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Book Contents

Ch. 11
Building Web-Based and Inter-Organizational Decision Support Systems

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Companies with Web-Based DSS

Many companies have implemented Web-Based DSS. For example, NDC Health Information Services has a Web-enabled prescription data warehouse that it markets to pharmaceutical manufacturers. Universities are also making data available to stakeholders at Web sites. A number of DSS software companies provide case studies of successful Data-Driven DSS implementations at their Web sites. All of the Vendors are reporting favorable results from Web-Based DSS.

According to Arborsoft and Hyperion materials, Bell Canada implemented a Web-Based DSS. A Bell Canada spokesperson said, "... the cost of deploying traditional client/server OLAP software makes it prohibitively expensive to enable the entire enterprise for OLAP ... The Web dramatically alters the cost dynamics of delivering applications to users." He notes, "All users need are a Web browser and a laptop computer. There's almost no training required, very low client costs and zero infrastructure costs. The internet acts as a free wide area network."

Bell Canada installed the Essbase Web Gateway. Arborsoft says, "hundreds of business, operation and sales managers will be able to compose their own interactive queries right from their Web browser rather than accessing static data reports prepared by financial analysts. They can navigate, analyze and even update their sales forecasts without the need for proprietary client software."

John Deere is using Information Discovery to harvest accurate sales forecasts. Their system is web-browser based and it allows users to instantly access historical data and forecast for the future. The system has allowed John Deere to better forecast tractor sales for different times of the year because the Data Mining system allows more of John Deere’s data to be used. This lowers Deere’s inventory and marketing costs and allows Deere to better plan sales.

In January 1998, Information Advantage announced that EDS had chosen DecisionSuite and WebOLAP(tm) to support implementation of the EDS knowledge management strategy. "EDS is rolling out DecisionSuite to several hundred users performing on-line analyses on a 50 GB database. 1998 deployment could scale up to 9000 knowledge worker desktops." Larry Ford, president and CEO of Information Advantage said in the press release, "The Web enables multinational organizations, like EDS, to provide applications that deliver content to the end-user without the traditional, costly barriers of installation, training and maintenance."

Hannaford Brothers Grocery chain developed a DSS using Microstrategy's DSS Web. At Hannaford, DSS Web provides store managers with access to the same data warehouse application relied upon by corporate decision makers. Utilizing DSS Web, managers receive detailed sales, cost, inventory, and budget reports and use this information to make decisions at the store level.

According to a MicroStrategy case study, Societe Generale USA chose a multi-tier architecture that enabled the support of both client server and Web computing. MicroStrategy software enabled Societe Generale USA to provide support for executive and power users, running on either PCs or UNIX workstations and provided a web browser interface.

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