President and CEO
Pursuing the Difficult The dot-com party is over, and thats just fine with Larry Tanning.
As president and CEO of Tanning Technology Corp., Tanning has focused his company on integrating a clients back-office systems to e-commerce apps. Gone are the days when a consultant could make a buck cobbling together a Web package or two for the latest Internet startup, he says.
"The easy stuff is now over," he notes. "Its going to be very difficult for e-integrators switching from design and strategy and … trying to become a heavy lifter."
Tanning Technology specializes in developing complex, high-transaction volume systems for companies such as E*Trade and Federal Express. The integrator is further refining that model, targeting such vertical markets as financial services and launching initiatives to fine-tune its pursuit of the difficult.
Making It Easier Tanning Technologys integration work involves much customization, but the company is building repeatable processes and components to make the job easier. Tanning Technology starts by considering a customers business strategy, analyzes its systems to understand constraints and success factors, and then applies a methodology to determine where the big wins are. That "architecture-driven" approach helps identify the types of products a given project requires and provides a sense of the volumes and service levels that need to be met, Tanning says.
Tanning Technology also pursues alliances, which will become more important as the company battles larger foes such as the Big Five consultants. The company, for example, has an alliance with Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC), a 40,000-employee integrator that gives Tanning Technology "bandwidth and credibility," according to Tanning. Specifically, SAIC lends a hand with delivery and development.
Finally, Tanning Technology is working to incorporate offshore development—the company has resources in India—into its solutions. Tanning Technology believes offshore development also will reduce costs, enabling the company to pass along a price advantage to customers. The strategy is similar to that of Cognizant Technology Solutions.
The task of creating an efficient onshore/offshore development process certainly isnt easy, Tanning admits. "I still havent seen a company that has figured it out exactly."
Thats Tannings kind of task.