Serena shows off

By Scot Petersen  |  Posted 2005-03-08 Print this article Print

In addition to Watkins, Serena also likes to show off Dell Inc. as its largest customer of TeamTrack. "Dell uses it to automate just about every process they can, around manufacturing, responding to RFPs [request for proposals]. TeamTrack is the second-most-used application at Dell behind Microsoft Office," Bhanot said.

While not nearly as large but just as important, Watkins has been a Serena customer since 2001, around the time he arrived, Carr said.

Serena ChangeMan was installed originally just for mainframe process control, Carr said, and was maintained by seven people, including three developers, one project planner, an analyst and database administrators. But as the company grew and started to convert to .Net application servers, coordination became paramount. And, even though Carr cant put a number on return on investment, he does know that time is money.

"As we got to be a larger and larger company, communication becomes important, and the great thing about Serena is that it can minimize downtime and rapidly back out any changes we implement. Any downtime in any system can literally cost our company money," Carr said. "The mission in IT is to have 100 percent availability all week long, with a few minutes down every night for recycles."

Down the road Watkins plans to further streamline its development operation and bring more applications to the open-system side. Carr said he will try to further eliminate change management that is now done manually, automate more, and be able to handle most of the load with just two developers and fewer scripted functions.

Also in the works is the ability to track all delivery trucks by a GPS (Global Positioning System), according to Carr.

In a world where time is money and change is constant, making deliveries on time requires adapting to and managing change. "The IT role here is to keep us in the shipping business, to continue to deliver technological edges over the other shippers," said Carr.

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