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Industry Implementations

Broward County Public Schools Scores High for Business Analytics

Today's education system is light years beyond what most of us remember from our own schoolyard days. Gone are paper report cards that were distributed directly to students in the classroom. And skipping history class without anyone noticing is, well, history. Undeniably, school has gone high tech. Although most people would not associate public schools with Fortune 500 companies, when it comes to business analytics, they are on a level playing field. In fact, some are award winning BI implementations.

For the past several years, Broward County Public Schools in Florida has been leading the way in terms of how student information is captured, stored and retrieved. Broward's innovation has earned high honors from some of the industry's top publications for its best practices in business intelligence and data warehousing. This is remarkable achievement for a district with more than 263,620 pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, 75,000 adult education students and more than 41,900 employees. Broward's data warehouse - the backbone of all data and reporting activities - churns tremendous amounts of data every day such as student test scores, attendance records, medical histories and parent contact information. With Lakeview Technology's MIMIX replicate1, much of this data is ready and instantly accessible.

MIMIX replicate1 addresses on-demand, enterprise-wide data sharing needs. It easily captures, replicates and transforms information and shares it whenever - and wherever - it is needed. Plus, it is application independent, so users can focus on which applications best meet business objectives rather than which work best at sharing data.

"Broward County Public Schools has over 200,000 users with login information. Whenever they want information real time, they want it then and there. With MIMIX replicate1, parents, students, teachers and administrators have immediate access to select information such as grades or attendance records," said Phyllis Chasser, Ph.D., senior data warehouse analyst, Broward County Public Schools. "We are fortunate to have this technology because this type of analytic capability is found only at the largest of companies," Chasser added.

According to analyst group Gartner, managing silos of information becomes critical as companies seek to share analysis across a heterogeneous application environment. They must develop short-term tactics to lay the foundation for long term enterprise wide analytics. With Lakeview Technology's MIMIX replicate1, Broward has eliminated these database barriers so that teachers and administrators can perform faster, better business intelligence analysis.

Broward has a multihardware, multisoftware environment. About 85 percent of the school district uses Macintosh while the remainder uses PCs. All of the student transactional applications, as well as the district's data warehousing activities, run on IBM System i.

"We program a lot due to the nature of what we do. With basic programming, our staff is able to do transformation using MIMIX replicate1 for those files that need to be replicated real-time. If there is an emergency or if there is a school closing, there is an automated link into real-time data. People are notified immediately," said Chasser.

Taking it to another level, Broward County Public Schools is directly linked to the Broward Information Network, an Oracle database hosted by the County of Broward. Facilities such as hospitals are connected to an independent database supplied by the data warehouse, so if a child is hurt outside of school, doctors can access parent information, known allergies or medications, among other important data. Immediate access to real-time information has made it significantly easier for similar organizations within Broward during emergencies.

Chasser says Broward has transformed itself from a school system that was data starved to a data driven organization. "We are committed to providing real-time information so our schools can make a difference in academic achievements. MIMIX replicate1 is part of our overall strategy in doing so," she said.

Barclays Global Investors Deploys Insightful Corporation's S-PLUS

Barclays Global Investors (BGI), one of the world's largest asset managers, selected Insightful's S-PLUS software product family for delivery of quantitative analysis across the company's global research group.

BGI is deploying Insightful's S-PLUS Server and Insightful Miner Server products enterprise wide to help improve the quality and timeliness of predictive analytics and quantitative research. A subsidiary of the UK-based financial services group Barclays, BGI has more than 2,800 clients in 52 countries worldwide.

BGI purchased the suite of Insightful solutions and Insightful recognized license revenue for this transaction in December of 2005.

U.S. Government Agency Selects SAND/DNA to Bring Data Explosion Under Control in SAP Business Information Warehouse

A large U.S. government agency has contracted with SAND/DNA for SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence (SAP NetWeaver BI) as a near-line solution to manage the rapidly growing volumes of data in its SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW) environment. The SAND/DNA solution, officially certified by SAP as an integrated ABAP add-on with SAP NetWeaver BI, was specifically developed to address the increasingly complex data management issues faced by companies running large-scale SAP NetWeaver BI implementations. This sale indicates increasing market acceptance of SAND/DNA as a nearline component of SAP's recommended Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) solution for SAP NetWeaver BI.

The agency had been experiencing substantial growth in its SAP BW implementation, which was predicted to grow from five terabytes to more than 40 terabytes within four years. Working with a large systems integrator, the agency selected SAND/DNA for SAP NetWeaver BI as a nearline solution that could provide high compression rates for InfoCubes, ODS Objects and PSA (Persistent Staging Area) data and change logs while still allowing users to access nearline data directly. The main reasons cited for choosing the SAND/DNA solution were SAP certification, extremely high data compression rates, seamless integration with SAP BW, data retrieval performance, excellent support from SAND and high projected return on investment.

