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  1. 1. Table of contents – Part I “Service” I. SERVICE COMMITMENT.................................................................................................................3 A. Expertise and experience....................................................................................................................3 B. Research methods & qualifications.....................................................................................................3 C. Uniqueness of service..........................................................................................................................4 D. Independence and bias........................................................................................................................5 E. Personnel to be assigned......................................................................................................................5 F. Financial stability.................................................................................................................................5 II. REFERENCES......................................................................................................................................7 III. SERVICE TOPIC AREAS...............................................................................................................10 ............................................................................................................................................................11 ............................................................................................................................................................13 A: Application Delivery Strategies (ADS)........................................................................................15 B. Electronic Business Strategies (EBS)...........................................................................................16 C. Enterprise Data Center Strategies (EDCS)....................................................................................17 D. Global Networking Strategies (GNS)...........................................................................................19 E. Server Infrastructure Strategies (SIS)............................................................................................20 F. Service Management Strategies (SMS).........................................................................................21 G. Web & Collaboration Strategies (WCS).......................................................................................22 H. Enterprise Planning & Architecture Strategies (EPAS)................................................................23 I. Government Strategies (GOV).......................................................................................................24 K. Infusion Programs.........................................................................................................................26 IV. SERVICE LOGISTICS....................................................................................................................30 A. Maintain current and periodic updates..............................................................................................30 B. Custom research reports....................................................................................................................31 C. Documents.........................................................................................................................................31 D. Schedule of services..........................................................................................................................31 V. SERVICES SUMMARY....................................................................................................................32 A. Information deployment....................................................................................................................32 B. Personal appearances.........................................................................................................................33 C. Services unique to government & higher education.........................................................................33 D. Locally provided service...................................................................................................................33 E. Frequency of contact.........................................................................................................................34 F. Research and data collection.............................................................................................................34 G. Pricing methodology.........................................................................................................................35 H. Real time and short notice commitment...........................................................................................35 I. Services at no added costs..................................................................................................................35 J. Dependability and accuracy...............................................................................................................36 K. Two sample