2003 Winner: Industrial Research
Alberta-Based Company Develops Efficient Organizing Software
Acrodex Inc., a private Alberta-based company, has developed innovative web-based software that helps organizations better manage all aspects of service delivery by automating core business processes and integrating them internally and with clients, suppliers and partners.
Optimization through Convergence
Arcspan™ provides an integrated view into the overall organization and captures real-time information to allow a company to deploy resources more efficiently. Individual modules include a resource management feature that tracks human resource skills and assigns people with optimal skill sets to highest priority projects. The project management module tracks project milestones, identifies projects at risk and sends automated alerts for intervention. An expense management feature allocates expense data against specific projects to accurately track overall project costs.
The Arcspan suite allows an organization to measure its performance at many levels, including customer and employee satisfaction. Acrodex recognized a market for such a tool in 1997 when web-enabled technologies were in an early stage of development. The company approached Microsoft to work jointly to evaluate web technologies using this concept. The positive outcomes of this initiative were showcased by Microsoft as part of their web-based road show in 1999 and 2000.
From Prototype to Product
Acrodex received NRC/IRAP funding in 2001 to hire the Aberdeen Group, a Boston-based market research company, to evaluate a prototype version of Arcspan. After further research recommended by the consultant and supported by IRAP, Arcspan has been developed into a full suite of business management applications that ranks among the top 25 products in the professional services automation sector.
The product is now in the early stage of commercialization. Arcspan has been deployed at three beta customer sites and has been adapted as a commercial hosted solution by two other clients. Edmonton-based Hawk Engineering reports that the tool has helped the company to better monitor the profitability of individual business units, more efficiently manage remote teams, and more effectively collaborate with clients.
Last year, Microsoft Corporation recognized Arcspan with an Innovation Award in the Business Intelligence space and has recently approached Acrodex to partner with them to determine how to integrate Arcspan into Microsoft’s new customer relationship management (CRM) product. Acrodex plans to use the NRC/ASTech Prize to hire a graduate student to work on this project. Integration of Arcspan with Microsoft CRM will significantly enhance Arcspan’s market penetration.
Founded in 1984, Acrodex delivers innovative technology-related solutions to assist organizations in meeting their performance and financial objectives.