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  Product News published in DM Direct Newsletter
December 2, 2005 Issue
 
  By DMReview.com Web Editorial Staff

In Group Partners with Panorama Software to Provide BI Solutions to Client Base

in Group, a leading U.K. business intelligence (BI) consulting company that helps turn its customers' enterprise data into knowledge using business intelligence solutions, data warehousing and Web technologies, has developed a strategic partnership with Panorama Software. This new partnership allows inGroup to extend its current BI capabilities to provide complimentary BI tool sets to its extensive customer base throughout the United Kingdom.

After a thorough review of BI solutions in the marketplace, inGroup selected Panorama Software because of its market leader position and depth of experience on the Microsoft platform, particularly regarding the new SQL Server 2005 BI architecture. inGroup chose Panorama because of its rich functionality and very user friendly interface. This enterprise solution was also used to improve decision making requirements across the organization for all users from senior management to operational employees.

"inGroup is committed to helping our customers make better business decisions," said Jofi Alexander, Premier Account and Marketing Director for inGroup. "We provide our customers with the most advanced technological solutions and Panorama's comprehensive solutions provide our customers an exciting, functionally rich and cost effective solution."

Ista Shared Services Reports High Satisfaction with Exstream Software's Dialogue for Personalized Document Production

Ista Shared Services, a utility product and service provider headquartered in Germany, is a satisfied user of Extreme Software's Dialogue for the production of all its bills across the enterprise. With operations in 80 locations across Europe, USA, Scandinavia and China, Ista selected Dialogue in 2004 to bring personalization on a mass scale to all of its standard documents and bills. To date, Dialogue has produced 60 million personalised pages for Ista.

Ista's requirements included powerful formatting capabilities, strong support for AFP data streams, and local customer service. More importantly, Ista needed a document production system with high performance that could easily integrate with its existing hardware and software systems. Exstream's Dialogue fulfilled these criteria and scored nine out of a possible ten points in Ista's evaluation - outperforming every other solution on price, performance and innovation.


"One of the benefits we looked for in a new software system was a demonstrable return on investment (ROI)," said Ingo Mette, systems engineer at Ista. "Of all the personalized document creation solutions we evaluated, Exstream's Dialogue demonstrated this most effectively for our business. To date, 60 million pages have been generated using Dialogue, from consultant statements to meter cards. We have found this to be a high performing and easy-to-use solution."

After a smooth implementation last year, Ista continues to be impressed with the flexibility of Dialogue and its breadth of application across the enterprise.

PANTERO Announces Integration into IBM Telecommunications Offering

Pantero Corporation, a provider of semantic integration software for SOAs , announced it will provide an integration component for the IBM BSS/OSS Telecommunications Industry solution Pantero's software integrates seamlessly with IBM's leading SOA platform, WebSphere Process Server Version 6.0 and accelerates the loosely coupled integration of more than 10 IBM and third-party applications in the offering by leveraging the TeleManagement Forum's Shared Information/Data (SID) model for SOA-based integration.

Pantero's software benefits architects by providing an exchange model with metadata for semantic integration. This model allows architects to create and maintain a data architecture, using information models like the SID, which centrally manages the business rules and operations that govern data interoperability. Analysts can describe the mappings and business rules that ensure data consistency and business integrity instead of resorting to spreadsheets and word documents. For software developers, Pantero ensures that the result is stateless, distributed standards-based services which can be deployed on ESBs and application servers.

Partners HealthCare Rolls Out Enterprise Master Patient Index System Built on InterSystems' CACHE Database

Partners HealthCare System, Inc. has gone live with a new Enterprise Master Patient Index (EMPI) system built on InterSystems' CACHE post-relational database. InterSystems develops and markets the CACHE post-relational database and the Ensemble universal integration platform.

Recognized worldwide for the ability to leverage innovative information technology, Partners is an integrated delivery system that offers patients a continuum of coordinated high-quality care. The system includes primary care and specialty physicians, community hospitals, the two founding academic medical centers, specialty facilities, community health centers, and other health-related entities.

