October 08 www. bus- ex. com 153 MIT Sloan School of Management common meeting places, a smoother process to fi nd a study room, and more pathways that take you right where you need to be." According to Hill, all principal participants in the project sat in the same room to discuss the design issues— if the architects proposed something the engineers couldn't achieve, it could be resolved immediately. " I've been to so many different schools with beautiful areas that would never work for our community— places where faculty members are tucked away in narrow hallways or in rabbit holes. We have a faculty committee thinking about how they want to be organized. Our faculty said, ' We like to see each other, so that we have a sense of closeness and intimacy.' Since this is an open- door community, we need to create clusters. A heavy door can make people feel that they must have serious business in order to walk through it," said Hill. Based on research by MIT Sloan professor Thomas Allen, the faculty offi ce clusters, which will accommodate 12 to 14 offi ces, are being installed to promote a broad range of interaction among faculty and graduate students alike. True to form, MIT has puzzled out a winning facility design that, perhaps surprisingly, provided an object lesson on the importance of community to all involved. " I will actually miss being involved in the building project," said Schmalensee. " I will miss spending time with alumni, because I got to know a lot of alumni over the years. I'll miss the sense that I can put my hands on the Institution and make it better. That's a good feeling, the ability to say, ' I can help fi x that.'"
S ometimes, opportunity knocks during the most unlikely of circumstances. Take Robert Hayman and Dr. William Dorfman, of ABC's " Extreme Makeover" fame. The two met at a University of California, LA Bachelor's Auction Charity Event in 1991. With disparate backgrounds, the two found common ground between their respective professions of dentistry and business. What followed was a roll of the dice. Discus Dental, founded two years later, is today a leading global direct manufacturing marketer of premium dental products to both dental professionals and consumers. Headquartered in Culver City, California, this $ 130 million company with 600 employees also provides state- of- the- art practice management software, practice enhancement products and services, and expert industry training for the professional dental community. The company's leadership is a balanced blend of industry expertise and business fortitude. " We seek to become partners in our customers' success. Our commitment to quality products is just the beginning of this endeavor," said Hayman. " We continually develop outstanding practice marketing and management tools – from software to patient consultation materials – designed to build dynamic, healthy businesses." In 2006, Discus Dental acquired the intellectual property and control of BriteSmile's " Associated Center" business in 5,000 independent dental offi ces in 40 countries, for $ 35 million in cash. " The completion and successful integration of this acquisition not only establishes Discus Dental as the dominant company in the light-activated, chair- side whitening category but also as the world leader in professional whitening," said Hayman at the time of the announcement. The dentistry industry has changed drastically since the advent of teeth- whitening technology, and Discus Dental has been riding the upswing with its proprietary Day White- ACP, Nite White Turbo- ACP, and Zoom2- ACP products, among others. Its full cadre of products spans whitening, oral hygiene, impression, restorative, offi ce art, endodontic, and rotary instrument categories. In February 2006, Discus Dental Software, a division of Discus Dental, landed a huge account for its practice management software. Its proprietary DentalVision Enterprise software was chosen by InterDent Service Corporation to be installed in 120 offi ce locations and nearly 1,500 workstations. In addition, InterDent and Discus Dental Software are working to develop a Java version of the software. " InterDent is one of the largest and most respected dental practice management organizations in the industry," said Bruce Lieberthal, General Manager of Discus Dental Software. " We are excited at the opportunity to work with them. Their selection of our DentalVision Enterprise software is the culmination of their two- year search for a software solution to meet the needs of their growing business and speaks to the robust nature of DentalVision and the value it can bring to the dental community." Lee Rouman, VP & CIO of InterDent, agreed. " DentalVision was selected after an exhaustive search for its ability to meet the current and 154 October 08 www. bus- ex. com Through an expert blend of dental industry know- how and business prowess, Discus Dental employs an all- in- one approach to outshine competitors. Kate Sawyer reports Abright idea