Thermo Fisher Scientific just got more scientific about setting its cash position and making its cash forecasts. By stepping up from spreadsheets to an ASP-hosted treasury workstation, the Waltham, Mass.-based provider of laboratory supplies and equipment for clinical, pharmaceutical and scientific uses is part of a growing wave of companies making that move. A familiar story. But by getting its solution through triangulation, it is part of the latest delivery wave, a not-so-familiar story. This triangulation has nothing to do with global positioning and satellites. Its corners are occupied by Gateway Systems, Chesapeake System Solutions and Bank of America, three technology vendors teaming up to push the envelope for slick technology, low cost and good service.

Treasury managers can expect to see more vendor teamwork, predicts consultant Craig Jeffery, managing director of Atlanta-based Strategic Treasurer LLC. That's because banks, battered by their subprime mortgage losses, have cut back drastically on research and development spending. While "cool tools" are coming from banks to help treasury staffs manage the cash conversion cycle and financial supply chain, the more cost-conscious banks may be inclined now to let technology ventures fund the development and then offer their customers white-labeled versions of others' technology, he suggests.

Called "SmartTreasury" by Chesapeake and "Global Treasury Director" (GTD) by BofA, the offering is a basic cash management system that is being embraced by first-time treasury workstation users, mostly middle-market firms, with a smattering of large corporations. Gateway manufactures the technology, Chesapeake hosts and supports the system and BofA owns the treasury relationship in most cases, explains John Snyder, Chesapeake's director of business development. Future product development is largely in the hands of Gateway, he says. While it is a complete, multibank workstation, ease of use is perhaps its biggest selling point. "We can mimic spreadsheets," Snyder says. "For the novice user, it's not a steep learning curve." BofA is Chesapeake's biggest deal so far, and the source of most of its customers, he adds.

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