REVIEWER: Bill Rippey, marketing analyst for KraftMaid Cabinetry.
BACKGROUND: KraftMaid Cabinetry is the nation's leading manufacturer of built-to-order cabinets for the kitchen, bath and throughout the entire home. KraftMaid offers outstanding quality and an extensive selection of door styles, finishes, decorative and functional storage features.
PLATFORMS: Microsoft Windows 2000, SQL Server 2000 and Intel hardware.
PROBLEM SOLVED: With our old method, hardcopy reports were generated from our data warehouse and manually distributed. This was very time and resource intensive. In addition, it was essential that reports made it to regional sales managers in a timely manner and were integrated into Microsoft Excel. BlueSky Business Intelligence Portal solved these problems and empowers the users with an easy-to-use interface that is not too demanding for the common business user.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: We like the fact that BlueSky Business Intelligence Portal is browser- based. Thus, we do not have to support software on each PC. Our business users like it because they can easily access information critical to their specific needs. We have not experienced any problems with the product. The integration with Excel is seamless.
STRENGTHS: A key strength of BlueSky Business Intelligence Portal is its ease of use our users require very little training. Other strengths include the product's integration with Excel, browser- based thin client and the fact that it works as advertised. Additionally, BlueSky Technology has very good product support.
WEAKNESSES: Report scheduling works well but could use advanced enhancements to support PDAs and other mobile devices such as cell phones.
SELECTION CRITERIA: We were looking for a product that was very affordable and easy to use. BlueSky Business Intelligence Portal is less than half the price of its competitors. The major advantage over the competition is that we don't have to invest in expensive training. Even nontechnical users can effectively use BlueSky with minimal instruction.
DELIVERABLES: By simply clicking check boxes and following the report wizard, anybody can easily create reports. Our main output is Excel because most users already know and are comfortable with it. Once in Excel, the user can work offline with the data.
VENDOR SUPPORT: BlueSky Technologies has very good support. They have been in the data warehousing and business intelligence industry for more than six years. They understand the needs of the common business user. Other competitors' products are too difficult for the common business user. The installation and post implementation were extremely smooth.
DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is okay, but could use some improvement. We put together a simple tutorial for our business users that serves as product training. With a quick product walk-through and the training guide, on-site training is not a requirement to use this product.
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