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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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 the business value of software static analysis


Why don’t the Potential Benefits of Spend Analysis Come Easily?


the business value of software static analysis  quarterly. This leads to the phenomenon of running a business by looking in the rear-view mirror. Can Expert Systems Help Here? The aforementioned traditional shortcomings of traditional heavy lifting spend analysis deployments have prompted some vendors to come up with different innovative approaches. Some vendors have espoused  artificial intelligence (AI)  pattern-matching inference engines to classify messy A/P and PO data into a commodity coding taxonomy (e.g., UNSPSC in the US). The problem with

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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

ERP for Mill-based and Material Converting Environments

The ERP for Mill-based and Material Converting Environments knowledge base focuses on a range of industrial activities that add value to raw materials by processing them into a form suitable for further manufacturing or for immediate end-use. These activities include traditional mills that turn grain into flour or extract sucrose from sugar cane; the spinning and weaving mills of the textiles and carpets sectors; the rolling plants of steel, aluminum, and other metals semi-fabricators; to the continuous outputs of paper and board mills. 

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Unlocking Hidden Value from Investments in SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse


Extending the capabilities and value of SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse is a concern for users. To improve data use and fact-based decision making, and reduce stranded spreadsheets, SAP users can choose a business intelligence (BI) software solution such as IBM Cognos 8, with budgeting, planning, and forecasting functions. Find out more about how you can improve your business performance management content with BI.

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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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The Seven Types of Power Problems


Many of the mysteries of equipment failure, downtime, software, and data corruption are the result of a problematic power supply. Compounding the problem is that there is no standardized way to describe power problems. Learn more about common power disturbances, what can cause them, and how to safeguard your critical equipment—all described in Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) standard terms.

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Stemming the Loss of Knowledge Capital: A Business Fix for Canadian Manufacturers


The clock is ticking for Canadian manufacturers to come up with a solution to the ongoing loss of knowledge capital. Natural employee attrition, such as departures or layoffs, inevitable retirement, and the brain drain are contributing to an exodus of knowledge. That’s why the best hope for Canadian manufacturers lies in introducing knowledge management strategies across the enterprise—before it’s too late.

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Expandable Software


Founded in 1983, Expandable Software, Inc. develops, markets, and supports an integrated manufacturing enterprise resource planning (ERP). The company's implementation process is performed exclusively with direct employees of the company. Expandable's customers-which range from start-ups to growing manufacturers with annual revenues approaching the billion-dollar mark-manufacture a variety of products including medical devices, electronics, and consumer goods. Expandable is headquartered in Santa Clara, California (US), with offices in California (US), Medway, Massachusetts (US), and New Albany, Ohio (US).

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Customer Success Story: University of Maryland School of Medicine


The University of Maryland School of Medicine had already experienced VMware technology as a way to consolidate its servers; what it didn’t realize was that the company’s solution could also address its disaster recovery needs. By combining two storage technologies—creating a common storage area network (SAN)—the school has reduced unexpected downtime from hours to seconds and has saved thousands of dollars in hardware costs.

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iScala ERP Software


Epicor’s iScala enterprise resource planning (ERP) software enables businesses to automate and manage their standard business processes, and includes an e-business infrastructure focusing on a fully integrated set of ledgers. Among the software’s many features are: multi-dimensional account structure, currency and ledger revaluation, continuous and periodic consolidation, cash flow forecasting, automatic payments with payment ledger integration.    

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VDoc Software


A subsidiary of the Axemble Group, a holding company with extensive experience in the small to medium business (SMB) market, VDoc Software is an independent software vendor with 500 customers and more than 400,000 users. Since 1996, the vendor has provided software that focusses on processes, employee productivity, and organizational relationships with customers and partners. VDoc Software is headquartered in Charbonnières les Bains (France).

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Flexi Software


FlexiInternational Software, Inc. ("Flexi") provides business accounting solutions. The FlexiFinancials Enterprise Suite consists of accounting applications and components that are sold directly and through partnership programs, including private label partnerships (FIP). Flexi has been providing scalable, high volume processing, international solutions to financial services, banking, insurance, and other service organizations across the globe for over a decade.

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Perfect Software


Located in Arcadia, California (US), Perfect Software has been supplying personal computer (PC) and Application System 400 (AS/400) custom accounting software to small to medium size businesses for over 20 years. Perfect Software is an IBM Partner in Development.

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