reports...........................................................................................................................37 L. Website access...................................................................................................................................37 M. On-demand / ad-hoc access..............................................................................................................37 N. Decision making process example....................................................................................................38 O. Three – Five year strategic direction.................................................................................................39 P. Partnerships........................................................................................................................................39 Q. Education on delivery system changes/updates................................................................................39 Research and Advisory Proposal for the State of Minnesota, November 2002 Section: “ Service” Page 1 of 39
  2. 2. Please see part II ‘Costs’ Research and Advisory Proposal for the State of Minnesota, November 2002 Section: “ Service” Page 2 of 39
  3. 3. I.SERVICE COMMITMENT A.Expertise and experience “Your firm’s expertise and experience in providing the research, strategic planning, and advisory services in the services areas identified below.” Since 1989, META Group has been helping businesses make better strategic and tactical decisions and leverage information technology. With more than 3,000 corporate and government clients worldwide, META Group provides structured transformation programs, advisory services, project consulting, measurement programs, and publications. META Group differentiates itself through its commitment to providing both a methodology derived from best practices and ongoing support to help clients achieve excellence. In short, META Group provides clients with the tools they need to reduce wasteful IT spending and to avoid the inefficiency of trial and error decision making. META Group is a different kind of consultancy. META Group’s business model emphasizes the importance of clients talking with an expert analysts as a primary means of delivering valuable knowledge and experience to clients. Our clients understand that the best IT analyst recommendations are made by understanding each client’s specific situation. This “in context,” dialogue between clients and analysts enables META Group to deliver insights, direction, and recommendations that are more accurate and move a client to sound decisions more rapidly than a dependence on reading and interpreting written research alone. META Group is highly committed to helping each client make the best decision in their specific and unique circumstance. This commitment enables META Group to provide best-practice experience, pertinent research, and practical insights that help clients to: •Understand key business issues •Develop tactical plans to move toward strategic goals •Minimize risk •Evaluate products and technologies •Assess vendor business practices and strategies •Develop financial strategies •Justify internal product and technology recommendations •Negotiate with vendors •Reduce and control the cost of IT •Determine and adopt best actions and best practices META Group is a publicly traded company with over $117 million in revenues in 2001, over 230nalysts and consultants, a substantial international client base, and a proven leadership role in the IT arena. META Group is recognized as one of the world’s top providers of information research and advisory services. B.Research methods & qualifications “Your firm’s research methods, number of individuals doing the research and their qualifications.” Our commitment to quality, consistency, and objectivity META Group’s research quality is at the heart of why thousands of organizations confidently rely upon and trust our insights. Information quality is controlled at multiple levels. META Group analysts develop individual research agendas that outline the critical issues, trends, markets, and vendors they will be focusing on for the upcoming year. Often, these agendas include a preliminary editorial calendar summarizing the key research papers the analyst intends to create. Research agendas are also driven by the ongoing interaction between analysts and META Group clients. Moreover, our interactions with clients are used to develop these agendas and review our positions, which are in turn in-depth and detailed. META Group analysts understand not only the strategic issues relating to technology, but also the practical implementation challenges facing IT Research and Advisory Proposal for the State of Minnesota, November 2002 Section: “ Service” Page 3 of 39
