Construction and Real Estate Executives Reveal Technology Insights on Infrastructure Lifecycle Management (ILM) at Meridian User Conference

Target, Barton Malow, Haskell, Trammell Crow Company and PeopleSoft executives discuss effective cultural and business management changes using the capabilities of Meridian's ILM solutions

FOLSOM, Calif. (October 21, 2004) — Meridian Systems�, an enterprise solution provider for optimizing the Plan, Build and Operate phases of real estate, construction and other infrastructure programs, announces the successful completion of its eighth annual International User Conference—themed Accelerating Business Performance. The conference provided hundreds of attendees insight into improving top-line revenue growth while reducing capital construction costs when the conference convened at Disney's Contemporary Resort in Orlando, Fla.

Four general session panel discussions were a large draw for this year's conference attendees. The sessions allowed executives from leading companies to field audience questions, offer views of the industry and give insights learned from deployment of Meridian's ILM solutions, Prolog Application Suite and Proliance. Moderator Scott Shuster, McGraw-Hill Construction/ENR consulting editor, kept the sessions lively, leading discussions and helping to connect the audience with panel members.

Steve Hage, manager of technology process and engineering from Target Corp., and John Bodrozic, Meridian president and cofounder, kicked off the series of panels by discussing the state of technology across the real estate, construction and facility lifecycle. Bodrozic addressed how technology must provide insights across a project lifecycle — specifically to automate the plan, build, and operate processes and tasks. Hage spoke to Target's embrace of ILM to streamline the process of store openings. Target schedules store openings only three times per year to take advantage of economies of scale. As a result, enterprise-wide collaboration is key to ensure all teams are synchronized to meet these specific timeframes. Hage's solution insights challenged the audience to consider ILM as a differentiator for their organizations. Target's experience spans Meridian's full portfolio of ILM solutions; the company began using Prolog in 2003 and expects to transition to Proliance in the near future.

During the session Improving Corporate Visibility: The Myths and Realities of Integration, Phil Go, chief information officer for Barton Malow, discussed the company's undertaking of a homegrown system to integrate Prolog and CMS (construction accounting/estimation tool from Computer Guidance). "Our CFO is very pleased with the improvement in our financial reporting. We can be certain that the numbers coming from our accounting system are the same as those entered in Prolog. The integration project has been very successful; but if we need to integrate other systems, we would look to an outside integration consultant to alleviate initial drain on internal resources as well as ongoing recurring maintenance and upgrade costs," said Go.

The panel also featured Sandra K. Benson, global industry director for PeopleSoft, who cautioned against approaching integration without a well-defined scope for the project. She stressed that linking only crucial information will keep an integration project focused and more likely to be completed on time and within budget.

Well received by conference attendees, the session Using Technology as a Competitive Weapon included, IT and project executives from Trammell Crow Company, SNC-Lavalin and the Haskell Company. Panelists agreed that visibility into overall operations and improved collaboration with owners are key drivers for their technology implementations. Ortez Gude, chief information officer for Haskell, spoke to the changes in store for the company's operations in the next few years. Gude views Prolog, and other management solutions, as vital to cultural change, helping to instill industry best practices, standardize operations across project offices and create efficiencies company-wide, ultimately leading to a better aligned and more competitive company.

Jim Olsen, Meridian chief executive officer, used the Meridian Executive Roundtable to comment on the competitive rumors that Meridian plans to grandfather its flagship project management point-solution. "Prolog is a stronger offering today than ever before. It's the industry leading project management solution, offering robust functionality to companies who need to better manage their projects. Meridian's expanded product portfolio of Prolog, Proliance and ProjectTalk offer the industry the only full range of solutions from one vendor. As we all know, one product does not fit all needs; yet, our competitors continue to sell one size fits all.

"Meridian’s evolution to serving the ILM market rounds out our solution set and answers the requests of our owner and builder clients; but ILM in no way means that we're leaving behind our core competency of project management," remarked Olsen. "Much to competitor chagrin, we'll continue to support and improve Prolog and our full portfolio far into the future."

Indeed, Meridian used the 2004 user conference to sneak peek enhancements to Prolog. Planned feature releases of the product in 2005 and 2006 will include collaboration improvements, UI updates and integrations with Microsoft Outlook and Meridian's enterprise solution Proliance. The company plans to announce further details in Q1 of 2005.

Meridian will make footage of the 2004 International User Conference general sessions available to members of the media and registered attendees. To obtain CD copies of the sessions, contact Meridian's event team at Email Contact or (916) 294-2068.

About Meridian Systems
Meridian Systems provides enterprise solutions that optimize the plan, build and operate phases of real estate, construction and other physical infrastructure initiatives. Meridian solutions are used by more than 8,500 of today's large building owners, government agencies, and engineering and construction firms to improve top line revenue growth while reducing their capital construction costs. Meridian uniquely provides both traditional software and hosted ASP solutions, and ranks as a market share leader in project management software among general contractors with over $100 million in revenue*. Meridian has an impressive track record of revenue growth over its 11-year history, and has been repeatedly recognized as a Constructech Hottest Technology company. Meridian is headquartered in Folsom, Calif. For more information, call Meridian at 1-800-850-2660, or go to www.meridiansystems.com.

*Statistics excerpted from CFMA's 2004 Information Technology Survey for the Construction Industry, fourth edition with the permission of the Construction Financial Management Association, Princeton, NJ, 609-452-8000.

Meridian Systems Contact
Sue Watkins, Director of Marketing
(916) 294-2136, Email Contact



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