a complete audit trail of each asset’s end of life that can impact tax liabilities, environmental penalties and overall return on investment.
Current and future regulations
As a process-driven approach, the ITIL framework is applicable to all IT organizations irrespective of their size. With the ITIL framework all organizations can optimize their IT infrastructure to provide for existing and anticipated business requirements, they can enhance IT service quality to increase confi dence in IT systems and service delivery and in many cases, permanently lower their total cost of IT ownership or TCO including the service cost.
Th e tools that organizations use should support the ITIL framework and the dynamic nature of the business process. For example, do the tools provide seamless integration with known error and change management processes? Can knowledge grow from lessons learned? ITIL has brought a clear understanding of IT’s critical importance to the business operation. It is no longer enough to simply maintain the IT infrastructure by adjusting and upgrading aft er the need has arisen – today’s IT managers are expected to support the success of the entire business by planning ahead and proactively-shaping the business IT environment – and ITIL helps to facilitate this process.
Moreover, with the best practice now arising from the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, public organizations are faced with a mandated fi duciary responsibility to accurately report their fi nancial status. Th is escalates the importance of maintaining accurate fi nancial data from a historical perspective, as well as actual managerial validation that the internal controls that produce and maintain the fi nancial data truly serve their intended purpose on an ongoing basis. With improved internal controls and business processes, enterprises can satisfy fi duciary responsibilities – even if the company is not publicly traded.
To be successful, the system must be securely accessible to all individuals within the enterprise. Web-based distribution and notifi cation of pending events with automatic triggers and business rules, as well as an intuitive interface that integrates with and looks like other desktop applications is crucial. Th is also includes the ability to self-manage assets, release management capabilities and built-in intelligence for a searchable knowledgebase of solutions to specifi c service requests.
Verifi cation audit
Verifi cation audits, or physical inventory processes, demonstrate the veracity of the service system’s contents. Th is process is accomplished in a
number of ways such as statistical sampling, inventory by exception and electronic inventories. It is critical that an enterprise passes verifi cation audits - failing could mean fi nancial penalties, or worse, loss of jobs. Strategic asset management systems enable enterprises to successfully complete physical inventory audits because all asset information is in a single system of record and is tied to the overall service and support business process.
But the benefi ts of a comprehensive physical inventory process goes deeper. Because accountability has been properly established, users now become an integral member in the review process, rather than a passive participant. Th e clear benefi t is that if employees know they are going to be accountable for assets, they are more likely to protect them. Th e benefi ts go to the enterprise too - theft s and loses are discovered sooner because it gives the employee an opportunity to disclose information without fear of reprisal.
Integration with other enterprise systems
Integrating semantically with other enterprise applications streamlines the asset management process across departments. It facilitates workfl ow between departments and lessens the manual eff ort and recordation tasks. Here are some examples:
Order Entry / Purchasing / Receiving Systems- skeletal records are initiated when orders are placed for assets. Th is ensures that records are complete at physical receipt time and tagging.
Human Resources Systems - integrating with the human resource system is key to ensuring proper maintenance of personal and organizational accountability. Th e service and support system is able to automatically recognize new employees and their place in the enterprise so that the proper authorized rights are established. And as employees move through or leave the enterprise, the interface enables the service and support system to reassign or revoke rights to assets. Once employees are no longer with the company, the system will prevent new assets from being assigned to them.
Can you guarantee that the very latest virus protection fi les are installed on all of your desktops? Do you know how oft en desktops and various hardware components simply disappear from your enterprise? Can you identify everyone in the organization with access to sensitive information such as customer data?
Th ere are two security levels in an asset management system. Th e database, network and access programs must prevent unauthorized access including internal employees or those attempting to gain access using the Internet. Th e second level ensures that users only have access to information that directly relates to them or their roles. Th is prevents unauthorized accountability transfers and interference on what other individuals and organization units may be doing.
Establishing accountability for an asset at the department/workgroup and person level has long been viewed as simply a means to mitigate theft . Th is is accomplished on a tactical level, but, perhaps even more, accountability helps to ensure that the right assets are allocated to the right people and organizational units at the right time.
Accountability minimizes the risk of possible claims aft er asset disposal. For example, there may be a claim that an asset containing hazardous waste was disposed in a landfi ll without conducting proper procedures. Having a complete chain of accountability can potentially save millions of dollars in lawsuit or court costs. Network security benefi ts from accountability as well. Because enterprises know who has been allocated particular equipment, network attacks can be pinpointed and mitigated promptly with less loss to the enterprise.
In this whitepaper, we have looked at the need for strategic asset management; tracking and managing enterprise assets from acquisition to retirement. We have examined the drivers for asset management initiatives, from a compliance perspective and from the overall fi nancial health of the enterprise. Based on that information, we have compared diff erent approaches to asset management and advantages / disadvantages to each philosophy.
What enterprises now must do is determine what they wish their service and support system to do for them – how technology will best fi t into their business goals and processes. Ask the hard questions; will this system optimize management, service delivery and drive business innovation? Does it increase utilization and reduce costs across the enterprise? Does it provide the transparent visibility and context required to comply with regulations and fi duciary responsibilities?
Th e concept of Life-cycle Asset Management means little to the business user who is on the hook for their company’s business management processes. Th is means that IT architectures must make a clean separation between business processes and the underlying technology. Tools that help model business processes must be able to involve business logic and user interfaces, as well as an infrastructure that can rapidly support development.
Th e language of business users is still around purchase orders, accountable parties and fi nancial statements. It is at this level that they demand visibility into the information coming from their IT investments. Th e end result will be the integrated enterprise that will deliver what business users need to see.
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