  4. 4. groups. This process ensures that analysts approach each topic with an appropriate level of understanding — and that positions are tested through detailed review with user clients. Based on the research agenda and vendor analysis, META Group analysts create written output (e.g., META Group Deltas), and METAViews (8-12 minute interviews with a Co-Research Director on “hot topics”), which are posted daily on our metagroup.com Web site. All of this research undergoes an exhaustive review process. In part, this includes vendor review to gain input on any possible factual errors relating to products or services. More importantly, peer META Group analysts across the organization provide further input and comments on research in progress — these drafts often are also reviewed by selected user clients to obtain real-world input. Finally, one of META Group’s Research Directors reads each research submission to ensure consistency of position across services and as a final quality-control check. Another element of the process that bolsters the overall quality of research is META Group’s weekly research meeting. Each Thursday, the research community convenes for three hours to discuss a series of seven research topics (one proposed by each of META Group’s seven core advisory services).This meeting provides an opportunity for analysts across the research community to comment on and debate topics being researched by various services. There is also a daily Research Directors’ meeting to discuss/analyze the latest breaking IT news. Output from this session is posted on our Web site as “News Analysis.” It is important to note that META Group incorporates both quantitative survey data and model-driven analysis of other market data to determine our positions. META Group gathers profile information for thousands of clients each year, as well as details surrounding tens of thousands of inquiries annually. This information represents critical “real world” data about user experiences with particular products and vendors. When examining markets, META Group analysts systematically review this information for patterns and trends. Complemented by insight gained through ongoing META Group Consulting projects, multi-client studies, lab analysis of software products by our SPEX research report division, and other META Group sources, this information is used to refine trends and make initial assessments of key markets. These background findings are then combined with data gathered during frequent meetings with vendors and finally organized and filtered to create META Group’s bottom-line view of a particular market or vendor/product. Research is also constantly refreshed. Presentations at periodic META Group conferences (7-8 per year) and executive briefings (dozens per year) represent targets for updating research positions. In addition, each retainer service updates its research coverage and META Trends for publication each January. META Trends in particular are an important research component, with each service producing 10-14 key statements about what META Group believes will occur in critical technology areas. Periodically, META Group also publishes “report card” documents revisiting Trends from previous years and outlining where META Group was right or wrong. Finally, specific Deltas and presentation materials relating to market/vendor review are typically updated one to four times per year, depending on the market. As a leading advisory services company, META Group draws from candidates with broad and diverse backgrounds, including those with post-graduate degrees (50%), real-world IT experience (averaging 13 years, with 25%+ topping 20 years), Fortune 500 backgrounds (20%), senior executive expertise (40% were directors or above, with 10% at the CxO level), and reputations as industry thought leaders. META Group analysts average more than 13 years of direct IT business and "in the trenches" experience; more than 25% of our analysts have at least 20 years of experience. C.Uniqueness of service “Any uniqueness of your service that might differentiate your firm from another or what do you provide that others don’t.” We distance ourselves from competitors in five key areas: -Action-Oriented Focus META Group moves clients from insight to action — no other company in the industry can make this claim. Offering consistent, quality analysis, META Group’s research serves as the catalyst. Building on this foundation, META Group’s structured transformation programs — featuring proven methods, tools, and dedicated support — enable clients to actively drive organizational change around key business and technology challenges. -An Unparalleled Research Engine Our research analysts work daily with Global 2000 companies. They convene weekly at a three-hour research meeting to deliberate today’s toughest issues. And they ultimately come to agreement on best practices, models, and methods. To ensure that we continually deliver this consistency and “speak with one voice,” META Group reinvests more in research and client services on a percentage basis than any of our competitors. Research and Advisory Proposal for the State of Minnesota, November 2002 Section: “ Service” Page 4 of 39
