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Software Functionality Revealed in Detail
We’ve opened the hood on every major category of enterprise software. Learn about thousands of features and functions, and how enterprise software really works.
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Visit the TEC store to compare leading software solutions by funtionality, so that you can make accurate and informed software purchasing decisions.
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 bi feature comparison listing


Understanding Business Intelligence and Your Bottom Line
Given that virtually all small and midsized businesses can benefit from business intelligence (BI) tools, the real question is how much of this technology

bi feature comparison listing  Internet. Make sure your BI solution enables you to access your KPIs such as sales, product and customer analyses, income and balance sheets, and inventory reports whenever you are out of the office. Report Automation ' To stay ahead of the competition, most SMB companies can't afford to sit back and wait for their IT or accounting departments to provide the information they need to make informed decisions. They must be proactive in automating their entire reporting process' from the creation to

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Software Functionality Revealed in Detail

We’ve opened the hood on every major category of enterprise software. Learn about thousands of features and functions, and how enterprise software really works.

Get free sample report
Compare Software Solutions

Visit the TEC store to compare leading software by functionality, so that you can make accurate and informed software purchasing decisions.

Compare Now

Business Intelligence (BI)

Business intelligence (BI) and performance management applications enable real-time, interactive access, analysis, and manipulation of mission-critical corporate information. These applications provide users with valuable insights into key operating information to quickly identify business problems and opportunities. Users are able to access and leverage vast amounts of information to analyze relationships and understand trends that ultimately support business decisions. These tools prevent the potential loss of knowledge within the enterprise that results from massive information accumulation that is not readily accessible or in a usable form. It is an umbrella term that ties together other closely related data disciplines including data mining, statistical analysis, forecasting, and decision support. 

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SaaS Buyer's Guide for Wholesale and Distribution


SaaS, despite its phenomenal popularity, is certainly not one-size-fits-all. You need to consider decision criteria such as fit, return on investment, and risk. Learn how SaaS works, who the major vendors are, how SaaS can help your business grow, and how to find the SaaS solution that’s right for you. It’s all in this comprehensive SaaS Buyer’s Guide for Wholesale and Distribution from TEC and SupplyChainBrain.

From a business requirements perspective, the defining characteristic of wholesale and distribution (W&D) organizations is that they operate as intermediate agents between manufacturers and retailers. Their top business needs thus focus on requirements for:

  • processing high volumes of transactions,
  • maintaining constant communication between upstream and downstream collaborators (manufacturers and retailers/customers, respectively), and
  • managing products for multiple competitors within the same warehouse or distribution center

In this guide we will explore considerations for W&D organizations that are considering adoption of the SaaS delivery model, and examine the particular business issues that arise from this change.Specifically, we will address the following considerations:

  • the differences between SaaS and on-premise delivery models
  • SaaS architectures
  • SaaS pros, cons, and other considerations
  • selection criteria for SaaS-based applications
  • viable wholesale and distribution SaaS vendors

Later in this guide, we’ll provide examples of SaaS delivery model success stories, as well as a SaaS IT directory, segmented according to business area.


Table of Contents


Preface

Software as a Service: A Buyer’s Guide


Spotlight on Adaptability and Agility

Thought Leadership from SAP
SAP’s Perspective on Software as a Service

SAP Case Study
Johnson Products Capitalizing on New Sales after 30-day SAP Deployment


Spotlight on Manufacturing and Distribution

Thought Leadership from Epicor
SaaS ERP for Small Manufacturers and Distributors

TECSYS Case Study
LifeScience Logistics Achieves 99.97% Inventory Accuracy with TECYS’ EliteSeries for Healthcare


Spotlight on Growing Your Company with SaaS

Thought Leadership from NetSuite
The Benefits of a Business Management Software Suite for High-growth and Midsized Businesses: Overcoming the Barriers of Stand-alone Business Applications

NetSuite Case Study
Woodworking Machinery Maker Cuts Costs, Grows Efficiency with NetSuite

NetSuite Case Study
NetSuite Helps Manufacturer Take Advantage of Fast Market Growth


Spotlight on Distribution Centers

Thought Leadership from Bond International Software
Cloud Computing for Your Distribution Workforce

IBS Case Study
Konaflex Focuses on its Core Business with IBS Distribution Management Software


Vendor Directory


Download the full copy of the TEC 2010 SaaS Buyer’s Guide for wholesale and distribution.



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What Are the Differences between the SaaS and On-premise Delivery Models?



