Business Objects rolls out new framework

Business Objects SA on Monday rolled out a new analytic framework designed to ease the delivery of integrated enterprise analytic applications and boosted its supply chain intelligence offering with new features to analyze all operations of the supplier network.

Business Objects Application Foundation 3.0 includes two new analytic engines designed to add predictive analysis and statistical process control capabilities into enterprise analytic applications. These applications give users better insight into data, helping them anticipate the outcome of targeted business decisions, said John Kreisa, senior product marketing manager at Business Objects. In addition, users can monitor, control, and improve processes over time, specifically those related to enterprise quality management.

Applications based on predictive analysis enable users to forecast, model, and analyze the complex relationships within large stores of corporate information. The analysis is presented in a dashboard interface designed to give users a clear and realistic view of their business.

"Our goal is not to add or create another data mining workbench," Kreisa said. "Our goal is to add business analysis for business users. We are focused on helping users discover reasons for business behavior. This allows a user to anticipate a business behavior, like what are the key influences for a business behavior like account closure."

TruServ, a Chicago-based hardware company that owns the True Value brand, purchased the application foundation to help the company monitor critical operation information, specifically data related to sales and inventory, said Neil Hastie, TruServ CIO.

The company chose the solution because of its ability to roll up data from different departments to present in one executive dashboard, he said. This will help TruServ maintain control of sales and inventory levels, which will ultimately improve customer relationships, cut costs, and increase sales, he added.

The new framework also includes additional personalization options and an enhanced workflow to boost deployment of applications that support different views of key performance indicators and that need business-specific navigation between analytics.

Business Objects also added three new analytic application modules to its Supply Chain Intelligence offering to allow companies to improve supplier management, increase manufacturing efficiency, optimize delivery, and manage returns, said Jill Murray, Business Objects' senior product marketing manager.

"It's helping you get a high-level view of what you need to analyze, [such as] overcapacity that you could exploit," she said. "Are you missing demand targets because your overall supply chain takes too long?"

The solution also includes Source Analytics and Deliver Analytics, both available since January. Source Analytics is designed to allow companies to analyze their inbound supply chain to manage supplier relationships, optimize the procurement process, and monitor inventory levels and costs. Deliver Analytics helps companies analyze the outbound supply chain to streamline operations.

The new framework is expected to be generally available on Windows NT, Windows 2000, and Sun Solaris by the end of July. The supply chain modules are expected to be generally available on Windows NT and Windows 2000 by the end of July.

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