BACKGROUND: The PowerBar Company was privately held until March 31, 2000, when it was acquired by Nestle. The company has over 250 employees and well over U.S. $100 million in annual sales. Company headquarters are in Berkeley, California, and the company also has a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Boise, Idaho, and distribution centers in Boise and Charlotte, North Carolina. It has two subsidiary companies: PowerBar Foods Canada Inc. and PowerBar Europe GMBH, in Munich, Germany. Company product lines include PowerBar ProteinPlus bars, PowerBar Essentials energy bars, PowerBar Performance energy bars, PowerBar Harvest bars, PowerBar PERFORM and PERFORM Plus performance sports drinks, and PowerGel energy gel.

PLATFORMS: Hummingbird BI/Suite 5.2 is connected to Microsoft SQL 7 Server OLAP Services.

PROBLEM SOLVED: With BI/Suite, PowerBar was able to access and analyze business-critical data from across our entire business infrastructure. We have employees at all levels working with Hummingbird BI/Suite in our Berkeley office. This solution has given our employees access to mission-critical data that they never had an opportunity to see before. BI/Suite also helped us address security concerns. This issue was more than addressed with the Hummingbird BI/Suite's enhanced security in the middle-tier server which allowed our administrators to set minimum lengths for passwords, store lists of previously used passwords and set automatic expiry times.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Hum-mingbird BI/Suite enhances support for OLE DB for OLAP data sources, which allows administrators to choose which hierarchy they wanted to use for dimensions that contain multiple hierarchies, view member properties and simplify creation of connections to Microsoft SQL 7 Server OLAP Services.

STRENGTHS: There was a one- on-one training session when the Hummingbird BI/Suite was first purchased, and the interface is easy. Once we learned how Hummingbird worked, it greatly increased the efficiency of the users in the office. From the beginning, Hummingbird has been very responsive with the support and services we've required.

WEAKNESSES: PowerBar had difficulties in initializing the Hummingbird BI/Suite 5.2.

SELECTION CRITERIA: PowerBar initiated an extensive search for a new business intelligence tool and performed comprehensive tests on a series of business intelligence suites. A respected consulting firm recommended Hummingbird's BI/Suite as the rapid development tool PowerBar had been searching for.

DELIVERABLES: BI/Suite helped us provide more business information to our employees without compromising our security concerns. Business productivity was boosted as a result of this implementation. Our expectations of a business intelligence tool were more than met with this solution.

VENDOR SUPPORT: There was some lack of responsiveness from Hummingbird on large-scale problems, though we did receive excellent day-to-day support.

DOCUMENTATION: More documentation would have helped, but most gray areas were filled in by Hummingbird customer service.

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