REVIEWER: Marc McQuain, president of Vindico Retail.

BACKGROUND: Vindico Retail is an independent specialist provider of retail delivery to the U.S. and UK retail property markets. The company helps ensure the success of retail-led property assets such as shopping centers, resorts, airports and urban centers by representing the voice of the tenant from the earliest stages of the planning process and working with developers to ensure all involved parties understand the significance of their decisions.

PLATFORMS: Windows 2003, SQL 2000.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Vindico Retail needed a better way to manage and coordinate the highly complex, multigeographic projects we work on. Because the teams assembled for each development project include external parties in diverse locations, we needed a way to help these people collaborate and share information, ensuring consistent access to accurate and up-to-date documentation. Additionally, given extensive regulatory compliance guidelines governing the execution of projects, Interwoven WorkSite MP (WSMP) has enabled us to meet strict compliance mandates, avoiding inadvertent violations that could delay development cycles. Furthermore, Interwoven has helped us effectively capture and make available the expertise and institutional memory that has made us successful in this highly specialized business.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: We've organized and designed "workspaces" in our Interwoven WSMP collaborative document management system to cater specifically to the needs of our industry while also creating templates that minimize administration requirements. Within these workspaces, our teams share drawings and other project information across locations. The adherence to specific templates that make intuitive sense to industry users was a key initiative, particularly due to the technological phobias that are prevalent within our industry. The ability of WSMP to scale and accommodate broad security requirements was immensely useful in addressing the needs of our clients. Task lists, threaded discussions and other collaborative features help team members work together quickly and accurately to meet tight deadlines. The product's repository, accessible by authorized users in any location via a Web browser, serves as the definitive source for up-to-date documentation, with check-in/check-out and revision control to prevent errors. Furthermore, all project content is centrally captured, tracked and managed to ensure each project or client's retail delivery goals are achieved, and management can use dashboard views to check project status at any time.

STRENGTHS: The flexibility of WSMP has helped us adapt the product to the specific and somewhat idiosyncratic requirements of our business and integrate within a larger IT framework. The robustness of Interwoven's security model has also been critical, and we have put staff and clients' fears to rest around sharing information over the Web. Additionally, WSMP is built on an open platform, has a .NET API and has comprehensive Java documentation.

WEAKNESSES: Because WSMP's flexibility enables us to build workspaces to mirror clients' existing corporate structures and workflows, the WSMP implementation often becomes the catalyst for overhauling a client's outdated or inefficient processes.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We wanted to achieve instant project status, a searchable repository with full version control, extensive collaborative features and process automation. Interwoven was the only vendor that provided the necessary flexibility and customization to become a core part of our business, along with the international coverage we need to support projects in any location.

DELIVERABLES: WSMP is used as a project management and collaboration tool for delivery to retail and restaurant tenants, an in-house corporate management and documentation tool, and a client management and business development tracking tool.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Interwoven continues to support our internal staff with a dedicated engineer contact and through its developer network (Interwoven DevNet).

DOCUMENTATION: It would be helpful to receive additional documentation for end users describing the modifications and changes in new product versions.

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