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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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 inventory system in dss


How Inventory Optimization Can Increase Your Profitability
One of the largest expenses for distributors and wholesalers is stock. Many have difficulty finding the perfect balance between ensuring products are available

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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

Point of Sale (POS) Systems

A point-of-sale (POS) system helps retailers automate transactions. POS solutions are used in retail stores where sales associates must enter sales, refunds, layaways, transfers, etc. POS systems typically consist of some form of electronic cash register and may include credit or debit card processing. Such systems are generally used wherever goods or services are exchanged for monetary value, including the hotel and restaurant industry and in retail environments.  

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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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ERP Beginner's Guide In So Many Words


ERP remains the information backbone for contemporary manufacturing enterprises. However, today's ERP systems are required to address more than traditional processes taking place within the walls of an enterprise. This is a concise ERP reference guide for anyone needing a general knowledge of ERP features and the ramifications of implementing it (or not).

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Pronto Software, ERP Vendor


Pronto Software—Australian vendor of software meeting the needs of a range of vertical industries such as retail and food and beverage—wants to ensure it sustains profitable growth. To find partnerships with value-added resellers (VARs) in North America and in other markets, Pronto relies on Technology Evaluation Centers’ (TEC’s) software industry programs. Learn about the other ways Pronto benefits from using TEC.

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Oracle E-Business Suite (12.1) for Process ERP Systems Certification Report


Oracle E-Business Suite (12.1) is now TEC Certified for online comparison of process manufacturing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems in TEC's Evaluation Centers. The certification seal is a valuable indicator for organizations relying on the integrity of TEC research for assistance with their software selection projects. Download this report for product highlights, competitive analysis, product analysis, and in-depth analyst commentary.

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Corporate System Solutions Inc.


Independent Finance System Selection & Implementation, Finance System Performance Analysis & Ad Hoc Solutions, Project Management, Business Analysis

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Better Inventory Management: Big Challenges, Big Data, Emerging Solutions


Effective inventory control and management is a vital function to help insure the continued success of distribution and manufacturing and companies. Learn about new, flexible, and more refined tools that provide for dynamic optimization of inventories to maximize customer service, throughput, and market share, while decreasing inventory investment and lowering costs.

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Professional Service Strategies that Win: IT’s New Role in the Cloud


Successful enterprise resource planning (ERP) deployment demands a focused examination of the professional services provided by your organization, and the most efficient infrastructure required to support them. You must provide your most important asset—your people—with effective tools that can be accessed remotely, securely, and immediately. Professional service organizations that understand this will be in a strong position to determine the best cloud-based solution for their needs.

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JDA Enables Retail In-Store Picking


While omnichannel retail has created multiple sales opportunities for retailers, it has created havoc in their stores and upstream supply chains. Challenged with enormous e-commerce purchasing volumes, retailers are looking at how they can effectively manage the picking of e-commerce orders to truly provide the ‘buy anywhere, fulfill anywhere, and return anywhere’ experience. Find out how one software vendor is helping retailers address this challenge.

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Competing in a Big-box World: How Retailers Can Leverage Technology to Thrive in Today’s Retail Environment


Industry analysts and retail executives agree that, although competitive prices are a must, “low price” as a leading strategy will no longer lead to long-term business success. To successfully compete, midsized retailers must carve out a niche based on creative strategies, including better and more localized product assortments, flawless price management and execution, and optimized inventory down to the store level.

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Want to Know How to Survive in a Down Economy? Then Look in Your Warehouse!


When I speak with distribution executives nowadays, they all say the same thing: “We are struggling to keep our heads above water because of the economy.” However, before the economy took a turn for the worse, they talked about low profit margins, high inventory levels with low turns, and an erosion of their profitability because of their warehouses. I am often forced to ask, “Is the economy

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