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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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 how to write a comparison evaluation report


How to Evaluate Web-based BI Solutions
Web-based business intelligence (BI) is no longer an anomaly: organizations are ready for BI solutions that go beyond Web portals. However, when selecting Web

how to write a comparison evaluation report  Web-based BI Solutions How to Evaluate Web-based BI Solutions If you receive errors when attempting to view this white paper, please install the latest version of Adobe Reader. Established in 1993, Technology Evaluation Centers, Inc. (TEC) is the first web-native technology research enterprise. TEC provides decision support systems (DSS) that enable stakeholders to objectively identify the software products that best fit their company's unique business and systems requirements, and that contribute

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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

Configure Price Quote (CPQ) Software Evaluation Report

This comprehensive Configure Price Quote (CPQ) Software Evaluation Report covers the full range of CPQ functionality. If your business is facing increasingly complex product configurations, CPQ solutions can do more than create accurate and professional sales quotes: they can open the door to significantly increased sales and revenues.  

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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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BI State of the Market Report


IT departments rarely know as much about a business as the business people themselves. But business people rarely take action on numbers alone: they share the information with others, soliciting their feedback and performing external research before taking action. Business users still depend on IT to deliver answers related to the information that they receive. Business intelligence (BI) 2.0—also known as collaborative BI—uses the collective intelligence of the user community to enrich existing information. Learn how business intelligence (BI) 2.0 is helping business users create and modify their own reports, share and enrich information, and provide feedback to each other and to information producers.

When the community helps itself, information is turned into actionable information more quickly than when using purely “traditional” methods of community support, such as meetings, phone calls, and e-mail. And when actions are taken more quickly, the entire organization becomes more nimble and ultimately more competitive. This overview discusses how BI 2.0 can provide real benefits within your organization and what product features to look for in a BI solution in order to realize those benefits.

We hope you’ll find this guide a useful tool in determining which BI solution is best suited to your company’s business model and particular needs.


Table of Contents


Executive Overview
Using BI 2.0 to Increase your Competitive Advantage

Case Study
LogiXML Helps to Power its Real-Estate Reporting and Analysis

Thought Leadership
How Smart Marketers Succeed Online

Market Insight
Mashups and Pervasive BI

Report Sponsors
LogiXML

IBM

About TEC



Download the full copy of the TEC 2009 BI Buyer’s Guide for businesses.



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Using BI 2.0 to Increase Your Competitive Advantage


Business users know their data better than IT does. They know the meaning of the data, its history, and its relationship with other data. Yet traditional BI solutions have business users referring to IT for assistance with their data. Also, they are forced to work in silos. Sure, they can create their own reports and maybe even share them with other business users, but when it comes to sharing their own knowledge about the data, they have to rely on e-mail, telephone, and face-to-face meetings. By enabling the sharing of data-related knowledge through the BI system itself, business users become more self-sufficient and actions can be taken more quickly.

The raison d’être of BI is to provide business users with information that enables them to take action. Even if business users are self-sufficient when it comes to creating and sharing data, data on its own is rarely sufficient to take action. Identifying an opportunity in the market through numbers alone is not sufficient to justify investment in a new product or geography. Identifying a bottleneck in a business process is not sufficient to justify changes in the business process. Information about a business issue or opportunity is merely a part of the overall “solution domain.” Action is usually only taken after considering a number of factors in addition to the data, such as human knowledge and experience, the economic environment, and the competitive environment.

In this section, we lay out the capabilities to look for in a BI solution—and specific functional requirements needed to support these capabilities—that contribute to the goal of “harnessing collective intelligence.” In general, the more recent entrants into the BI market are paying the most attention to BI 2.0. Some vendors, such as Good Data, have it as a central component of their solution offerings.

The following are key capabilities of BI 2.0:

  • Collaboration
    Business users are able to share information within the user community and create discussion threads relating to the information.


  • Identification of useful information
    Business users can flag information that is likely to be of use to others within the community.


  • Enriching of Information
    Business users can enrich the information through their knowledge and experience in addition to other external information sources in order to explain trends and generally assist other consumers of that information.


The community of “business users” needn’t be restricted to internal users. User collaboration is already mature within the Web space, under the guise of Web 2.0. With Web 2.0, collective intelligence is harnessed through comments on blog posts; contributions to wikis such as Wikipedia; and tagging of content, such as photos on Flickr. BI 2.0 takes these methods and applies them in the BI space by making data the focus of user collaboration.

The following sections take the capabilities above and list the functional requirements that support them. Bear in mind that each of these functional requirements is a business user requirement and not an IT or development requirement.


Download the full copy of the TEC 2009 BI Buyer’s Guide for businesses.

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Employee Performance Management: Making It a Reality in Your Organization


Over 90 percent of human resources (HR) professionals rate employee performance management (EPM) as a top priority. Yet considerably fewer have EPM systems deployed within their organizations, mostly because of concerns about presenting a persuasive case for such projects to executive management. However, a structured approach to selecting, planning for, and implementing an EPM solution can help alleviate those concerns.

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Making Large UPS Systems More Efficient


As energy resources become scarcer and more expensive, electrical efficiency is a more important performance factor in the specification and selection of large uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems. There are three subtle but crucial factors that can affect the cost of operating a UPS system. Sadly, these factors are often unrecognized. Find out what they are, as well as common errors in evaluating UPS efficiency.

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A Tale of a Few Good SCM Players - Part 3


Part 1 of this blog post series followed the progress of Manhattan Associates from its inception in 1990 throughout the mid-2000s. During this time, Manhattan was the epitome of a well-managed supply chain management (SCM) software company in terms of market share, growth, profitability, and its products’ capabilities. Indeed, the company set the industry standard for the

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The ROI of a New Learning Management System (LMS): How to Construct a Successful Business Case


In today’s fast-changing world, the learning management system (LMS) has become mission critical to organizations that are trying to keep employees up to date on everything from the latest technologies and regulatory requirements, to industry certifications, best practices plus job-specific and leadership skills. Download this white paper to learn how to construct the business case to justify the purchase of an LMS.

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Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)-A Critical Component of Enterprise Business Intelligence (BI)


The wise enterprise recognizes the need for objective metrics and measurements and for its users to establish metrics to monitor and manage results at every level in the organization. To meet these goals, an enterprise must select a sophisticated BI solution with powerful KPI and other BI and CPM features that are simple enough for every user and accessible from within and outside the walls of the enterprise. See how.

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Guide to Business Intelligence for Small to Midsized Businesses


You'll find it in Focus Experts Briefing: BI Overview, Key Issuesand Trends.

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Midmarket/Enterprise ERP Solution Comparison Guide


The Midmarket/Enterprise ERP Solution Comparison Guide makes it easy to compare the most popular ERP systems including solutions from leading vendo...

how to write a comparison evaluation report   Read More

A Tale of a Few Good SCM Players - Part 1


Throughout the late 1990s and the mid-2000s, Manhattan Associates was the epitome of a well-managed supply chain management (SCM) software company in terms of market share, growth, profitability, and its products’ capabilities. Simply stated, the company set the industry standard for the supply chain execution (SCE) space and was the envy of its competitors. The

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