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WestJet Meets Compliance With IBM Workplace

Meeting compliance requirements is of utmost importance for WestJet, a Canadian low-fare airline. To stay in business, the company must comply with the Canadian Multilateral Instrument 52-109/111 financial governance requirements.

With a compliance deadline of Dec. 31, 2006, WestJet set out to find a software tool that would aid in meeting the requirements set forth in the legislation. After a rigorous and detailed selection process that included approximately six software products from software houses to ERP solutions, according to Corey Wells, director of audit and advisory services, WestJet turned to IBM's Workplace for Business Controls and Reporting 2.5 to aid in its compliance effort.

Workplace beat the other competitors because of its flexibility, ease of use, affordability, ability to influence the direction of the product and its documentation functionality, Wells says. "It allows us to centralize our documentation in a way that is consistent with the requirements set forth, allowing for continued sustainment beyond initial compliance," he adds.

WestJet's most significant challenge in meeting compliance regulations "is educating the process owners sufficiently in internal control so that they can ultimately own the documentation of their processes," Wells explains. "This is incredibly important to sustain the effort beyond initial compliance."

In addition to providing WestJet with centralized documentation, Workplace also "allows for a centralized and current repository of both compliance and operational information that is valuable for training purposes and the potential reengineering of operational processes to create efficiencies and value to the organization," Wells adds.

WestJet would like to be able to use Workplace as a complete enterprise risk management solution, but the product is not quite there yet. However, IBM asserts that this is the vision and direction of the product.

The utilization of Workplace has resulted in significant time savings for WestJet. "From a time perspective," Wells explains, "the ability to push out the documentation to our process owners while maintaining consistency and quality is a tremendous benefit." In addition, WestJet intends to use the tool to house operational information that "will allow our process owners to create process efficiencies and cost savings, instead of just focusing on compliance," he adds. "The flexibility of IBM's Workplace product allows us to create value for the organization beyond compliance."

The product features a sustainable, open business control management platform, enhanced application integration and flexible deployment options, including one using a native relational database, one that leverages a built-in enterprise content management system and one that allows lower administrative overhead.

Pricing is $28,750 per 25 registered user pack and includes one year of maintenance and support.

About the Author

Lana Gates is a freelance writer based in Mesa, Arizona. She can be reached via e-mail at freelancewriter@gates-works.com.

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