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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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Connecting Your Executives to the CRM Effort: Becoming (and Remaining) a Data-driven Organization
When businesses commit to implementing customer relationship management (CRM), they commit to realigning their entire organizations around the customer. More

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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

Configure Price Quote (CPQ)

Configure, price, and quote (CPQ) solutions (sometimes known as quote-to-order, or Q2O, systems) help drive sales effectiveness by supporting configuration and pricing activities and the generation of quotes that occure during the sales process. CPQ solutions create accurate and professional sales quotes for complex, custom-engineered or customizable products while streamlining core processes and lowering costs. Common features of CPQ software include product catalog and pricing functionality, product visualization, and support for channel sales.  

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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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A Well-designed Solution for Sourcing: Its Technological Foundation and How It Works


TradeStone has developed an application that can be quickly configured to shift data in and out of traditional enterprise planning systems. Organizations can thus more easily intertwine basic procurement information with crucial sourcing data such as specifications, schedules, and statuses.

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A SaaS Start-up Cautionary Tale: The Makana Experience (Or: How You Can Create a Great Product and Still Hit the Wall)


Great products and a growing customer base are not enough to succeed in the SaaS ICM marketplace. Find out why Makana, a startup SaaS vendor, found it difficult to reach profitability.

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More Data, More Channels, Fewer Problems: Using PIM to Drive Business Performance


The demand for product data is insatiable. Customers seek it out through a variety of channels to fuel their decision making. Employees across departments look to share and use it through their software applications. In order to keep up with this demand, organizations turn to master data management (MDM) and product information management (PIM) systems to provide a solid foundation for their current and future data initiatives. Read this white paper for recommendations for organizations looking to implement a PIM system or improve their current program.

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Human Capital Management: How Top Organizations Drive Company Profits Efficiently


This benchmarking study analyzes human resources (HR) performance for over 200 best-practice companies in three categories: process and transactional support, expertise-based business support, and strategic decision support. Two questions are at the core of the study: How can companies reduce HR costs and increase HR efficiency? And how can HR organizations create business value and optimize effectiveness? Find out what they said.

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Secure DNS/DHCP Management-An Integrated Solution


Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) has been adopted as the dynamic protocol of choice for pain-free management of network resources. The integration of the Domain Name System (DNS) and DHCP into a single network helps overcome traditional barriers to effective resource allocation. Indeed, combining DNS and DHCP enhances information security, thus providing a solution your organization can grow with.

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Two Mistakes Most Professional Services Organizations Make-How Metrics and Automation Tools Drive Profits


Many companies strive to effectively measure and analyze their service operations. But while management struggles to measure too many (or too few) metrics, they often overlook the basic measurement question: what to track, and how? By using the concept metric perspectives to define what data provides the most insight, you can move closer to a comprehensive metrics strategy.

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Great Plains: Strong Channel and Microsoft focus for Dynamic(s) Growth


Great Plains has established very strong branding and penetration within the Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SME) segment of the ERP market, with a large and loyal customer base and a uniquely developed, extensive partner channel within the industry. A long presence on Microsoft's platforms ensures that R&D money has been spent on enhancing product functionality in accordance with the voice of customers and/or the market trends.

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An Assessment Breakthrough that Will Change the Way You Think about Your Workforce: Identifying Organizational Culture Can Drive Business Performance


What if you could give your organization, as a whole, a personal assessment? What if your organization could gain the same insight into its culture that we can gain from a personal assessment?

The IBM Kenexa Cultural Indicator assesses an organization’s internal culture—helping leadership drive performance and align employees, managers, departments, and locations with the overall company strategy. It can help an organization transform its values and strengths into specific strategies to drive overall performance.

This tool uses archetypes to express an organization’s culture, revealing the strengths and weaknesses of the organization, internal values, archetypes of the leadership and executive level teams, and strengths and weaknesses of departments within the organization. Once the culture is defined, human capital management strategies can be developed for more effective recruitment and retention practices.

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Risk Mitigation and Functional Requirements in Dynamic Compliance Environments


Risk, risk mitigation, and accountability are at the center of several key industry regulations and are factored into all forms of financial and operational metrics. Learn how enterprise software can be used to develop strong models using balanced planning to mitigate risk.

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