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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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Quote-to-order: New Ingredients in the Recipe for Success
Quote-to-order (Q2O) systems can address the increasing demand for personalized and customized products. Complex product specification, quoting, and ordering

ability of users to identify any new forums they are not subscribed to  been weak in their ability to handle sales, marketing, and product configuration tasks. Another weak spot for ERP products is in generating proposals, whereby manufacturers can set up Web tools to automatically generate proposals online, complete with all of the technical and commercial data the customer needs to evaluate the quotation. This can include cover letters, product descriptions, technical datasheets, performance graphs, drawings, and commercial terms and conditions. Consequently, a slew of

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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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The 2007 Microsoft® Office System in Manufacturing


This white paper highlights the key challenges facing the manufacturing industry, and discusses how the 2007 Microsoft® Office system can help maximize employee contributions and enhance business performance with innovative and powerful enterprise capabilities.

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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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8 CRM Essentials: An Executive Guide to the Must-have Elements of Every Successful CRM Initiative


It’s no secret that winning and retaining customers is the key to growth and success. But that’s no small feat, with ever-increasing customer demands, as well as the difficulty of implementing and enforcing processes to support your interactions with prospects, customers, and partners. Eight proven customer relationship management (CRM) best practices can help you create a customer retention strategy. Learn more.

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The Changing Face of CRM


The recent economic slowdown has illustrated how interwoven our global economies really are. The demands to increase enterprise performance has accelerated. Whether it’s to find new opportunities to increase or maintain market share, or to generate new revenue opportunities, each of these areas represent additional challenges in fulfilling customer expectations and demands. A greater

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6 Reasons to Switch to Cloud-based Expense Management


Many businesses have begun to realize the extent of the benefits offered to them by automated expense management. These programs—which allow expense information to be stored digitally and expense reports to be generated automatically—are about to become standard across all sectors of industry. Here are six ways cloud-based expense management can benefit companies.

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From Right Brain to Retail: Cutting Time-to-market with PLM


Apparel companies have to cut their lead times in half if they want to stay competitive—a difficult task without the right product lifecycle management (PLM) solution. In this white paper, you’ll discover how PLM solutions can help your company achieve faster time-to-market. And you’ll learn how integrating PLM with your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system maximizes the capabilities of both.

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Keys to Success for Industrial Equipment Suppliers to Meet Today’s Top Three Issues


Although the industrial equipment market has been growing, based on strong customer demand, companies cannot rest on their laurels. Manufacturers and distributors must keep adding value to maintain existing contracts and win new business. They must be efficient enough to meet new demands while maintaining margins. Discover solutions that can help total industrial solution suppliers stay profitable during this expansion.

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Using ERP to Deliver E-commerce for Engineer-to-order Companies


Engineer-to-order (ETO) companies can use e-commerce strategies in order to improve customer service, reduce waste, and increase profits through a lean approach to document management and more efficient project administration. This article outlines the ways that enterprise resource planning (ERP) software can facilitate ETO e-commerce by opening portals to suppliers, project collaborators, and customers.

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End-to-End Monitoring Is Critical to Meeting End User Expectations Today and Tomorrow


To function as a business partner, IT must deliver service at predictable levels—and also contribute to enterprise strategy, by planning for services that enable growth. That’s why IT needs end-to-end infrastructure views that reveal issues as they happen, and track trends that predict future needs. But how can IT create unified views of the environment without draining critical resources?

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How to Get Closer to Your Best Customers


In the white paper Get Closer to Your Best Customers, you'll find a host of new ideas and proven best practices for dealing with customers more e...

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