Toyota scours Hyperion

Toyota scours Hyperion beta before . . . . . . it rolls out the final release late this month.

"We've been testing the (Hyperion Performance Suite) beta since October," says Mike Burkes, data technology manager at Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. in Torrance, Calif. "We've thoroughly tested it for three or four thousand hours because the business applications that use it are so important."

In two weeks, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Hyperion Solutions will announce the general availability of Version 8.2 of the business intelligence software it acquired with Brio Software late last year.

The new version adds full support for Linux, guided analysis, dashboard features, Web services hooks and integration with unstructured data. Burkes appreciates those features but is mostly jazzed by the improved management and performance, which are vital for culling through data that's updated with 10 million transactions per day. Burkes says that with 8.2, he'll be able to consolidate the software on fewer servers, yet still be able to handle the end-of-month spikes in demand.

Burkes also likes the distributed administration features. "We don't have to manage user roles because business units will be able to set them up," he says. Although only one executive among the 2,700 users of the software within Toyota is testing the product's dashboard, Burkes calls it "a big deal" because "anything I can put on the Web I can put in the dashboard." Even, he admits, data from competing business intelligence software from the likes of Cognos and Actuate.

Toyota honchos may need to minimize their dashboards sometime in the near future if they join online conferencing sessions run by Raindance Communications. Later this quarter, the conferencing service provider will unveil its updated service, code-named K2, which will include interactive video. The Meeting Edition will be able to handle dozens of users during a single session. K2's tight integration with audio means that video will automatically shift to the speaker. Or a participant can hold the video on a single person, either the best-looking or, most likely, the most senior attendee, says Todd Vernon, Raindance's chief technology officer.

"Video gives you nuance," he maintains. "So, you'll know when to stop talking if the boss is looking bored." Although Vernon acknowledges that the combination of video with voice has been slow to catch on since AT&T introduced the notion at the 1964 World's Fair, he thinks improvements in the technology and the difficulty of business travel in this post-9/11 world change the equation. "Besides, it's pretty freakin' valuable to see someone on video," he exclaims.

It's likely you'll be seeing many more Web services applications this year. Ed Horst, vice president of marketing at AmberPoint Inc. in Oakland, Calif., brags that his company had its best financial period ever in Q4 of last year and he says the current fiscal quarter will beat that. The Web services management company hopes that the shipment later this month of AmberPoint 2004 Release 1 will spur even more sales.

The updated software is designed to let you monitor Web services applications from the start of their HTTP traffic through all the XML and SOAP transactions. It also adds a T-filter agent, which prevents data in packets from being altered and manages UDDI registration. And the update adds IBM WebSphere server support to its Tomcat and .Net offerings. Pricing starts at around US$50,000.

"An e-commerce Web site is the most complex technical system on the planet," argues Steve Kusmer, CEO of Atomz Corp. in San Bruno, Calif. Perhaps. But even if you think they're a snap to deploy, you should take a gander at Atomz's updates to the hosted Web commerce operations the company sells.

The improvements include a guided shopping capability that speeds buyers' navigation to online offerings and a new content-management engine that propagates changes in one area of a Web site to all related sections. And it's pretty fast, Kusmer boasts. The search engine can handle 400 searches per second, he claims. The new services get turned on this week.

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More about ActuateAT&TBRIOBrio SoftwareCognosHyperion solutionsIBM AustraliaRaindance CommunicationsToyota Motor Corp AustUDDI

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