Hidden within the bowels of any large company are valuable assets. Take
a peek in closets and warehouses and you never know what you might find.
Over there are the desktop machines that got left behind six months ago
when a division moved to new space across town. Maybe it wasn't necessary
to buy new machines for the new sales people, just at the height of that
memory chip shortage when prices peaked. And say, there's a lathe that
won't be used for at least six months; wonder if we could sell it now
and buy a different one when the contract comes in. Oh, and what's in
that supply shed...
goal is to make assets as liquid as cash. That means that the location,
status, depreciated value, and market value of every one needs to be instantly
available. Its vision is to move asset management from a static back office
report generation process to an active, real-time application that can
be queried at a moment's notice by a manager or CFO. Not only will this
give a company greater visibility and control over capital assets, but
iVita suggests it will also tap the hidden value of expensed assets. iVita
reasons that as Internet markets proliferate it will be sufficiently easy
to realize cash from expensed assets that items previously left to rust
can become valuable cash management tools.
iVita's strategy is to plug its products in between procurement and disposal,
and be the one access point for all information about any assets a client
company wants to track. Besides the basic tracking that would be expected
of any asset management package iVita intends to add:
of current value, through links to dynamic markets and blue books
of location, through embedded signaling devices in inventory tags
of e-marketplaces, through partnerships.
For example, in the health industry (one of its initial target verticals,
along with energy), the company points out that assets range from large
devices whose purchase cycles are partly driven by technology, such as
CAT and MRI scanners, through IV pumps which typically float freely through
a hospital or nursing home, rental equipment like wheelchairs, and intangibles
such as software licenses.
company will focus its initial sales efforts on large enterprises, but
will develop a territory-based sales staff to sell to mid-sized firms.
iVita also expects a significant level of sales from secondary channels.
Disposal markets such as partner TradeOut.com will have a vested interest
in bringing their customers to iVita to increase the flow of used assets.
Business consultancies will inform their customers about iVita because
this level of asset management will be quickly recognized as a business
iVita's services will be offered on a hosted basis. The initial offering
is just entering beta, with general availability expected during the third
There are estimated to be billions of dollars in savings and cash flow
that go unrealized because complete and accurate information about assets
is not available on a timely basis. iVita appears to be the first to enter
this market, and a successful launch should give iVita the chance to capture
a large segment of it.
will be competing with more traditional asset management products, both
those that are stand-alone and those that are part of ERP systems. Some
of these, especially those sold by companies with substantial experience
in Web technologies, should be able to match some of iVita's key features
without excessive difficulty.
If you expect to be acquiring an asset management capability within the
next six to nine months, and you are not opposed on principle to being
an early adopter, it is worth talking to iVita. The beta results should
be available about the time you need to develop your short list of vendors.
If iVita's initial implementation has the necessary interfaces to your
back-end systems (or if you and iVita can work out an agreement to develop
such interfaces), you can weigh those results and the ROI against the
offerings of other vendors.
Any company, whether about to select an asset management package or not,
will want to follow iVita's development over the next year. There will
undoubtedly be live presentations and Web seminars, and it would not be
foolish to drag the CFO to one. If iVita can make good on its promise
of converting a jumble of assets into bottom line value it have a shot
at being the next Really Big Thing.