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Enterprise Software Tracks Stimulus Funds

Facing extremely tight deadlines, state and local government entities are bracing for their integration into the Recovery.gov Web site which will track every dollar of the stimulus as mandated by the stimulus bill, also known as the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). State and local agencies make their first report on October 10, 2009 and federal agencies make their first report on May 20, 2009.

While enterprises are accustomed to handling ever more complex reporting requirements -- Autonomy recently reported that it is storing over 10 petabytes of data for its customers -- governments may not be ready.

Enter the big enterprise software guns, including IBM (NYSE: IBM), SAP (NYSE: SAP), and CA (NASDAQ: CA), who are bringing best practices from the private sector into the public sector along with software packages tailored to the ARRA and built for fast implementation.

CA is touting portfolio management software for grants management in a SaaS solution called CA Clarity Project and Portfolio Management (Clarity PPM) On Demand on demand. An on demand solution is ideal, David Hurwitz, CA vice president of solutions marketing, told InternetNews.com. "Every IT organization everywhere is full up right now, so how do you add one ore thing? Public sector IT organizations are deploying constituent portals and everything else that people expect from government right now."

On demand products can also be installed quickly, Hurwitz added.

The software tracks now only such data as the cost of projects, their readiness, and the money spent -- but also data points required by ARRA such as number of jobs created.

It differs from Microsoft Project Manager, which sits on many enterprise desktops, in scalability, integration, and smart dashboards. Clarity PPM on demand scales to hundreds or thousands of users, integrates with HR and financial systems, and delivers data in the format that the Recovery.gov Web site requires.

It's not just for ARRA. The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) has been using the product since last November to track over $165 million in annual grants, and has already reduced the $10 million it misplaces each year due to errors in manual tracking, CA said in a statement.

CA Clarity PPM On Demand helps managers make quick decisions while handling large amounts of data. For example, the software can generate a bubble chart showing several dimensions of data. In addition to hard data such as project readiness and cost, the bubble chart displays the results of more complex evaluations such as the alignment of projects with agency goals and the ability of project teams to execute.

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