PLATFORMS: We are currently running the InfoSAGE product suite on the following hardware platforms: Alpha 2100 running OpenVMS V6.2-1H1 and Alpha 4000 running NT Server 4.0.

BACKGROUND: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems, Inc., is a division of TRW Inc., that manufactures airbags for automobiles.

PROBLEM SOLVED: TRW is a diversified company with many sites throughout the world. Each individual site performs its own purchasing through an independent purchasing system. Many different purchasing systems were being used throughout TRW on a wide variety of hardware platforms and operating systems. TRW has never been able to look at its purchasing/supplier data as a corporation, but could only look at this information specific to one site. Using DECISIVE Advantage allowed TRW to integrate the purchasing/supplier data from all sites into one supplier data warehouse, despite the many different purchasing systems and hardware platforms being used.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: InfoSAGE's DECISIVE Advantage architecture is extremely flexible in the development and maintenance of a decision support system. Our supplier data warehouse was constructed by integrating purchasing and supplier data from 62 different sites loading data from 32 different feeds configured on 17 different types of platforms running numerous different types of purchasing packages. This was a tremendous task that required a flexible toolset.

STRENGTHS: InfoSAGE's DECISIVE Advantage product suite has many strengths. One major strength is the flexibility of the product as evidenced in our supplier data warehouse project. We were faced with trying to integrate purchasing and supplier data from 62 sites in 11 countries, 32 different data sources feeding the data warehouse, 23 different types of purchasing systems and 17 different operating system/hardware combinations into one data warehouse. We had to have a suite of tools that was flexible. Another strength of the DECISIVE Advantage toolset is its open architecture. It easily allows the integration of third-party products which sometimes is needed to fulfill specific project requirements. Analysts can use a tool they are comfortable with (such as Excel) in performing analysis on the data, they can use the InfoSAGE query tools, or they can purchase and use a third-party product.

WEAKNESSES: A weakness we encountered is that the ISInformationDispatcher runs your query or request and only produces files in a format that must be imported into applications such as Excel or Lotus to view. Because InfoSAGE recognizes that this could be an inconvenience to some users, it plans to further enhance this tool so that outside applications will not be required for viewing data.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We chose the InfoSAGE product because of its scalable "hub-and-spoke" architecture. It can integrate a vast amount of data from our many different purchasing systems and hardware platforms into one "hub," our data warehouse. This data is then easily distributed back to our diverse user community for analysis. No other product we considered could integrate all of the data collected from so many different purchasing systems without major customization to the toolset.

DELIVERABLES: InfoSAGE DECISIVE Advantage delivers the technology needed to integrate diverse data from disparate systems and allows us to easily configure, with the use of meta data, how and where to store the data in the data warehouse with all of the data integrity and flexibility we require.

VENDOR SUPPORT: InfoSAGE takes great pride in the success of their products. They were very responsive and thorough when handling the questions that arose. They continue to provide us with excellent support.

DOCUMENTATION: Documentation is in the form of on- line help and user manuals.

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