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Lovin' the Lab
Just when I was beginning to think you guys aren't relevant to the kind of environment we face as a small to midsize company, you set up the NWC Inc. lab ("A Start-Up Is Born," Dec. 1, 2002).

You're in a unique position to write about making technology choices based on existing business conditions. Too often it's assumed that if a solution is new or has new features, it should be implemented even if your existing solution is working just fine.

I'll be intrigued to hear what other readers have to say about your technology choices. To mirror a "real" company, I think you made an important choice in going with Microsoft Exchange. We live and breathe Exchange, even if it and Outlook create far too much frustration.

The dichotomy between DB2 and SQL Server is typical in midsize to large companies as well because many decisions are tied to implementing a particular application at the departmental level. But you do have to ask yourself whether you could have cut some costs by running everything off Oracle. (In the glory days of the bubble, you couldn't get venture-capital financing unless your application ran on Oracle.)

Thanks again for a thought-provoking "enterprise."

Rich Snow

IT Director; Mount Auburn Cemetery
[email protected]

Value by Numbers
I appreciate David Joachim's effort in writing "The Business Case" (Dec. 15, 2002). The issue of IT spending probably has such a profound impact on the future of Nasdaq that it's important for accountants worldwide to depart from their conventional thinking. It's high time to come up with a way to quantify value-add in a process flow or a way to quantify productivity improvement.

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