Model N looks to CSC for validation
- By Colleen Frye
A just-announced alliance between upstart Model N and the venerable Computer
Sciences Corp. ''is a validation of the solution we are providing to the
marketplace,'' said Zack Rinat, co-founder and chief executive officer at San
Francisco-based Model N.
Rinat, who also co-founded NetDynamics (acquired by Sun a few years back),
said the sweet spot of opportunity for the Model N solution is the gap left by
ERP and CRM systems -- revenue execution, which includes contract life-cycle
management. Without the tools to execute a revenue strategy, companies are
leaving money on the table, added Rinat. The Model N solution addresses pricing
strategies; contract creation, implementation and administration; compliance
management; and management of settlement processes.
The alliance will leverage CSC's expertise in systems integration and
business processes, and Model N's software applications to target the Life
Sciences industry, officials said. While the alliance is not exclusive, Rinat
said there is built-in incentive for CSC to bring Model N into an engagement.
''It's great that somebody like CSC sees revenue execution as a big market,'' said
Rinat. Less than a year ago, Gartner Group projected that contract life-cycle
management will be worth $20 billion in software and services in 2007.
Model N, founded in 1999, initially targeted the B2B market, or industry
networks, but switched gears with the dot-com fallout. ''We were positioned as a
solution for industry networks, but given what happened with the technology
market, we decided to focus on the area of revenue execution,'' said Rinat.
According to Chief Marketing Officer Jamie Schein, as the company evolved, it
built the Model N application suite atop its original platform.
An early customer, EFS Network Inc., an electronic supply-chain network for
the food service industry, is still licensing the platform. However, said
Schein, ''as our customers go live, their business processes are so complex that
they usually go live within the virtual walls of their own company, with plans
to roll out as time goes on to customers and partners. The differentiator for
us, given our history, is that we're ready for them once they're ready to roll
out to their network of partners and customers.''
Another differentiator, noted Schein, is that ''we built the application suite
from the ground up as an integrated end-to-end solution.'' In addition, said
Rinat, Model N focuses on vertical industries with specific solutions for life
sciences, consumer packaged goods and transportation.
Model N is a Java-based, J2EE-compliant, Web-based application suite. It runs
under JBoss/Tomcat, WebLogic 6.x and 7.x, and WebSphere 4.x. Support for other
application servers that adhere to J2EE is possible. Price ranges from $500K to
$2 million, depending on the applications licensed. Model N's customers include
Guidant, Owens-Illinois, Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, a Johnson & Johnson
Company, and EFS Network.
Colleen Frye is a freelance writer based in Bridgewater, Mass.