Defining the on-premise delivery model is relatively straightforward:

  • The software is acquired by the customer up-front.
  • The software is installed, deployed, managed, and maintained at the customer’s site, generally with a great degree of involvement by the customer.
  • The customer provides the in-house infrastructure (e.g., servers, hardware, networks) to support the software.


Defining the SaaS model is slightly more complex, since different SaaS vendors offer different definitions. We’ll explore these variations in more detail shortly, but for now we’ll note the following SaaS characteristics:

  • The software vendor provides customers with access to the software via the Internet.
  • The customer pays for this service on a subscription basis (normally per user, per month, or per number of transactions).
  • The vendor is responsible for maintenance, upgrades, and software support, as well as the supporting infrastructure.

The major difference between the on-premise and SaaS delivery model lies in the ownership of the software. In the on-premise model, once the software is purchased, the customer owns it. In the SaaS delivery model, the software is not owned by the customer: it is provided to the customer in the same manner as any other service.


Download the full copy of the TEC 2010 SaaS Buyer’s Guide for wholesale and distribution.

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TEC Lean and Green Manufacturing Buyer’s Guide


While the need for sustainable development is affecting how organizations do business, the idea of environmental and corporate responsibility as value drivers is still relatively new. Many companies are just beginning to adopt an approach that provides measurable results. Learn how reducing waste and creating efficiencies within your company can make a difference to the environment, the economy, and your bottom line.

While the need for sustainable development is affecting how organizations do business, the idea of environmental and corporate responsibility as value drivers is still relatively new. Many companies are just beginning to adopt an approach that provides measurable results. Learn how reducing waste and creating efficiencies within your company can make a difference to the environment, the economy, and your bottom line.

In this lean and green buyer’s guide, we’ll discuss some of the challenges that companies are facing in light of the changes to the economy as well as the pressures of “going green.” We’ll talk about some of the highlevel changes your business can make, with a focus on operational efficiency and on how lean and green practices can both lead to the same result: efficiency equals sustainable business. We will also feature information about some of the vendor offerings targeted at companies looking to adopt or improve their “green business strategies.” The products covered in this guide address various areas within the scopes of both “lean” and “green,” including lean manufacturing, environmental management, operations management, compliance regulations, and more.

We’ve included customer success stories to illustrate how product lifecycle management (PLM), enterprise asset management (EAM), and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions have helped companies like yours deal with their environmental concerns. For your convenience, there is also a vendor directory to assist companies that are looking for a “sustainability enabling” solution.

We hope this report will provide you with enough insight about the current state of the market—with respect to both lean and green—to help you start making a few decisions about how your company can make a change for the better. We think you’ll find this guide a useful tool for determining which type of solution is best suited to your company’s business model and particular needs.


Table of Contents


Executive Overview
Lean, Green, and Everything in Between

Thought Leadership
Corporate Social Responsibility: Using Technology to Become More Lean and Green

Case Study
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Increases Scheduling Efficiency with Asprova

Case Study
Lean in Action: Manufacturer Cuts Lead Time from Four Weeks to Four Days

Case Study
InkCycle Makes Green Ink, While Staying in the Black

Case Study
A Pragmatic Approach to Gaining Business Efficiencies

Case Studies at a Glance
TEC Analyst Perspective



Download the full copy of the TEC 2009 Lean and Green Buyer’s Guide for manufacturers.



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State of the Market: Lean and Green


Today’s need for sustainable development (economic, social, and environmental) is increasingly affecting how organizations do business. But the areas of environmental and corporate responsibility are still relatively new to businesses as concepts that drive value. And even though these concepts are rapidly growing in importance, many organizations are still in the early phases of adopting an approach that provides measured results.

The state of market in “green” is improving—albeit at a very slow pace—as organizations learn the value of integrating environmental thinking into their operations, and find more and more ways to align green thinking with their business strategies and goals.

This need for change affects businesses, municipalities, government, and resource-extractive industries like manufacturing. Some of the major influences affecting these organization’s environmental sustainability decisions are regulations and standards, competitive position, and public confidence. In fact, there is a great deal of reputation at stake, since public consciousness towards environmental issues is growing.

Today’s stakeholders (customers, investors, etc.) want to put their money into companies that are sustainable. If businesses don’t take an interest in the environment—and their impact on it—it reflects very poorly on their interest in their bottom line. The current economic situation being what it is, companies cannot afford “bad press,” and it’s in their best interest to realign their business strategies to include environmental awareness. Equally (if not more) important is the fact that green initiatives have a high return on investment (ROI) and end up paying for themselves through cost savings on resources, energy, carbon taxes, etc.

