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Volume 10, Number 30 -- August 24, 2010

IBS Launches New BI, CRM Products

Published: August 24, 2010

by Alex Woodie

International Business Systems this summer has launched new business intelligence (BI) and customer relationship management (CRM) products aimed at its large installed base of manufacturers and distributors who use its IBM i-based ERP system.

In June, the Swedish company unveiled IBS Distribution Intelligence, a new BI product designed specifically for companies in the wholesale distribution business. The new offering consists of three components that target planners, operations managers, and analysts.

IBS Planners provides a set of graphical planning tools used to forecast demand and sales across the supply chain. IBS says the new software is based on advanced algorithms, "and includes some of the most advanced planning methodologies of today."

The second component, IBS Activity Monitor, is designed to give managers a direct window into the activities occurring across the company, from the warehouse to the boardroom. A related component, called the IBS Alert Manager, allows managers to create triggers that automatically generate e-mail or SMS messages when a certain event happens, such as a stock item reaching a predefined limit.

The third component of Distribution Intelligence is IBS Performance Manager. This product gives analysts the capability to slice and dice historical data, and is also used as the reporting engine. IBS ships more than 200 pre-defined reports and key performance indicators (KPIs) with this component.

IBS followed the launch of Distribution Intelligence with the announcement of IBS CRM in July. IBS CRM is based on Microsoft's Dynamics CRM product, and is packaged with content designed to appeal to IBS customers in the wholesale distribution business. Like Distribution Intelligence, IBS CRM is pre-integrated with IBS Enterprise, which runs on IBM i as well as Windows. IBS is moving toward developing in Java and running on Windows, but most of its customers still run the RPG version of the software on the IBM i platform.

IBS chief marketing officer Andy Bailey hailed the new products. "Following closely on the heels of our recent IBS Distribution Intelligence announcement earlier this month, IBS CRM is the latest step in fulfilling our vision around scalable distribution, and is vital tool in helping businesses grow and change their business according to customer demands and market trends," he says in a press release.


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