Niku adds IT governance features to software

FRAMINGHAM (03/16/2004) - Niku Corp. Monday introduced a new version of its flagship portfolio management tools with features aimed at helping IT organizations align more effectively with business departments and support their IT governance techniques.

The package, which is written in Java and has been rebranded as Clarity Version 7, is a set of eight Web-based modules that include an authoring tool to create project and delivery methodologies, as well as resource management and chargeback modules.

Clarity also includes new "what-if" scenario-planning capabilities, said David Hurwitz, vice president of marketing at Niku. Those features allow IT project managers and business executives to determine the effect of moving deadlines for projects to a later quarter or changing the business alignment criteria of a project or a set of projects from a cost-containment focus to revenue growth.

Clarity, which runs on a variety of Unix and Microsoft Windows platforms, is priced from US$150,000 to a few million dollars, depending on the number of modules purchased and the number of end users on an enterprise license, said Hurwitz.

One Clarity customer, Armstrong World Industries Inc., is in the process of installing the system for several hundred IT and business managers worldwide, said Mark Young, director of program management at the $3 billion-plus manufacturer of floors, ceilings and cabinets.

Armstrong completed the design phase for the implementation late last month and plans to extend the portfolio management tools to its 173 IT staffers in May, followed by its Six Sigma quality control division in June and its building and ceiling divisions in early August.

Young said Clarity is a particularly good fit with the new product development group within Armstrong's flooring division. "Clarity offers that front-end piece where we can take a generation of new ideas and develop business cases against those," said Young. "That's critical because as an international company, this gives us much better control and better communication between the groups."

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