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Companies are using more management tools today than they were in 2000, mainly to save money, according to a recent survey. Bain & Co. surveyed 708 corporate executives and managers from 70 countries and found that, on average, companies used 16.1 tools in 2002, up from an average of 10.4 tools in 2000. Strategic planning, defined by Bain as a comprehensive process for determining what a business should become and how to allocate resources to that end, rates as the number-one management tool with 89 per cent of respondents saying they use it. Benchmarking tools and mission and vision statements tied for second on Bain’s list of tools as 84 per cent of respondents said they use them. Customer segmentation tools (79 per cent) ranked fourth and outsourcing (78 per cent) ranked fifth. Customer relationship management tools moved up from 15th place to seventh place, the highest jump of any tool listed in the top-25, as 78 per cent of companies said they were using some form of CRM. Knowledge management has ranked 15th on Bain’s list, as 62 per cent of respondents said they were using it. When Bain began measuring KM use in 1996, just 28 per cent of respondents said they used it. – Jon Surmacz, U.S.

New equity marketplace selects Q9

The Canadian Trading and Quotation System Inc. (CNQ), a new equity marketplace serving the needs of emerging companies, investment dealers and investors, has selected the managed hosting services of Q9 Networks Inc., the provider of managed Internet infrastructure services announced in April. Q9 is providing the CNQ Web site ( and trading network a combination of physical space and managed services such as bandwidth and firewalls. CNQ has created a unique market model, matching enhanced disclosure and streamlined regulation with technology to meet the needs and characteristics of emerging companies, their investors and investment dealers. Combined with regulatory oversight, this provides an efficient new marketplace for trading equity securities. “Outsourcing to Q9 is a cost-effective alternative to building our own infrastructure and allows us to go live in a much shorter time-frame,” the release attributed to Michael Malone, COO, CNQ. “Since CNQ is a fully automated marketplace that provides immediate electronic execution of trades, the availability and responsiveness of its trading system and Web site will be key to establishing the CNQ brand,” noted Q9 CEO Osama Arafat. The Q9 suite of customer care products and services include a Web-based portal that provides complete visibility into customer equipment and Q9 services.

IBM boosts on-demand with Toronto firm buy

Bolstering its on-demand offerings, IBM Corp. announced in May that it has acquired Toronto software firm Think Dynamics Inc. and its suite of products that allows users to automate management of data centre processes. The ThinkControl suite allows what IBM calls orchestrated provisioning for infrastructure provisioning, capacity management and service level management. This, according to IBM, provides network managers with feedback on the IT environment in real-time, checks status of systems against business policies and makes changes to the IT environment automatically. Robert LeBlanc, general manager for IBM Tivoli in Dallas, said the goal of this acquisition is to provide the means for customers to provision their IT infrastructures automatically and relate it back to their business needs. In the past, customers would have to over-provision their IT environments to prepare for their biggest surge of network activity. For example, if a bank wanted to run a promotion, it would need to prepare months in advance for the potential surge of traffic on its Web site. With on-demand, and Think Dynamic’s think control suite, this process would be automated and lessen the need for the removal and installation of new equipment to accommodate traffic on the network. – Rebecca Reid

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