Today’s environmental challenges in business are vast, and range from financial burdens (such as rising energy, input, and transportation costs), to waste disposal and regulatory issues (minimizing/reducing waste), to accountability and sustainability—which can make the decision to go green both complex and convoluted.


Download the full copy of the TEC 2009 Lean and Green Buyer’s Guide for manufacturers.

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ERP Systems Buyer’s Guide


The implementation of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to automate business processes is a strategic investment. Buying the right system and choosing the best vendor for you are critical to a successful ERP implementation. As a decision maker, you need to quickly identify your ERP requirements, effectively communicate these needs to vendors, and successfully compare various product alternatives. Learn how.

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Are you BI Lingual or Just BI Curious?


Lost in Translation If your organization was a celebutante, who would it be? Well, comely or not, let’s hope that when it comes to BI, you’re not a bemused, glassy-eyed Scarlett Johansson à la Lost in Translation http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0335266. If so, there’s a cure and it’s not acting lessons. It’s a lesson in collaboration; ensuring that both your IT and business teams are speaking the

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NoSQL for My BI Solution?


Every day business intelligence (BI) gets closer to chaos. Don’t get me wrong—I’m by no means saying that BI will one day become obsolete and that you'll need to avoid it at all costs. On the contrary, what I mean is that BI will have to go outside the box into a world where data is not nicely structured within well-defined databases and using Structured Query Language—best known as SQL

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Halo BI Product Suite


The Halo BI Product suite helps users answer their most important business questions quickly, easily, and cost effectively.It combines traditional business intelligence (BI) with big data analytics and super-charges it with next-generation visualization, collaboration, and decision support tools that the whole business ecosystem can use.

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Mobile BI Market Landscape Report


BI applications aim to provide users with the technology, analytics, and user experience features needed to improve the organization’s decision-making process, and many providers now offer mobile BI software features. This report is intended to guide you through the evolution of a number of mobile BI applications as well as to provide you with an analysis of information gathered from both the mobile BI vendor and user communities in your exploration of the mobile BI marketplace.

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BI Software Review: ESS BI Portal Business Intelligence


This business intelligence (BI) software review report examines the BI software by Enterprise Software Solutions (ESS) and its support for business management processes against known benchmarks. It assesses ESS BI Portal version 4.0 for BI functionality and reviews the product’s support capacity with a focus on:

  • Reporting and Analysis
  • Analytics
  • Data Warehouse
  • Workflow
  • Data Integration
  • Support
  • Product Technology

The report also contains an independent analyst’s review of the BI software based on a demonstration provided by ESS. The review identifies the features of ESS BI Portal that distinguishes it from other business process management solutions, including its integration capabilities with the SQL Server product stack, its performance monitoring capabilities for optimized task performance, and its reporting and data visualization tools with flexible import/export capabilities. In this review, the analyst outlines the software provider’s implementation process, support model, and target user base.

ESS BI Portal achieved TEC certification status for its BI software solution by completing TEC’s certification program, which includes a demonstration of the BI software’s support for specific real-world business process and a detailed functional benchmarking analysis.

Based on a demonstration of ESS BI Portal, a TEC analyst has assessed the BI software’s features, evaluating the software against known industry benchmarks, to determine that ESS BI Portal is a strong BI system.

Download this software review report for product analysis and comparison, an in-depth analyst commentary, and to learn more about how ESS BI Portal can help businesses achieve their BI objectives.

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Mobile BI: Features, Challenges, and Opportunities


What does your organization need to consider when adopting a mobile business intelligence (BI) or business analytics strategy? What are the enablers, challenges, and opportunities of a mobile BI strategy implementation? In this report, we explore considerations for deploying a mobile BI solution, how to leverage this type of platform to best advantage, and why a mobile BI/analytics solution can be a valuable asset for your company.

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A Guide to Microsoft’s BI Ecosystem—Understanding Microsoft’s Approach to BI for the Enterprise


In the last 4 to 5 years, the business intelligence (BI) and data management scene has evolved at an incredibly fast pace. Software pioneer Microsoft has extended the reach of its enterprise software solutions to the BI and analytics space by offering a wide variety of software applications to enterprises for performing BI and analytics capabilities based on different organizational needs and requirements. Aiming to help users with their BI software selection efforts, this research series explores the complete Microsoft BI product stack, describing the outstanding features of each of Microsoft’s BI offerings. The first part of this series describes the development of the Microsoft BI product landscape and provides insight into Microsoft’s set of enterprise BI solutions.

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