MKS Inc.

MKS Inc.

April 17, 2009 07:00 ET

PDI and MKS Improve Retail's Bottom Line

PDI Delivers Better Software Faster with MKS' Unified ALM Platform

WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 17, 2009) - MKS Inc., (MKS) (TSX:MKX) the global leader in enterprise-class unified Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) solutions, has been selected by Professional Datasolutions Inc. (PDI) to help them gain market share and reduce costs through transformation of their software development processes and tooling.

PDI, headquartered in Temple, TX, provides software, hardware, and professional services to convenience store retailers and wholesale petroleum marketers. The key solutions that PDI offers are Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications, Fuel, Retail and Financial Management Suites. A key facet of PDI's delivered value is their strategic customer consultations: for example, showing retail executives how to capture, assess, and leverage metrics addressing bottom-line issues like inventory shrinkage.

With regard to their software development practices, PDI's main objective was to ensure the integrity of their request-prioritize-develop-test-deliver cycle. In the past, manual processes and disconnected tooling have opened the door for missteps and omissions. Such errors can be costly from both the customer perception and time (cost)-to-repair perspectives.

After in-depth evaluations of all major software development tool providers, PDI decided upon a unified ALM approach using MKS Integrity™. Unified ALM was important because it promised reduced tool count, better connectedness across the lifecycle, strong visibility and control, and lowered total cost of ownership. MKS Integrity won because it is "the most comprehensive, scalable, mature, and effective unified ALM solution on the market" said Earl Milam, V.P Application Development, PDI. MKS Integrity offered PDI a complete ALM solution with: full traceability from requirements to test; flexible querying and reporting against a unified data model; strong support for parallel development and release management; a powerful yet easy-to-learn user interface; and, a single, competitively priced, flexible application.

Just as important in the decision as the tool itself, PDI recognized that MKS, its support organization, field team and implementation specialists were all dedicated to and focused on PDI's success. In this case, MKS elected to bring in one of their most experienced implementation partners. Novus Solutions Group, who specialize in ALM best practices; compliance; business and software process consulting; and, ALM solution implementation, along with MKS's thought leadership and focus on customer success, comprised an extended team that had PDI's 50-person-plus team up and running in four short weeks. Knowing that they could trust their vendor to deliver was a critical factor in PDI's decision.

With MKS Integrity, PDI knew that they would have top-to-bottom and end-to-end traceability of all lifecycle artifacts (e.g. requirements, change requests, test cases, source code, releases, etc.). Through its ability to connect all of these objects, the MKS Integrity solution was the only product available that PDI could count on to provide the visibility, control, and collaboration they sought. "With its ease of implementation, ability to evolve over time, and MKS's dedication to customer success, we were confident that MKS was a solution that we could bet the business on," said Milam.

With MKS Integrity in place, PDI were confident that they could: capture new change requests; readily prioritize them; assign them out for development; "virtualize" and automate code reviews; assign specific change requests to specific releases; and, make progress with a single integrated solution platform, knowing that nothing would "fall through the cracks" and that real-time project status was just a mouse-click away.

"MKS Integrity is a complete, integrated, ALM solution that allows PDI to spend our energy sharpening the saw instead of spinning the wheels. Since we put MKS Integrity in place, we've completely eliminated costly configuration management related release recalls, saving person-months of effort over the last three quarters," added Milam.

PDI also realized that the MKS Integrity solution was flexible, and that it could be adopted incrementally. Not only could PDI quickly implement their current practices, they could also evolve them and add new capabilities over time, without impacting existing operations. PDI has plans to add formal Requirements Management (RM) and Test Management ™ capabilities to their solution, further extending the end-to-end reach of their lifecycle automation and the value it delivers.

"MKS Integrity continues to be the ALM solution of choice in fast changing industries like Retail Operations. We're delighted to have helped PDI achieve their technical goals thus enabling their retail clients to deliver more to the bottom line, faster," states Chris Murray, Director MKS - Western Region.

Learn more about how PDI gained value from MKS: read the case study at

About PDI

PDI headquartered in Temple, TX, provides software, hardware, and professional services to convenience retailers and wholesale petroleum marketers. Worldwide, over 350 companies managing 23,000 retail locations rely on PDI's systems for retail automation, fuel and warehouse management, business intelligence, financial reporting, and employee selection and training. A wholly-owned subsidiary of the McLane Company, PDI continually enhances offerings, using the MKS Integrity ALM Solution and MKS's thought leadership in the ALM space, to leverage emerging technologies and evolving industry standards. For more information on PDI, visit:

About MKS

MKS Inc., the global leader in unified ALM Solutions, enables software engineering and IT organizations to seamlessly manage their worldwide software development activities. With its flagship product, MKS Integrity, MKS offers support for all software development activities through a single enterprise application, resulting in: better collaboration; higher productivity; enhanced project visibility and control; and, streamlined compliance. MKS supports customers worldwide with offices across North America, Europe and Asia. For more information about MKS, visit our Web site at

About MKS Integrity

MKS Integrity is an enterprise application lifecycle management platform that coordinates and manages all activities and artifacts associated with software development including Requirements Management, System Design, Software Configuration Management, Change Management, Test Management, Defect Management, Release Management and Portfolio Management for custom built and packaged applications.

Copyright (C) 2009 MKS Inc. MKS and MKS Integrity are trademarks of MKS Inc. All other trademarks mentioned in this release are the property of their respective owners.

This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, which may cause actual results to differ materially from the statements made. When used in this document, the words "may", "would", "could", "will", "intend", "plan", "anticipate", "believe", "estimate", "expect" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements reflect the Company's current views with respect to future events and are subject to such risks and uncertainties. Many factors could cause our actual results to differ materially from the statements made including those factors detailed from time to time in filings made by the Company with Canadian securities regulatory authorities. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should assumptions underlying the forward looking statements prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein as intended, planned, anticipated or expected. Although the Company believes the expectations represented by such forward looking statements are reasonable, there can be no assurance that those expectations will prove to be correct. The Company does not intend and does not assume any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

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