BACKGROUND: Westinghouse Security Electronics (WSE) is a leading manufacturer of commercial access control and alarm management solutions. More than 50,000 locations in 76 countries rely on WSE's many products, which include magnetic stripes, bar codes, secure keypads, photo IDs, proximity devices and smart cards. WSE has consistently been an innovator in its field, and its products continue to lead the industry in terms of sales and market share.

PLATFORMS: Windows NT Workstation, Windows NT Server, Windows 95 and NT operating systems, IBM AS/400 data warehouse.

PROBLEM SOLVED: At WSE, we believe that MicroStrategy delivers the most comprehensive environment for sophisticated analysis of our corporate data, and their products were a vehicle for our Y2K solution as well. Prior to implementing MicroStrategy's complete product architecture, including DSS Agent, we had 560 non-Y2K compliant reports running from our IBM mainframe. We recognized the need to roll out a data warehouse for faster access to mission-critical information without the cumbersome paper trail and static reporting our previous system required. More importantly, we needed the right products to organize the most up-to-date data in a clear and concise fashion ­ only then would we be able to derive value from this information store. With MicroStrategy's DSS Agent, we were able to create complex reports quickly and effectively and view them in a host of grid and graph formats. From manufacturing to sales to engineering and even accounts receivable, DSS Agent brings our data warehouse to the fingertips of WSE business analysts throughout the enterprise.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: DSS Agent brings integrated query and reporting, powerful analytics and decision support workflow to our business analysts in nearly every department. Through an intuitive Windows interface, users can drill throughout their data to get a snapshot of exactly what is going on ­ where, when, how and why it is affecting their business. DSS Agent provides us with the "drill everywhere" functionality we need to slice and dice our data quickly and easily. WSE's accounts receivable department has witnessed a direct relationship between the use of DSS Agent and the company's bottom line. Analysts have been able to determine which dealers and customers are late with payments on a monthly basis. We are now in a position to quickly identify in which territories these customers belong and which sales managers are responsible for these accounts, enabling us to quickly collect payment.

STRENGTHS: DSS Agent is one of the best tools on the market for business intelligence power users. DSS Agent employs exceptional drilling functionality and a variety of viewing options including grid, graph, maps and text alerts. DSS Agent's engine can access the most atomic levels of information, generating analyses with the sophistication necessary to answer all of our questions.

WEAKNESSES: We are happy that MicroStrategy incorporates Crystal Reports as an API with DSS Agent, and we hope that this relationship is maintained. We would like the ability to create Crystal Reports and automatically post them on our intranet.

DELIVERABLES: DSS Agent provides an intuitive interface to create reports in any format. By enabling WSE to conduct whatever analyses are necessary to better understand our business, DSS Agent directly contributes to the success of our global operations on a day-to-day basis.

SELECTION CRITERIA: After a thorough evaluation of the competitive landscape, WSE selected MicroStrategy's product suite as the most comprehensive, robust offering on the market today. DSS Agent is optimized to run against any major relational database, including our IBM AS/400. MicroStrategy's strategic partnerships, industry leadership and overall vision also "closed the deal" for WSE, and we're very pleased with the result.

VENDOR SUPPORT: MicroStrategy was very supportive both pre- and post-implementation. Their consulting, technology and education services have also been incredibly helpful.

DOCUMENTATION: MicroStrategy maintains a Web site for customer updates, downloads of any new releases and details on known issues. The manuals for DSS Agent have also proved to be very useful.

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