Silvon Provides New Discovery for SSA

Continuing its efforts to increase the business intelligence (BI) capabilities of its ERP solution, eBPCS, System Software Associates (Chicago) has joined forces with business partner Silvon Software, Inc. (Westmont, Ill.) to develop eBPCS Discover: Sales.

"We started getting involved with business intelligence a year ago," says Brian Schick, solutions manager for BI at SSA. "Customers wanted more sophisticated query, analytical and reporting tools."

The agreement with Silvon represents the first time SSA has brought their BI initiative to the AS/400 platform. Earlier in the year, SSA formed BI partnerships with Business Objects and Cognos, but neither product ran on the AS/400. "This is important because it gives us a solution that runs on the AS/400," says Schick. "It gives our AS/400 customers different options for improving their business."

Built on Silvon's DataTracker application, eBPCS Discover:Sales gives customers a sales, profitability and open order analysis application tool. "The feedback we got from our customers was that they needed more sophisticated ability to analyze sales data," says Schick.

With a pre-defined data model, templates and views, eBPCS Discover: Sales is designed to support a customer's eBPCS database. The product offers simple, fast data access, graphical and analysis tools and the ability to explore multi-dimensional data relationships. The ability to capture sales amounts, quantities, prices and costs at various levels allows users to do a more in-depth analysis, down to individual products or customers.

After sales data is summarized, it's presented to users based on their authorization levels. Authorized users have the ability to view the sales data down to the finer points, such as shipping locations.

Although eBPCS runs on the AS/400, Unix and Windows NT, eBPCS Discover: Sales runs only on the AS/400 and Windows NT platform.

Because the two companies previously worked together on Sales Performance Management released by SSA in 1993, according to Schick, it made sense to team up again.

Despite the partnership with Silvon, Schick says that SSA is also looking forward to partnering with another AS/400 vendor. "In listening to what our customers are looking for, BI capabilities and e-commerce are at the top of the list," he says. "Through partnerships, we are able to satisfy the needs of a larger percentage of our customers."