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Lilly Software Helps Invisible Technologies, Inc. Manage Data Around the Globe



24 March 2004, Hampton, NH (USA) —Easier application installations, improved program security, and the ability to manage data across a range of platforms are all reasons Invisible Technologies, Inc. adopted Microsoft .NET technologies into its business solutions. Headquartered in Garrett, Indiana, Invisible Technologies, Inc. is a leading marketer and innovator of consumer electronics for pets and hunting dogs sold under the Invisible Fenceâ and Innotekâ brands. As a Lilly VISUAL Enterprise™ customer, the company has been finding success with Lilly Software’s products built on the Microsoft .NET Framework, including VISUAL FinancialsÒ Global Edition, an accounting solution for companies with multiple divisions and VISUAL Mobile™, a wireless communications solution.

“Invisible Technologies has been rapidly evolving and growing,” said Michael R. Quinn, VP and Chief Financial Officer for Invisible Technologies, Inc. “In order for us to operate around the globe and to deliver superior customer service, we need to have information available quickly, whether it’s through the company intranet, on the Web or through mobile communications.” Lilly Software’s .NET Framework-based solutions work well with the company’s technology goals.

Invisible Technologies, Inc. is focused on improving its Web services, extending its sales channels, and strengthening its corporate communications. With products available worldwide through an integrated network of dealers and installers, retailers, and Web sites, the company was a prime candidate for Lilly Software’s new financial and mobile solutions. Built with Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003 and the .NET Framework, the first solution it implemented was VISUAL Financials Global Edition in March 2003. Invisible Technologies, Inc. saw immediate benefits, including improvements in data tracking and reporting, more flexibility in budgeting, streamlined transactions, and easier handling of multiple currency and revaluations.

“Microsoft is excited Lilly Software has chosen Visual Studio .NET and the .NET Framework to build robust solutions for its customers,” said David Lazar, director in the Developer and Platform Evangelism Division at Microsoft Corp. “By utilizing Lilly Software’s solutions, Invisible Technologies saw immediate benefits, resulting in a more productive environment.”

“With VISUAL Financials Global Edition, we are able to extract General Ledger account information immediately from a single screen, rather than having to open individual account screens to get the same data,” said Mary A. Pickett, Director of Finance. “This is a tremendous time saver. The greatest advantage, however, has been that our data is real-time. As activity occurs in production, we see immediacy in numbers for both revenue and gross margin.”

The company has also benefited from being able to view full income statement and balance sheet activity against budget in a single screen, as well as being able to analyze multiple fiscal years. Invisible Technologies, Inc. has set up reporting tools to reflect the way it runs its business and has significantly decreased paper consumption. “Before Global Edition, we were always printing reports,” said Pickett. “Now, the online inquiry system gives us our numbers and we can see everything from the high-level balance of accounts to line item details. Our IS department controls data mining with reports that deploy through the company Intranet, so that every department can access the accurate data that they require.”

Neal Puff, Director of IS Services, explains the benefits recognized by the IS department. “I think one of the greatest benefits from using products built on the .NET Framework is the standardization we can achieve, not only in how we deliver data but in how it is accessed. We can also apply more high-level security across our framework and train people faster because the tools are more intuitive than before.”

“On the administration side, we’re pleased with how well VISUAL Financials Global Edition works in a multi-plant operation, as well as with the stability and security of the .NET Framework in our environment,” said Andrew Swihart, Senior Network Administrator. “We use Microsoft products to run our office and by having business solutions built on the .NET Framework, we can easily manage data between diverse platforms. We’ve eliminated contention between applications. It’s also much simpler to perform upgrades and it integrates into our long-term business performance goals.”

In addition to using the financial application, the company has recently implemented VISUAL Mobile, Lilly Software’s new wireless solution. VISUAL Mobile allows managers to access high-level summary information from VISUAL Enterprise. It combines the portability and convenience of handheld devices with browser-based Microsoft .NET technologies, high-speed networking capabilities of Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi), and direct integration to the VISUAL database without the need for a third-party interface.

“Our international sales associates can verify orders and sales by customer and check inventory levels,” said Pickett. “Easy access to this information helps them to deliver the best customer service.”

As Lilly Software moves forward with .NET Framework-based development in its customer relationship management and order management solutions, Invisible Technologies, Inc. looks forward to integrating these new tools into its business and strengthening its company.

“With Microsoft .NET technologies, we feel the possibilities are endless,” said Swihart. “Using the flexibility and mobility of Visual Studio .NET 2003 and the .NET Framework, we can deploy a stand alone application and Web-based applications for remote users with a lower cost of ownership and administration. Lilly Software is using .NET technologies to allow small to mid-sized companies to have the same benefits as larger companies without the cost.”

With its strong management team, commitment to cutting-edge products, and high service standards, Invisible Technologies, Inc. is continuously improving, using technology to fuel the company’s vision and to advance the pet electronics industry.

About Lilly Software Associates

Lilly Software Associates, Inc. provides a complete line of enterprise and supply chain solutions for manufacturers and distributors. The VISUAL Enterprise™ suite of products helps companies capture and analyze real-time data about all their business processes using ERP, Project Management, Business Performance Management, Quality Management, Customer Relationship Management, and Warehouse Management System capabilities. From award-winning software to strategies in Lean Manufacturing and TOC, Lilly Software offers companies the tools they need for higher productivity and profitability.

Most VISUAL® applications run on Windows® 98, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, UNIX®, LINUX, Novell®, using SQLBase®, Microsoft SQL Server®, or ORACLE® relational databases.

Lilly Software has received many industry awards for its products, service, and financial growth since its inception. Most recently, the company has been voted one of the Top 10 Best of Breed solutions for manufacturing by readers of Consumer Goods Technology, listed in Software Magazine's Top 500, selected as a Top 100 Logistics Information Technology Provider in Inbound Logistics, listed in the Top 100 Application Vendors in Supply Chain e-Business, included in MSI's Top 100 for its eighth year, and ranked as one of Start magazine's Hottest Companies.

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