REVIEWER: Patrick W. Cooper, senior enterprise architect for Cox Enterprises, Inc.

BACKGROUND: Cox Enterprises is one of the nation’s leading media companies and providers of automotive services, with 2006 revenues of $13.2 billion and 80,000 employees.

PLATFORMS: The MEGA Modeling Suite central repository and Web sites are installed on a shared HP DL380 G5 server running Microsoft Windows Server software. Client software is run on laptops and workstations running Microsoft Windows XP Professional.

PROBLEM SOLVED: We pursued an enterprise architecture (EA) application to help us better service the business. Key goals were to more effectively capture and convey the business objectives, model business processes and technical solutions, and understand the impact to our business from technology and process changes. It was also important to us to be able to effectively implement and manage architecture standards throughout our organization. We have accomplished these goals and more with our MEGA implementation.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: With MEGA, we have an integrated set of tools to support our EA practice.We use the process, architecture, data, application programming interface, dictionary, Unified Modeling Language, project requirements, reporting and Web features. MEGA also provides components that we currently do not use, such as the risk and compliance tools. We leverage MEGA’s ability to visually model and textually describe our business and technology. With the integrated tools, we are able to capture the business processes, objectives and requirements, as well as what applications and services satisfy our business needs. We are also able to model the supporting physical infrastructure across our global operations. Managing all these aspects in a single system gives us a thorough understanding of where we are today and how we will get to where we want to be.

STRENGTHS: MEGA has proven to be a highly flexible product. With relative ease, we have been able to create additional features and capabilities specific to some of our unique requirements. MEGA is also a very robust solution capable of meeting the many different demands of our EA practice. The seamless integration of information, variety of modeling views and multiuser abilities have all exceeded our expectations. An intuitive user interface and advanced security features have delivered exceptional usability.

WEAKNESSES: The MEGA application programming interface provides developing integration with virtually any application; however, MEGA did not provide as an option the application integrations we required, and they won’t be providing integration to our portfolio management tool until sometime in the future. We had to develop the integration to our change management application. In the many report templates provided, MEGA did not originally include some of the TOGAF outputs that we expected to see out of the box as part of an EA solution.

SELECTION CRITERIA: In choosing a product, we wanted a proven solution that could be customized to our specific needs and grow with our business as we evolve our EA discipline. With MEGA’s full suite of out-of-the-box capabilities and long track record of success, we felt MEGA was the best choice for our complete EA solution. With MEGA we saw the best opportunity to eliminate modeling applications and associated costs with a robust, integrated set of functionalities. For example, unlike some tools, MEGA’s data modeling and reporting capabilities made it possible for us to eliminate licenses for separate data modeling and reporting products.

DELIVERABLES: MEGA’s document generation, matrix, Web generation and export features offer us an unlimited number of variations for accessing and presenting our models and information. Within the limits of this review, the opportunity does not exist to address the many ways we are using these features; however, two good examples we use regularly are the Microsoft Word and HTML generation. MEGA provides the ability to create templates with embedded queries to extract, format and present any information in the repository. We generate numerous Word documents that provide up-to-date documentation for projects, applications, etc. We also generate HTML pages to publish customized Web sites that present models and information specific to the needs of different customers.

VENDOR SUPPORT: MEGA support has been superior. Before, during and since the implementation, MEGA has provided timely expertise. What has been most significant about their support is their desire to not just resolve issues, but also to capture ideas. In many cases, we have seen enhancements to the product based on comments and requests.

DOCUMENTATION: Documentation is extensive and covers all features of the product.

MEGA Modeling Suite
MEGA International
175 Paramount Drive, Suite 303
Raynham, MA 02767
(781) 784-7684
http://www.mega.com/

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