Tiers of portal joy

Tiers of portal joy

By Paul Montgomery

Sybase has not missed the corporate portal bandwagon with its business intelligence and database software, but it has warned that interactivity is the key to making the portal work best for enterprise business users.

Eric Miles, senior VP and GM of the business intelligence division at Sybase, said there were two types of corporate portals.

Sybase's Enterprise Portal is based on a complex architecture to bring many sources of information to the one interface.

"One type of portal, which is the most dominant, is just providing a view of corporate information through an interface, and this could be catalogues or pricing data, just a view of information," he said. "Then there is what we talk about in Sybase, which is an enterprise portal which is an integration of internal information and external information, and providing that information to business applications."

Mr Miles said the first model only provided a passive "view" of a company, whereas the more advanced "intelligence" portal actually allowed employees to use and interact with the data.

"In tier one [of a portal installation], a company will have both," he said. "Tier two will have a customer-facing portal because otherwise the company will not be seen as being a part of the dot com e-world."


On the BI side, Sybase has developed eight different vertical solutions for its Industry Warehouse Studio product, which delivers reports from data warehouses and other repositories on specific topics, such as sales campaign analysis, customer care, and profitability analysis. Mr Miles said the most successful users of the Studio were in the telecommunications, retail banking, credit card, insurance and health care sectors.

"Where we've sold, there are groups focused on the effectiveness of campaigns, or customer care systems, or loyalty process of existing customers," he said.

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