CACHE delivers high performance, massive scalability and innovative object technology that were key drivers in the decision to build a new EMPI system in house, according to Steve Flammini, Partners CTO. "Our previous system, built on traditional relational database technology, had been running for about a decade," he explained. "Basically, we took all of the lessons we learned over the life of that system, identified all of the new capabilities we wanted, and the results were the specifications for a new 'dream system,'" he said.

The ability to customize the application for Partners' specific needs was one key element in the decision to bring EMPI system development in house. In addition, the robust CACHE' object technology and capabilities fulfilled criteria based on an IT strategy calling for the new application to utilize object architecture. The high performance and scalability CACHE is delivering for a wide variety of Partners applications also contributed to the selection of CACHE as the database foundation for the new system. "CACHE is the underlying database for many of our clinical applications," Flammini said. "InterSystems is recognized for technology innovation and our working partnership has been highly successful for more than a decade."

The new EMPI systems went live in July 2005 with a rollout throughout the Partners network. "The EMPI application effectively provides a crosswalk of patient information across multiple sites," Flammini explained. Core patient demographics and information about patient visits is stored in the EMPI database. Because the EMPI establishes a patient's identity across the Partners network, a physician in any location can access critical patient data from multiple institutions seamlessly. "The physician has complete access to the patient's in-network history. This results in significant benefits in terms of patient safety across a population of about three million that we serve."

The fast performance of the CACHE-based application has proven key to handling the high volume of information requests received on a 24x7 basis. Typically, the EMPI system responds to more than 20 million service requests from other applications and more than 100,000 transactions each day.

While the system has been running on a production basis for only about three months, "the move from a purchased application to a CACHE-based application developed and maintained in-house is already perceived as an organizational success," according to Flammini. "Benefits such as more rapid system response, faster access to rich data, the ability to prioritize enhancements and customizations in the most optimal way possible, and having complete control over the development cycle are likely to deliver a rapid return on our technology investment," he added.

Olympus Corporation Uses Hyperion Software for Financial Precision

Olympus Corporation, a leading manufacturer of precision medical, imaging and industrial devices, is using Hyperion software to consolidate financial data across its operations and meet its expanding management reporting needs.

Olympus Corporation selected Hyperion Financial Management to achieve global consistency throughout its multiple subsidiaries and business units. The new system, which replaces Hyperion Enterprise, is used to create monthly and annual budgets for executive teams, comply with legal and managerial accounting mandates and integrate its financial consolidation reports with its existing Tokyo Headquarters' accounting systems constructed by SAP R/3.

"Hyperion Financial Management offers us an excellent user interface as well as great flexibility in handling both legally mandated consolidated accounting and managerial consolidated accounting tasks," said Takayuki Aoyagi, accounting department project leader for Olympus Corporation. "Also Hyperion Financial Management allows us to have an information infrastructure that can accommodate our continually expanding enterprise information and our demands for faster accounting completion. Its seamless integration with our existing Tokyo Headquarters' accounting systems constructed by SAP R/3 has also been helpful in enabling us to leverage all of our data resources."

As a result of the Hyperion implementation, time to consolidate financial statements has been reduced from several hours to as little as 10 to 40 minutes. Additionally, the implementation has facilitated sharing of financial information throughout the enterprise by enabling anytime, anywhere access to reports via the Web. Other benefits cited by Olympus Corporation include improved efficiency in data assembly and a streamlined, simplified process for submitting consolidated data.

In addition to the shortened processing time for consolidated financial statements and improved efficiency in collecting data from subsidiaries that it has realized using Hyperion Financial Management, Olympus now enjoys greater flexibility in its financial reporting. In fact, Hyperion software makes it possible for Olympus to create year-on-year, budget-versus-actual reports for each company, business segment and month. The reports can be transmitted to more than 100 users via the Web.