  5. 5. -Integrated Consulting Capabilities Tightly integrated with our research engine, META Group’s consulting division addresses leading-edge issues that lack clear- cut answers. The synergy between our consulting arm and our research advisory services enhances META Group’s ability to quickly drive consulting projects to viable outcomes, giving clients time to seize competitive opportunities. -Client Intimacy META Group maintains the industry’s highest analyst-to-client ratio — affording analysts more opportunities to speak directly with our clients. As a result, we develop a keen understanding of our clients’ needs for both immediate tactical answers and longer-term strategies. We are able to closely collaborate with our clients — in ways that are best suited for them. -An Objective, Unbiased, and Vendor-Neutral Stance META Group generates unbiased research with a user focus. As a core element of our corporate promise, objectivity is synonymous with our name. For further detailed information regarding analyst experience, please reference the analyst biography tab within the advisory services pages at META Group’s public web site at http://www.metagroup.com/products/products.htm. D.Independence and bias “How your firm maintains an independent and unbiased approach to research. “ META Group generates unbiased research with a user focus. As a core element of our corporate promise, objectivity is synonymous with our name. E.Personnel to be assigned “Qualifications and availability of personnel to be assigned to support the proposed services and contract." As an integral part of our commitment to service excellence, META Group’s Client Services team ensures that each client has dedicated assistance and quick decision-oriented information. A combination of research assistant, help desk, trusted advocate, and administrative support, Client Services connects our clients with everything META Group has to offer: research analysts/consultants, events, our extensive in-house research library, and much more. Our Client Services hotline has a turn-around time of no more than 4 business hours. Additionally the State of Minnesota will be assigned local Account Management representation. F.Financial stability “Demonstrate you firm’s financial stability through audited or un-audited financial statements that show financial stability, letters of reference from bankers or financial consults or a commitment to post performance bonds.” 2001 Results • Total revenues were $117.8 million, a decrease of 1.2% from $119.3 million for the year 2000. These revenues include a $4.3 million positive incremental impact from the acquisitions of the Company's Canada and Asia Pacific distributors in late 2000 and early 2001. Retainer-based Research and Advisory Services revenues were $85.5 million, up 1.1% from $84.6 million in 2000. Revenues from Strategic Consulting decreased 3.0% to $26.9 million in 2001, compared to $27.7 million in 2000. Revenues from Published Research Products were $5.4 million in 2001, compared to $7.0 million in 2000, a decline of 22.4%. • Gross margin improved to 47.0% from 41.5% in 2000. • Net loss was $17.6 million, or $1.47 per fully diluted share, compared with a net loss of $10.5 million, or $0.97 per diluted share, for the year 2000. The effective tax rate reflects certain capital losses that are not expected to be realized in the future due to uncertainties as to the utilization of such losses. Included in the prior-year results was the cumulative effect of an accounting principle change of $2.4 million, or $0.22 per fully diluted share, related to the Company's adoption of Staff Accounting Bulletin 101 (Revenue Recognition) in the fourth quarter of 2000. • EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) was negative $12.3 million for 2001, compared to negative $7.8 million in 2000. • Cash flow from operations was $18.2 million, in contrast to negative cash flow from operations of $10.6 million in year 2000. Research and Advisory Proposal for the State of Minnesota, November 2002 Section: “ Service” Page 5 of 39
  6. 6. • Net cash position (cash plus marketable securities less outstanding debt) was $10.5 million at December 31, 2001, compared to negative $10.6 million at December 31, 2000. • Days sales outstanding (DSO) at December 31, 2001 was 118 days, versus 181 days at the end of 2000. • The Company was not in compliance with certain financial covenants, including EBITDA and leverage ratios contained in its credit facility, and is currently negotiating a waiver from the lender, though there can be no assurance it will be received META Group, Inc. OPERATING RESULTS Quarter Ended December 31, Year Ended December 31, (in thousands, except per share data) 2001 2000 2001 2000 Revenues Research and advisory services $20,668 $20,375 $85,483 $84,556 Published research products 1,760 1,982 5,439 7,009 Total renewable revenues 22,428 22,357 90,922 91,565 Strategic consulting 7,868 8,616 26,863 27,707 Total revenues 30,296 30,973 117,785 119,272 Operating expenses Cost of services and fulfillment 16,507 22,334 62,439 69,728 Selling and marketing 14,477 11,819 45,242 37,161 General and administrative 4,986 7,470 15,426 17,519 Depreciation and amortization 1,990 1,863 7,708 4,867 Restructuring charge - - 359 - Total operating expenses 37,960 43,486 131,174 129,275 Operating income (loss) (7,664) (12,513) (13,389) (10,003) Impairment loss (6,311) (2,640) (9,165) (2,640) Other income (expense), net (21) (400) 2,063 361 Loss before (benefit) for income taxes (13,996) (15,553) (20,491) (12,282) (Benefit) for income taxes (970) (5,585) (2,881) (4,244) Loss before cumulative effect of change in accounting principle (13,026) (9,968) (17,610) (8,038) Cumulative effect of change in accounting principle - - - (2,438) Net loss ($13,026) ($9,968) ($17,610) ($10,476) Amounts per basic common share: Loss before cumulative effect of change in accounting principle ($1.01) ($0.91) ($1.47) ($0.75) Cumulative effect of change in accounting principle $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 ($0.22) Net loss ($1.01) ($0.91) ($1.47) ($0.97) Amounts per diluted common share: Loss before cumulative effect of change in accounting principle ($1.01) ($0.91) ($1.47) ($0.75) Cumulative effect of change in accounting principle $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 ($0.22) Net loss ($1.01) ($0.91) ($1.47) ($0.97) Weighted average basic shares outstanding 12,843 10,898 11,960 10,763 Weighted average diluted shares outstanding 12,843 10,898 11,960 10,763 BALANCE SHEET DATA December 31, December 31, (in thousands) 2001 2000 Assets Cash and cash equivalents $21,433 $3,622 Accounts receivable, net 40,542 57,825 Research and Advisory Proposal for the State of Minnesota, November 2002 Section: “ Service” Page 6 of 39
