Value-add distributor helps net HCF deal

Value-add distributor helps net HCF deal

The value-add of Sydney-based distributor Executive Computing has helped the Hospital Contribution Fund of Australia (HCF) successfully complete the installation of a new BusinessObjects decision support system (DSS).

After a lengthy evaluation involving several products from SAS, Cognos and Seagate, HCF decided to switch from Cognos' Impromptu to BusinessObjects, citing the product's user-friendly features and a capacity to produce and edit complex reports as the main reason behind the decision.

The deal represents a major victory for Executive Computing, considering BusinessObjects' relatively recent introduction to the Australian management information systems (MIS) market.

Wayne Miller, HCF's MIS manager, praised the IS component training pro-vided by Executive Computing, which helped the company complete installation within three days.

Since February, HCF's MIS department has developed four plain-English templates used by non-technical managers and business analysts to access the company's 20GB IBM DB2 warehouse, allowing users to understand the type of data they are accessing.

"Business Objects internationally does a lot of work with channel partners - such as Oracle and Sybase - in developing what they call rapid deployment templates, that are fully customisable start-up kits for any corporate database," Elaine Gray, marketing manager of Executive Computing, told ARN.

"They don't encroach upon the integrity of data in any of those databases, which is the reason why IT people like them so much."

As a precursor to modern decision support systems, BusinessObjects was developed in Europe in 1990 when Business Objects (the company) introduced "semantic layer" technology to enable complex databases to be described in a language understandable to non-technical end users.

However, Executive Computing did not become involved with the product until 1995.

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