Information Builders Announces New Release of WebFOCUS
Information Builders Inc., (IBI) has released a new suite of business
intelligence tools designed to support e-business. Release 4.3 of the
product has been re-engineered and enabled for wireless and XML, in addition
to integration with Microsoft Office 2000 and BackOffice 2000. Announced
at their Summit 2000 User Conference, IBI hopes the product will appeal
to non-technical users of business intelligence technologies.
states that they have designed WebFOCUS v.4.3 with the needs of the non-technical
user in mind. "As the Web becomes the information delivery vehicle of
choice, more and more users of Business Intelligence technology are non-technical,"
says David Sandal, Vice President of Information Builders' Business Intelligence
Products Group. "Today, a majority of Business Intelligence users are
from such areas as sales, marketing, and accounting. They need to generate
online reports and conduct business and financial analysis without depending
on the IT department."
the new features for WebFOCUS v.4.3 are an improved user interface, enhanced
graphics capability, user-enabled report scheduling/distribution and integration
with Microsoft Excel 2000. "We've made it easy for the non-technical user
to generate reports in the ubiquitous Excel environment," explains Dan
Ortolani, Director of the WebFOCUS Products Division. "WebFOCUS is the
only Business Intelligence system that can output fully styled reports
into Excel 2000 and generate Excel 2000 pivot tables for quick and easy
multi-dimensional analysis. Virtually everyone has Excel on their desktop
and most use it on a daily basis. We've definitely flattened the learning
curve for Business Intelligence."
Web-enabled business intelligence aimed at non-technical end users is
the path most major BI vendors are taking at this time. IBI has a long-standing
background in the field of business intelligence, given their Focus query
tool and EDA/SQL gateway products. The new release of WebFOCUS should
help them sell into their existing customer base, as well as leverage
sales to new customers for their other products. Using Excel 2000 pivot
tables for multi-dimensional analysis is a wise move, and should ease
the sales cycle, given that most major customers are already Microsoft
front and back office customers.
Customers contemplating new business intelligence solutions should consider
Information Builders on a long list of potential vendors. Information
Builder's ties into Microsoft Excel, Explorer, and OLAP Server (a component
of Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 and 2000), will provide them with a cost advantage
over some of their competition. The company's experience with enterprise
middleware (supporting over 85 databases on 35 platforms) provides them
with expertise in many areas that will assist customers in their integration