For the implementation of Hyperion Financial Management, Olympus selected Hyperion partner CSK Systems Corporation, which had been responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the company's Hyperion Enterprise system and was well versed in its consolidated basis accounting needs.

The Arizona Republic Uses ESRI Software for Market-Focused Selling

The Arizona Republic, a newspaper serving 1.275 million households in Maricopa and Pinal counties in Arizona, is using the ArcGIS family of software from ESRI to give advertisers the option to reach consumers on a "per-piece" basis. This option allows advertisers to more accurately target consumers than by traditional means of marketing by ZIP code, census block group or carrier route.

"Using ESRI's software has made selling inserts to advertisers easier," said Jay Visnansky, senior systems analyst for the Arizona Republic. "We are able to offer solutions we couldn't before, including selecting demographics based on geography and selecting individual households. It has given our customers a more competitive edge."

Sales staff log on to a map-based application of the Arizona Republic's coverage territory to view subscribers and nonsubscribers and select from a pull-down list of demographics to help advertisers target customers more precisely. For example, if an advertiser is interested in customer income, they can choose that demographic variable and the value, such as household income between $50,000 and $74,999. More demographic variables can then be queried such as finding only swimming pool owners in the income bracket they selected. Using GIS, advertisers are able to specifically market to the customers they would like by selecting particular households for inserts, instead of blanketing an entire carrier route, ZIP Code or census block.

The Arizona Republic first turned to ESRI software in 2001 to fine-tune the process of targeting customers for its advertisers. Some advertisers wanted to target certain segments of the population or certain geographic areas. Some chain merchants wanted to create different versions of their ads depending on the targeted customer, advertising one set of items for sale at one store and a different set at another.

The Arizona Republic was able to offer its advertisers the ability to precisely target customers using ArcIMS, ESRI's solution for delivering dynamic maps and GIS data and services via the Web, along with ArcSDE, which is used for maintaining large datasets of customers, and ArcView for creating custom applications. Between 200 to 250 sales staff access the system across the Phoenix valley. Using GIS, the Arizona Republic has been able to increase both the number of advertisers and the revenue from their legacy advertisers.

Pillar Addresses Plaxo's Mission-Critical Storage Needs

Plaxo, Inc. has chosen Pillar Axiom storage system as the foundation for Plaxo's online transaction processing (OLTP) database, a key element of its booming online information management business. Plaxo's initial purchase included four Pillar Axiom systems totaling nearly 100 terabytes of storage.

Plaxo serves millions of users who keep their personal information continually updated through its combination of free and subscription online products. "Our back-end database is mission critical to the success of Plaxo's operation. It supports the crux of what we do," explained Ethan Erchinger, Plaxo's operations manager. "We needed a solution that was secure, powerful yet affordable, from a company that would be there for the long term, and could scale elegantly with the rapid growth of our business. Pillar more than met our expectations."

On average, Plaxo's system handles about 10,000 I/Os per second. Those numbers are rapidly increasing as Plaxo extends its service to various platforms and email clients. Plaxo is used by millions of individuals in over 83 countries, and enjoys a wide following in academia, government, and both small and large businesses, including 98 of the Fortune 100 companies.

"Needless to say, scalability is a major issue for them," said Adrian Jones, senior vice president of Sales for Pillar Data Systems. "Managing many terabytes of mission critical data, Plaxo made it clear that performance and reliability were their top criteria. So we had Plaxo verify our SAN capabilities and performance by literally bringing its servers into Pillar, configuring them as they would be at Plaxo, and giving the Pillar system a real-world test drive."

According to Erchinger, another advantage that influenced Plaxo's purchase decision is Pillar's Quality of Service (QoS) and multi-tenancy capabilities. "I was impressed by the levels of QoS that Pillar supports. We always keep a hot and live backup, and on Pillar, we do it with the same hardware, but assign the backup to a lower QoS. For us, that's a big savings in additional investment."
...............................................................................

For more information on related topics visit the following related portals...
Business Intelligence and Storage.

This piece has been brought to you by the DMReview.com Web Editorial staff.

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