Aretech Information Services, Inc. Launches;
J.D. Edwards ASP Agreement Announced
PORT HURON, Mich., April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Aretech Information Services,
Inc., an information technology company specializing in outsourcing, was
introduced today by SEMCO ENERGY, Inc., a diversified energy and
infrastructure company that distributes natural gas to more than 357,000
combined customers in Michigan and Alaska. The company also performs
engineering and construction services for energy companies in the United
Recognizing the opportunities available in providing a broad range of
information technology (IT) business solutions, Aretech (pronounced r-eh-tek)
evolved from SEMCO ENERGY's existing IT department as an effort to leverage
its existing assets. Aretech has technical expertise in mid-range computers
and has recently built a state-of-the-art information technology center in
Specifically, Aretech's business plan focuses on the mid-range computing
market, which has been neglected by larger IT services companies. In
particular, Aretech will focus on four key offerings: IT outsourcing services
aimed at mid-sized companies with AS/400 platforms; application service
provider (ASP) services through an agreement with J.D. Edwards; business-to-
business e-commerce through the creation of a supplier exchange; and,
business-to-consumer e-commerce, including offerings such as electronic bill
presentment. Outsourcing services will include platform operations,
application operations, applications management, network management, desktop
services and business operations. Aretech has already received preliminary
commitments and indications of intent from prospective corporate clients.
The company's goal is to reach annual revenues in the range of $100
million to $200 million within five years both from basic customer growth and
through strategic acquisitions. Acquisitions in later years may require some
modest capital investments. Aretech is a wholly owned subsidiary of SEMCO
ENERGY. It was formed in December 1999, and is located in a new operations
center in Marysville, Mich.
"Aretech is an excellent fit to our strategic growth plan. Its
springboard is our investment in technology assets and people with valuable
expertise and skills," said chairman and chief executive officer of SEMCO
ENERGY, Inc., William L. Johnson. "We identify under-serviced niches in
selected infrastructure markets, and aim to provide those missing services in
a high-quality, efficient and cost-competitive manner. The market for Aretech
services in IT infrastructure is significant in size and growing rapidly. We
expect it to provide incremental value to SEMCO ENERGY's shareholders by
turning a cost center into a profit center."
Aretech will continue to deliver IT services to SEMCO ENERGY's gas
distribution, engineering, construction, and propane, pipeline and storage
businesses in a way that both reduces cost and improves the quality of service
"Information technology plays a vital and enabling role in corporate
business activity," said Rudolfo Cifolelli, president of Aretech Information
Services and senior vice president and chief information officer of SEMCO
ENERGY, Inc. "Effectively deployed, IT can provide a business with the
knowledge, control and understanding to improve business operations. Over the
past decade, it has been a growing trend for companies to focus on their core
business activities and outsource all non-core functions. Increasingly, IT is
one of those functions. Aretech seeks to address the need for companies to
have a technically competent, economical, and business savvy partner -- a
concept commonly referred to as smartsourcing."
According to a 1999 INPUT report, potential revenues for outsourcing in
the computer services industry in Aretech's target Midwest market is expected
to reach $16 billion by 2002, and projections state that the application
service provider trade will grow to over $21 billion in the United States by
2001. In addition, the large potential of Internet-related services has been
estimated in trillions of dollars.
Cifolelli has considerable experience in launching technology-outsourcing
companies. He joined SEMCO ENERGY in 1998 after serving two years as
president and owner of OACIS, Inc., a computer consulting firm he founded in
1996 after 15 years with MCN Energy Group, Inc. In 1983, he led the
development of a computer services outsourcing business focused on main frame
computers, which he later grew to more than $120 million in annual revenue.
Clients included many Fortune 500 companies. Cifolelli's extensive data
processing experience includes management positions for the National Bank of
Detroit (now Bank One), Ex-Cell-O Corp., and Ling Temoco Vought, a Texas-based
defense contractor. His achievements also include the development of a
healthcare outsourcing practice for Compuware.
J.D. Edwards ASP Agreement
As a first step, Aretech will act as an Application Service Provider (ASP)
for J.D. Edwards & Company (Nasdaq: JDEC), a supplier of software solutions
for e-business. Aretech will handle the hosting, implementation,
configuration and on-going support activities for J.D. Edwards' OneWorld(TM)
enterprise software as a member of the Company's JDe.sourcing program.
OneWorld is a market- leading e-business application for supply chain
collaboration and fulfillment across multiple vertical industries.
Target markets for the Aretech/J.D. Edwards offerings include the
automotive component suppliers located throughout the Midwest and certain
eastern U.S. states, as well as the gas and electric utility industry, water
and sanitary services, construction services, oil and gas extraction, and
engineering services companies.
"Through its affiliation with SEMCO ENERGY, Inc., Aretech has both the
vertical industry knowledge and the technical ability to get our customers up
and running quickly and to effectively manage their applications and services
to give them competitive advantage in the New Economy," said Gayle Sheppard,
vice president of J.D. Edwards' JDe.sourcing application hosting program.
Aretech Information Services, a provider of information technology-enabled
business solutions, is a wholly owned subsidiary of SEMCO ENERGY, Inc.
(NYSE: SEN). Its mission is to measurably and significantly contribute to
productivity in business by effectively utilizing the potential of information
technology and providing quality commercial information technology services,
which will allow Aretech's customers to focus on their core business(es) and
succeed in their chosen industries. For more information, please visit the
SEMCO ENERGY, Inc. is a diversified energy services and infrastructure
holding company that operates energy-related business segments, including gas
distribution, engineering services and construction services, as well as
propane, pipelines and storage. The Company is the third largest distributor
of natural gas in Michigan and the largest distributor in the state of Alaska.
The engineering services business segment serves the natural gas distribution
and transmission, oil products, exploration/production and telecommunication
industries. The construction services business segment provides underground
pipeline installation and replacement for the natural gas distribution
industry. The propane, pipelines and storage segment operates intrastate gas
transmission pipelines and underground natural gas storage in Michigan. For
more information, please visit www.aretech-is.com .
About J.D. Edwards
J.D. Edwards is the leading provider of agile business-to-business
software solutions that make new business models work. The Company's
integrated ActivEra(TM) Solutions deliver supply chain collaboration and
fulfillment, and enable business-to-business trading communities in the
consumer products, industrial and services industries. The Company's
solutions are web-enabled and operate in multiple computing environments.
Founded in 1977, J.D. Edwards is headquartered in Denver and posted fiscal
1999 revenues of $944.2 million. Additional information can be obtained by
contacting the Company via the Internet at www.jdedwards.com or at
SOURCE SEMCO ENERGY, Inc.
Web site: http: //www.semcoenergy.com/aretech.html
CONTACT: Lisa Vallee-Smith, 313-567-5027, email@example.com, for Aretech; Francis R. Lieder, Jr., 810-987-2200, ext. 4186, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Analysts, Edric R. Mason, Jr., 810-989-4104, email@example.com, both of SEMCO
NOTE TO EDITORS: Aretech Information Services will be hosting a webcast on Thursday, April 27 at 11 a.m. To view the webcast, please go to http://www.videonewswire.com/ARETECH/042700 .