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Microsoft To Ship BI Tool for SMBs

Microsoft this week announced it will ship in June an operational analytics application for decision makers designed to work with its Dynamics brand of software for small and mid-size businesses.

BIO for Microsoft Dynamics SL is not inexpensive but is intended for a limited audience. Short for Business Intelligence Optimization, BIO “gives decision-makers throughout an organization unique and relevant insight into business drivers,” a company statement said.

The tool “provides personalized, role-based business performance scorecards that empower employees to help increase the value of their customer interactions, lower product and service delivery costs, and create strategic plans for expanding their business,” the statement continued.

The company shipped version 6.5 of Dynamics SL in mid-December. Dynamics SL is the new name for the business management application formerly sold as Microsoft Business Solutions-Solomon.

Microsoft created the “Dynamics” brand last summer to unify the various enterprise applications -- such as customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning, and financial applications -- that the company had acquired through buyouts in recent years. Previous to that, the process of unifying the products’ branding was referred to by the codename “Project Green.”

BIO for Dynamics SL provides users with 60 different perspectives for analyzing business data across 14 common organizational roles. Users can view analytical reports from tools they normally use such as Excel, Office SharePoint Services or Office Business Scorecard Manager. Alternately, they can use it directly within the BIO for Microsoft Dynamics SL application. The application is built on SQL Server Analysis Services.

Microsoft says it worked with one of its channel partners, NexVue Analytics Corp., a business intelligence development and consulting company focused on analytic solutions specific to the needs of mid-sized businesses, to design and develop both a business and technical model.

BIO for Microsoft Dynamics SL is scheduled for general availability to customers in June. The BIO Foundation, an entry-level solution, starts at $3,600 and includes financial analytics and a two-user license.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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