  7. 7. Deferred tax asset 2,689 5,806 Tax refund receivable 0 2,100 Deferred commissions 1,150 3,428 Other current assets 2,208 1,455 Total current assets 68,022 74,236 Marketable securities 0 6,719 Long-term portion of accounts receivable 2,572 4,444 Furniture and equipment, net 11,939 14,712 Deferred tax asset 9,866 3,733 Goodwill and other intangibles, net 33,872 23,532 Investments and advances 8,190 18,818 Other assets 554 6,269 Total assets $135,015 $152,463 Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity Deferred Revenues $45,827 $44,087 Accounts payable 2,068 4,856 Borrowings under revolving credit agreement 3,042 20,900 Current portion of long-term debt 2,724 Accrued compensation 5,709 6,086 Accrued liabilities 6,918 3,849 Income taxes payable 567 176 Other current liabilities 5,450 463 Total current liabilities 72,305 80,417 Long-term portion of deferred revenues 4,813 6,338 Long-term debt 5,111 0 Total liabilities 82,229 86,755 Stockholders' equity: Common stock 136 116 Paid-in capital 58,102 52,874 Accumulated other comprehensive loss (381) (160) Treasury stock (659) (320) Retained earnings (deficit) (4,412) 13,198 Total stockholders' equity 52,786 65,708 Total liabilities and stockholders' equity $135,015 $152,463 II.REFERENCES “Provide a list of six customer references from customers who have used your research services for at least one year and who operate and manage data processing installations which are similar in size, configuration and user community to the State of Minnesota’s diverse data processing environments. It is preferred that one or more of these references be from other state governments. • Brief summary of the firm’s services to that customer. • Managers and users of your services to contact whom we could interview.” Below is a list of reference sites as requested, client testimonials can be found at : Research and Advisory Proposal for the State of Minnesota, November 2002 Section: “ Service” Page 7 of 39
  8. 8. http://www.metagroup.com/corporate/testimonials.htm META Group wishes to mark the REFERENCES listed in this response as trade secret materials and does not want this information released. References includes key contact details for META Group customers. META Group does does not wish to make public this information for fear that competitors might target that business. State of NC Joe Lithgo COO Information Technology Services (919) 850-2773 State of NC joe.lithgo@ncmail.net META Services: Government Strategies, Application Delivery Strategies, Electronic Business Strategies, Enterprise Data Center Strategies, Global Networking Strategies, Server Infrastructure Strategies, Service Management Strategies and Web & Collaboration Strategies, Executive Directions Infusions: Adaptive Infrastructure Infusion, Operations Excellence Infusion, Enterprise Architecture Infusion State of MI Andris Ozols (517) 335-1519 ozlsa@mi.gov Sr. Analyst and Project Manager Michigan-Department of Management and Budget/OITS 105 W. Allegan floor3 Lansing, MI, 48933 META Services: Government Strategies, Application Delivery Strategies, Electronic Business Strategies, Enterprise Data Center Strategies, Global Networking Strategies, Server Infrastructure Strategies, Service Management Strategies and Web & Collaboration Strategies State of CA - Employment Development Dept Dale Morgan IT Manager California, Employment Development Dept. (EDD) 916-654-9240 dmorgan@edd.ca.gov META Services: Government Strategies, Enterprise Planning and Architecture Strategies, Global Networking Strategies, and Service Management Strategies State of CA - Teale Data Center Al Smith IT Manager California, Stephen P. Teale Data Center 916-464-3934 al.smith@teale.ca.gov META Services: Government Strategies, Application Delivery Strategies, Electronic Business Strategies, Enterprise Data Center Strategies, Global Networking Strategies, Server Infrastructure Strategies, Service Management Strategies and Web & Collaboration Strategies Research and Advisory Proposal for the State of Minnesota, November 2002 Section: “ Service” Page 8 of 39
  9. 9. State of NY Igor Koroluk Director, Enterprise Help Desk (518) 474-1179 igor.koroluk@oft.state.ny.us META Services: Government Strategies, Enterprise Planning and Architecture Strategies, Application Delivery Strategies, Electronic Business Strategies, Enterprise Data Center Strategies, Global Networking Strategies, Server Infrastructure Strategies, Service Management Strategies and Web & Collaboration Strategies Research and Advisory Proposal for the State of Minnesota, November 2002 Section: “ Service” Page 9 of 39