To date, the SAND/DNA solution has been deployed with about 4 terabytes of data and has demonstrated compression of 94 percent (to about 250 gigabytes). Using the SAND patented capability of having the compressed data appear fully-indexed, any field is as quickly and transparently accessible to users as if it were online, and overall data management tasks are greatly simplified. With the overall savings achieved, ROI should be attained within six months.

Scandinavian Airlines Chooses Software AG's CentraSite

Scandinavian Airlines has chosen Software AG's CentraSite SOA Registry/ Repository to support their technology management and governance initiatives. CentraSite will work in concert with diverse enterprise technologies to help Scandinavian Airlines achieve its strategic goals of cost savings and increased competitiveness.

Scandinavian Airlines will use CentraSite to manage and govern IT elements such as Web services, policies, models and metadata in the context of a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). "In the extremely competitive global transportation industry, the adoption of innovative technologies such as Software AG's CentraSite will, through better control and reusability, enable us to more quickly align ourselves with changing market dynamics and thereby provide the highest level of service to our customers," says Magnus Clarving, Manager, Corporate and Agent systems, SAS Airline IT.

Because it is based on widely accepted industry standards, CentraSite is able to bring together products and solutions from both small and large technology vendors - as well as "home-grown" applications - under a single management and governance umbrella. This inclusive approach is further supported by the CentraSite Community, which encompasses a diverse group of enterprise technology providers whose solutions are pre-integrated with CentraSite.

"As enterprise environments grow more heterogeneous - especially through market consolidations - the need for management and governance becomes increasingly pronounced," said Dr. Peter Kuerpick, Member of the Board, Software AG and responsible for the development of crossvision. "By adopting a managed services approach to IT infrastructure, industry pioneers, such as Scandinavian Airlines, are able to adapt and innovate during even the most turbulent market conditions."

The Lance Armstrong Foundation Processes Ride with Lombardi for Business Process Management

The Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) has deployed the TeamWorks BPM platform in support of the organization's merchandising and donation processes, dashboard reports and exception management processes. Lombardi TeamWorks currently manages hundreds of thousands of transactions per month supporting core programs such as the LIVESTRONG Store and the LIVESTRONG Challenge. Additionally, the LAF was recognized as a 2006 CIO 100 Award winner for its achievement in creating new business value through IT-enabled innovation, in part through its usage of TeamWorks.

The LAF, founded in 1997 by cancer survivor and champion cyclist Lance Armstrong, is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in Austin, Texas, that provides the practical information and tools people living with cancer need to live life on their own terms. Approximately 55 million people across the globe have purchased a LIVESTRONG wristband in support of people living with cancer. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $30 million in grants and program partnerships. Programmatic expenses include the development of survivorship education and resources (online and offline), information and referral services and advocacy initiatives. The LAF boasts a four-star Charity Navigator ranking and was selected by the Better Business Bureau to join the elite Wise Giving Alliance. The Foundation is proud to invest more than 80 percent of expenses into mission-related activities and grants.

"Our goal was to make our business users self-sufficient in their daily tasks," said Betty Otter-Nickerson, LAF chief operating officer. "Lombardi was the right BPM solution for our needs because it gives our business users the tools they need while freeing up our IT staff."

The LAF selected Lombardi's TeamWorks to allow each business unit to easily manage their processes without constantly relying on IT staff. The Foundation also needed to tie together information systems from multiple vendors. Lombardi reports and dashboards provide users with real-time information as needed.

The Foundation utilizes the services of Athens Group, a consulting firm and a Lombardi Certified Partner. "With a high-volume charity such as LAF, the performance and scalability of systems is extremely critical to their operations," said Paul Patterson, Managing Partner of BPM Solutions at Athens Group. "The processes we have implemented using Lombardi are handling the volumes extremely well."

"The Lance Armstrong Foundation provides tremendous assistance and support for people living with cancer," said Rod Favaron, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lombardi. "Lombardi is proud that our software is helping support such an important organization and cause."

Lombardi TeamWorks is the leading BPM software platform for designing, executing and improving business processes. The product is built on open standards and provides ongoing process visibility and control, increasing the speed and flexibility with which organizations can manage process activity and decision-making. TeamWorks includes a rich, cohesive Eclipse-based modeling environment for building all aspects of a business process, a highly collaborative Web-based work portal for process participants, and provides industry-leading optimization technologies for analyzing and improving business processes.

Axiom SL to Provide Credit Suisse with FSA Basel II and BOE Regulatory Reporting Solutions

Credit Suisse's selected Axiom SL to support its compliance with the proposed FSA Basel II Directive requirements and regulatory reporting for the FSA and the Bank of England. Axiom SL will provide the complete reporting infrastructure and process for Credit Suisse, from data input to validation and final report delivery to the authorities.

After a careful selection process and extensive proof of concept with several competing solutions Axiom SL was chosen based on its high score across required functionality, flexibility, performance and industry references.

This piece has been brought to you by the DM Review Editorial staff.

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