REVIEWER: Agnès Poizeau, mapping and architecture manager for Arcelor.

BACKGROUND: Arcelor is the largest steel producer in the world. It manufactures products of high added value – stainless steel, flat carbon steel, steel plate – intended primarily for the automotive, construction, packaging and household appliance industries.

PLATFORMS: The system runs on Microsoft Windows; the repository is hosted on a LAN server under Microsoft Windows/NT.

PROBLEM SOLVED: We determined that a global approach that accommodates changes over the long term for our current and future IT group projects was crucial for our long- term success. To help accomplish this, we began mapping our corporate applications in 1998 using Microsoft's PowerPoint, Access and FrontPage, but these tools soon reached their limits. Now we are using the MEGA Software Suite to map all of our corporate applications so we can better adapt to future changes nimbly and with controlled costs. Through this IT planning project, 18 information systems have been mapped to date, including approximately 1,300 application modules and 5,000 inter-application messages.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The MEGA Software Suite helps teams of business and IT systems analysts design, improve and support strategic business processes. The MEGA Software Suite is comprised of five modules: MEGA Process, which helps companies understand their business requirements; MEGA Architecture, which enables companies to define and map information systems; MEGA Development, which enables companies to design their legacy and e-business applications; MEGA Database, which enables organizations to develop databases; and MEGA Integration, which provides sophisticated integration design features.

STRENGTHS: MEGA provides a number of benefits. MEGA Suite addresses complex business critical projects with an extensible repository (ModelWarehouse) that makes information available to both our business and IT users. Architects and business analysts share the same information and can take advantage of sophisticated impact analysis features. MEGA Suite automates the integration life cycle in a single environment – supported by a strong repository and methodology in a fully standards-compliant framework. The company has deep domain expertise that derives from its systems integration/consulting origins (Cap Gemini).

WEAKNESSES: The deployed version of MEGA features license control based on a key server. We would prefer a more efficient approach. An upcoming version of the product resolves this issue for us.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Discussions within Arcelor on IT planning issues resulted in the publishing of architecture and modeling requirements. Based upon these requirements, we selected MEGA International to pool all the knowledge of the enterprise, make it accessible and ensure its consistency. MEGA was chosen because of the quality of its software and consultants and the support it provides.

DELIVERABLES: IT planning for Arcelor includes managing the enterprise repository, which models all existing applications with the associated business processes. Mapping provides an overall view of the different information systems currently found within Arcelor, shows their potential and contributes to the management and decision-making process. Specifically, we mapped applications in terms of systems, applications, data, flows, organizational units, peripherals, etc. MEGA's repository and its intranet documentation feature enable Arcelor to disseminate information and future mapping changes to users via our intranet. More than 20,000 HTML pages have been automatically produced by the MEGA generator. In addition, Arcelor architects will deploy the MEGA Integration module to integrate our business systems with webMethods' server capabilities. Arcelor will also use MEGA Suite for an upcoming program, which includes all new projects addressing the technological orientations of Arcelor and our information-system upgrade requirements.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Our implementation team worked with MEGA's staff to adapt the MEGA environment to our needs and parametrize the tool. In addition, MEGA's technical consultants ensure rapid integration of the existing MS PowerPoint and MS Access databases into the MEGA repository.

DOCUMENTATION: The standard documentation was adequate. It allowed us to understand and deploy the product.

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