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Microsoft adds business intelligence to Great Plains 8.0

Antony Savvas

Microsoft has released business intelligence add-ons for its Great Plains 8.0 mid-market business software platform to improve reporting and datawarehouse functions in the product.

Jeff Young, general manager for Microsoft Great Plains, said, "The extension modules underscore our ongoing commitment to deliver increasing value to customers in new, innovative ways."

The business intelligence components are available in Microsoft Great Plains 8.0 Professional Edition. They includes Microsoft Great Plains Analysis Cubes for Excel, key performance indicators for the Microsoft Business Solutions Business Portal, and integration with the Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Sarbanes-Oxley.

A key add-on to the product is Analysis Cubes for Excel, the Webhouse code Microsoft has just acquired from Professional Advantage, a Microsoft Business Solutions partner.

Microsoft said this code will help the delivery of valuable business intelligence across an organisation by using Olap (Online analytical processing) cubes for more in-depth analysis.

The Olap cubes will allow organisations to examine and analyse data from different angles for deeper insight into the information critical to their business, said Microsoft.

Other new Great Plains 8.0 tools include Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services Report Pack and SmartList Builder.

By using the SmartList Builder, Microsoft said businesses will have unlimited flexibility in defining their SmartList ad hoc queries so that Microsoft Great Plains 8.0 data and third-party applications can be queried more thoroughly.

The Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services Report Pack will be available to allow customers to draw information from Microsoft Great Plains and create analytics reports specific to their business needs.

Another add-on, Grant Management, is aimed at helping non-profit organisations proactively manage their grants by eliminating the need for manual calculations and helping ensure compliance with regulations.

And the Microsoft Business Portal Human Resources Management (HRM) Self-Service Suite will include timecard status functionality, which will enable managers and payroll administrators to identify which employees have and have not submitted timecards, Microsoft said.


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