Information Builders at the Forefront of Operational BI, Extending the Power of Decision-Making Across the Enterprise

Information Builders Leads the Next Phase of Enterprise Business Intelligence With Customer Deployments and Launch of WebFOCUS 5.3

TORONTO, Oct. 13, 2004 – Information Builders, the leader in enterprise business intelligence (BI) and real-time operational reporting, today announced it has further solidified its position as the leader in operational business intelligence with the release of WebFOCUS 5.3. At the foundation of this latest release are performance and functional features that will help organizations extend business intelligence to encompass operational data and engage users from across the enterprise. Numerous Information Builders’ customers are already using WebFOCUS to handle not only historical reporting, but as a fast and effective means to quickly deliver information to employees and partners directly involved in their business processes.

The industry is recognizing operationally focused, action-oriented applications as a significant emerging business intelligence trend. Ventana Research, the leading provider of performance management research and advisory services, recently unveiled the results of the Business Intelligence for
Operational Performance study, which captured responses from more than 500 organizations.

“Companies are now implementing business intelligence technology-based applications to provide mission-critical information to their line-of-business workers. These applications directly support operations and enable operational performance management,” said Eric Rogge, Ventana Research vice president and research director for Business Intelligence. “Using business intelligence technology for delivery of information to operations shortens time to deployment and allows for greater adaptability to unforeseen operational challenges.”

Operational Business Intelligence Impacts the Bottom Line

Sophisticated operational BI applications that draw from more extensive operational data yield a high return for organizations, particularly when directly involving customers. Embedding business intelligence into customer interactions increases customer satisfaction and often directly generates revenue.

Examples of how some Information Builders customers have used WebFOCUS to connect line-of-business employees directly with their customers are highlighted below.

  • Global motor vehicle industry supplier ArvinMeritor gives employees, supply chain partners, and customers the ability to access and analyze enterprise-wide operational information with self-service BI applications offered online.

  • TELUS Corp, the largest telecommunications company in Western Canada and second largest in Canada, has realized operational efficiencies of $1 million per month from its scorecard application that delivers information at various levels ranging from Field Technician to VP.

  • A large U.S. bank offers reporting capabilities to more than 2,000,000 customers without training or software downloads.

  • Holland America Line analyzes data from diverse operational sources to anticipate and respond to passengers’ needs quickly, as well as pinpoint areas where ongoing improvements can be made.

“All of the data we have access to is only useful if it can be presented as valuable information that illustrates where we need to act,” said John Watkins of First Rate Investment Systems. “We envision many opportunities to use our business intelligence applications to drive revenue”.

More Users, More Pervasive

Information Builders has some of the largest deployments of business intelligence in the world. WebFOCUS is already in production with numerous deployments in the hundreds of thousands of users, illustrating the demand for this capacity. To address the increasing demand for large-scale user deployments, WebFOCUS 5.3 is architected to scale to support millions of users and enterprise requirements, unlike other business intelligence tools that focus on supporting individual desktops. WebFOCUS 5.3 also offers tremendous performance and scalability gains to support more users on less hardware – significantly reducing the TCO of widely deployed operational BI applications for its customers.

Information Builders believes that the heart of operational business intelligence is seamless and pervasive delivery of critical information. This means that business intelligence is presented through tools and applications that users are familiar with, such as a Web browser and Microsoft Excel. With Release 5.3, Information Builders furthers WebFOCUS’ cutting-edge integration with Microsoft Excel. Through the Internet, WebFOCUS can deliver information directly to user’s desktop. Any level user can access critical enterprise information easily and within their comfort zone.

“Everyone is a decision-maker,” stated Gerald Cohen, president and CEO of Information Builders. “Catering intelligence tools to a select few power users means organizations can only realize a fraction of the potential of BI. By definition business intelligence must involve a more comprehensive view of business – from finance and IT to sales and customer service. We’re the only BI vendor that makes wide-spread access to these critical operational systems simple and cost effective.”

Secured, Critical Information

Information Builders’ integrated offering allows fast, secure, and cost-effective access to more than 250 data sources, including all of the leading operational systems. One vital aspect of the new release is the ability to securely deliver information to all users involved in the enterprise’s operational processes. WebFOCUS 5.3 allows users to access information from anywhere through a browser using preexisting single sign-on security. WebFOCUS 5.3 also offers seamless integration with third-party solutions, such as IBM/Tivoli Access Manager, Netegrity SiteMinder, RSA ClearTrust, as well as a new security plug-in that provides built-in support for Active Directory, LDAP, WebFOCUS Reporting Server, and relational database systems.

Visual Delivery Makes BI Accessible to More Users

WebFOCUS 5.3 helps reduce the time from discovery to action through improved usability that makes analysis easily accessible for all users, even external customers. The new release offers expanded capabilities to support ad hoc reports, assisted graph generation, and quick query. WebFOCUS 5.3 also brings visual business intelligence capabilities that enable any level user to see summary and detail data with an interactive and three-dimensional approach – a complete paradigm shift for analysis and reporting. PowerPoint reporting integration and scalable vector graphics (SVG) capabilities offer graphics of the highest quality and allow for simplified distribution of key visuals.

“The learning curve is very low – it’s an extremely intuitive solution,” says Angie McGaha, manager of Business Systems Solutions for North America for ArvinMeritor.


WebFOCUS 5.3 is immediately available. The product is already in production through the WebFOCUS Beta Program at more than 25 customer sites, including ArvinMeritor, Target, Tenet Health Systems, First Rate, Philips Semiconductor, and others.

Customers will experience a streamlined installation with features such as automatic discovery of third-party prerequisites. WebFOCUS 5.3 also provides a new installation verification capability for all components, including diagnostics via the management console. All of these enhancements will help customers speed their implementations and lead to more effective, enterprise-scale business intelligence deployments.

About Information Builders Canada

Information Builders (Canada) Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Information Builders located in New York, N.Y. Information Builders, a $300 million company, is the leader in enterprise business intelligence and real-time Web reporting. The company’s WebFOCUS product -the industry’s most secure and flexible- is able to meet all the reporting needs of the extended enterprise, ranging from analysts to power users to the widest deployments for hundreds of thousands of users. Additionally, WebFOCUS’ empowerment of organizations seeking to leverage all their data by accessing it all from legacy to data warehouse is unmatched.

Information Builders’ award-winning technology has successfully provided quality software and superior services for 29 years to more than 12,000 customers, including most of the Fortune 100 and U.S. federal, state, and local government agencies. With 90 offices worldwide, the company employs 1,750 people, and has over 350 business partners.

Headquartered in Toronto, Information Builders Canada is responsible for direct sales, consulting services, marketing, education and primary support of all Information Builders products in Canada. The company has offices in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver, and employs over 70 people. For more information, visit