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Sure, companies as big as Microsoft Corp. or ExxonMobil may have treasury units with dozens of employees and budgets in the multimillions. But Chris Afarian, treasury operations manager for the Sunnyvale, Calif., computer data storage venture Network Appliance Inc., claims to suffer no treasury envy, although he has only three treasury colleagues and a budget closer to $1 million. At NetApp, the advantage that Fortune 500 companies derive from economy of scale has been replaced with courageous use of cutting-edge technology. “I’m not aware of many companies that run as efficient a treasury function as we do or take such full advantage of the latest technology. We’re a midsize corporation with a large corporate feel within our treasury operation,” Afarian claims. “We built this operation deliberately and recently enough to be state of the art.”

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