DSS News
                       by D. J. Power
              March 11, 2001 -- Vol. 2, No. 6
         A Bi-Weekly Publication of DSSResources.COM
   Check the Case Studies page at
* DSS Wisdom
* Ask Dan! -- How can one obtain an educational copy of the IFPS 
software? More on IFPS ...
* What's New at DSSResources.COM
* DSS News Stories
Each week, we have about 3000 unique visitors at DSSResources.COM. 
This newsletter has more than 475 subscribers from 50 countries. Please 
forward this newsletter to people interested in Decision Support 
SUBMIT A PAPER to AMCIS 2001!  Papers due Monday, March 12.
Find out about the Decision Support Systems Minitrack.
DSS Wisdom
Peter Drucker (1954) wrote in his chapter titled "Making Decisions" that 
 ".. management is always a decision-making process."  He notes in the 
same chapter that in regard to the "new" decision tools from Operations 
Research managers "must understand the basic method involved in making 
decisions.  Without such understanding he will either be unable to use 
the new tools at all, or he will overemphasize their contribution and 
see in them the key to problem-solving which can only result in the 
substitution of gadgets for thinking, and of mechanics for judgment.  
Instead of being helped by the new tools, the manager who does not 
understand decision-making as a process in which he has to define, to 
analyze, to judge, to take risks, and to lead to effective action, will, 
like the Sorcerer's Apprentice, become the victim of his own bag of 
tricks." (p. 368)
Drucker, P. The Practice of Management. New York: Harper and Brothers, 
Ask Dan!
How can one obtain an educational copy of the IFPS software? 
Posted By Nick on February 24, 2001
Nick's question led me to contact Comshare for more information on the 
status of IFPS.  A Comshare sales representative, Greg Bowar
of Ban-Koe Companies in Minneapolis, contacted me by email March 1, 
2001. Greg and I chatted by phone March 5.  Greg was not familiar with 
IFPS, but he and I discussed various Comshare products. 
After our conversation, Greg posted the following message to the 
DSSResources.COM Bulletin Board.
: Nick
: Comshare has a program called Comshare Planning. After talking 
: to Dan it sounds like the program your looking for. I'm not
: sure if it is the successor or a new creation. A simple 
: description is multidimensionsal Excel. It uses natural language
: rather than cell links. (ie net sales = total sales - COGS rather 
: than A1-B6=B7) It can be used as a stand alone or in conjunction
: with the MPC suite. 
The Comshare web site provides few details on the Comshare Planning 
product. The site materials state "Comshare Planning provides powerful, 
multidimensional modeling, reporting, and analysis that overcomes the 
limitations of inflexible spreadsheets.  Strategic initiatives can be 
accurately modeled by project, product or any other applicable business 
dimension. Comshare Planning allows organizations to implement 
effective, enterprise-wide Management Planning and Control solutions."
Greg offered to demonstrate the program.  I'll see if I can get a 
scaled-down or instructional version.
MORE on substitutes for IFPS ...
Rick Horocholyn of Manitoba Hydro in Winnepeg, Canada sent me an 
informative and helpful note on IFPS Saturday, 10 March 2001.  Rick 
wrote "In response to those who have been asking for a good replacement 
for IFPS, I most heartily disagree that any spreadsheet is the answer, 
especially Excel. I have over 15 years experience using IFPS, and 
several with Excel.  I only use Excel because my clients demand it, 
thinking that having a model built in a tool that they know how to use 
is more important than having a model that they can read and 
Rick suggested two alternative financial modeling systems: Visual DSS 
from TrueBlue Systems at and CUFFS-88 from 
Cuffs Planning & Models, Ltd. at Trueblue has a 
student pack at $A35 (approximately USD$18), but Universities need a 
site licence that costs USD$255 for students to get this special rate. 
Rick likes VDSS if you need an updated tool, with a modern Windows GUI.  
He say "the product has essentially the same capabilities as IFPS". The 
Cuffs site indicates they offer "substantial discounts for use of 
CUFFS-88 in MBA programs".
What's New at DSSResources.COM
02/28/2001 Published case study by Lyons, T. "Maytag International 
Refines Data Distribution with DI-Diver",  Dimensional Insight, Inc., 
February, 2001, URL DSSResources.COM/cases/maytaginternational.htm, as 
the featured case for March 2001.
If you are interested in forming an AIS special interest group 
related to data management and decision support, please contact 
me by e-mail,  
DSS News Stories - Feb. 10, 2001 to Feb. 25, 2001
03/09/2001 Call for papers: 6th Conference of International Society for 
Decision Support Systems will be held in West London, UK July 2-4, 2001. 
Papers due April 6, 2001.
03/08/2001 Simulation Sciences awarded contract with Chevron for 
real-time optimization support using ROMeo for refinery control system. 
03/07/2001 Call for papers: 3rd Int'l Workshop on Design and Management 
of Data Warehouses (DMDW'2001), June 4, 2001, Interlaken, Switzerland. 
Papers due March 21.
03/06/2001 Swiss Re deploys dual Plumtree-powered portals to streamline 
internal processes and deliver client services online.
03/05/2001 BioComp Systems announced today the deployment of their 
Process Intellect system in a large-scale chemical manufacturing 
03/05/2001 LODESTAR Corporation announced PricingExpert software for 
"on-the-spot" pricing analysis and proposals for energy retailers. 
03/05/2001 Iowa Bankers Mortgage Corp. selects INTERLINQ MortgageWare 
Enterprise solution to streamline lending and servicing operations.
03/02/2001 CBH partners with Adaytum to deliver enterprise business 
planning solutions.
03/01/2001 New online decision-support tool from Ironmax automates 
equipment cost evaluations.
03/01/2001 DigitalReach Corporation announced beta software release; 
database-driven software to streamline human capital management 
02/28/2001 Call for papers: Decision Technologies in Management Track, 
HICSS35, abstracts due 03/31/2001.
02/28/2001 Sagent announced analytic applications for Insurance, 
Financial Services and Web Analytics.
02/28/2001 Check Point announced a security dashboard for managing 
Internet security.
02/27/2001 CUseeMe® Networks announced the second generation of its 
web-based client collaboration technology.
02/27/2001 Deltek improves customer support, increases productivity with 
WebEx real-time meetings.
02/26/2001 Otis Elevator is deploying Polycom’s ViewStation and ViaVideo 
to increase productivity and decrease costs. 
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