  10. 10. III.SERVICE TOPIC AREAS Firms shall address their understanding and commitment to each of the following services. When addressing each service, identify how your firm will provide the research; if it is electronic, indicate the required communication hardware and software. If the method is publication, describe the publication and how often it is published. Topics In order to help firms understand the State’s need, the following list of desired research topics are provided. The list is only offered to help firms understand the State’s current needs and to provide a framework for evaluating proposals. These topics may change during the term of a contract as strategies and information technologies change. Selected firms are expected to be flexible enough to address changing interests and needs throughout the contract period. Firm’s packaging of services must address the State’s broad needs but need not directly correspond to the topic areas listed below. Firms should clearly explain which areas of interest listed below are available from your firm and specifically describe these services or topics as well as other offerings in your response. The topics may overlap into other topic headings so you should then respond accordingly. Firms are encouraged to offer other services or topics not listed herein, along with a specific description of those offerings. We also request that, within each of your research services, to state how many documents you have published for each specific topic relative your service offering since January 1, 2002. Fig 1. Graphic Representation of META Services Enterprise Data Server Web & Government Center Infrastructure Collaboration Strategies Strategies Strategies Strategies (GOV) (EDCS) (SIS) (EDCS) Electronic Business Strategies (EBS) Executive Directions (ED) Application Delivery Strategies (ADS) Enterprise Planning Service Management Strategies (SMS) and Architecture Strategies (EPAS) Global Networking Strategies (GNS) Operations Excellence Infusion Customer Relationship Management Infusion Adaptive Infrastructure Infusion Enterprise Architecture Infusion Research and Advisory Proposal for the State of Minnesota, November 2002 Section: “ Service” Page 10 of 39
  11. 11. META Group Service area Infusion Program s Enterprise Planning and Architecture Enterprise Data Center Strategies Service Management Strategies Infusion: Enterprise Architecture Infusion: Adaptive Infrastructure Server Infrastructure Strategies Web & Collaboration Strategies Infusion: Operations Excellence Application Delivery Strategies Electronic Business Strategies Global Networking Strategies Government Strategies Additional Offerings/ Method of Support for Executive Directions State of MN requested Topics Resources. Costs not Services Infusion: Security included. Infusion: CRM Strategies Se curity Emerging technology trends T elephone Consultation, * * * and timelines Research documents Disaster Recovery T elephone Consultation, Disaster Recovery * * * * Research documents Workshop Information and Homeland T elephone Consultation, Homeland Security * * * Security Research documents Workshop IT Tre nds/Strate gy Outsourcing trends T elephone Consultation, MET Aspectrum * * * Research documents State and local government T elephone Consultation, Government Strategies * technology related summaries Research documents T rends and trends Industry software strategies T elephone Consultation, * * * * * * * * * Research documents Internet strategies, T elephone Consultation, * * * * * * technologies and delivery Research documents T echnology investment and T elephone Consultation, * * * * * * * * * * * * * * procurement strategies Research documents Education/Training State technology T elephone Consultation, * infrastructure and educational Research documents network initiatives and K-12 T rends/Solutions trends T elephone Consultation, * Research documents T echnology T rends in Higher T elephone Consultation, * Education Research documents E-Learning, Computer Based T elephone Consultation, * * T raining and other media Research documents based training Archite cture IT Standards T elephone Consultation, * * * * * * * * * * Research documents Enterprise Architecture T elephone Consultation, Enterprise Architectiure * * * Research documents Workshops Open systems standards and T elephone Consultation, * * migration strategies Research documents Systems development T elephone Consultation, Infrastructure * * methodologies Research documents Development Electronic commerce T elephone Consultation, Workshops and * * (Electronic Government Research documents Services)access and network Remote T elephone Consultation, * * * * technologies Research documents Java, SOAP, XML and other T elephone Consultation, * * * open architecture Research documents development technology T ransitional languages T elephone Consultation, * * * * * * * * * * analysis Research documents LAN Management Research and Advisory Proposal for the State of Minnesota, November 2002Consultation, Section: T elephone “ Service” Page 11 of 39 * * Research documents Enterprise Application T elephone Consultation, * Integration Research documents
  12. 12. Research and Advisory Proposal for the State of Minnesota, November 2002 Section: “ Service” Page 12 of 39

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