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3/27/2006
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Analytics Drives Product Road Map Decisions

Accept Software on Monday rolled out analytics-based software that helps companies plan product road maps, requirements, launches, and delivery and upgrade cycles.

Accept Software Corp. on Monday rolled out analytics-based software that helps companies plan product roadmaps, requirements, launches, and delivery and upgrade cycles.

Accept 360° aims to ease associated risks that accompany designing and launching new products, as well as supporting them through obsolescence. The collaborative platform analyzes data from company objectives, market requirements, customer preferences and commitments, and competitive dynamics to support product roadmap decisions.

The software replaces spreadsheets, presentations, e-mails, market analysis, and technical documentation that companies typically rely on. "If you're getting to market faster with the wrong product it's not good," said Stephen Plume, Accept's chief operating officer. "Products get launched into markets that are not aligned with the company's strategy or the customers' need."

Panta Systems Inc. began installing Accept 360° in January, with plans to launch two new product liness later this year, according to Scott Rose, vice president product management and marketing at Panta, which develops next-generation server and x86 system designs for virtual data centers.

Accept will help Panta determine target markets and product launch schedules. "We're using Accept at Panta for new product rollouts," Rose said, but companies also can deploy the platform to manage billion-dollar product lines.

Plume said Accept 360° isn't a product lifecycle management application, rather software that augments a PLM platform. For example, server manufacturers supporting hardware both Linux. and Windows can better understand the impact to changes in their product line. Accept 360° will provide analysis to aid Panta in the decision to support specific operating systems.

Quantifying decisions are important. "It takes the what-ifs and the gut-decision making out of the process, and lets you quantify your decisions with numbers," Rose said.

For companies that outsource portions of projects, such as design or manufacturing, Accept provides secure access through any Web browser. Those participating in development and launch of the product can contribute to planning decisions easily.

Teams work collaboratively, regardless of their location. They can turn market and product strategies into portfolio, platform, and product plans. BEA Systems Inc.; Mercury Interactive Corp.; and Veritas Software, acquired by Symantec Corp. last year, are among those using the software, Accept said.

Accept delivers the Accept 360° hosted application on J2EE technology and services-oriented architecture (SOA) platform. The cost is $65 per user per month.

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