Model N looks to CSC for validation

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.

About the Author

Colleen Frye is a freelance writer based in Bridgewater, Mass.


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