CA Plots CleverPath To Turn Information Into Knowledge

Computer Associates has outlined what it calls its next generation blueprint for enterprise business intelligence.

The goal of CleverPath “”Information Action”” is to provide decision makers with a more intelligent view of business and market conditions through aggregation, analysis and personalization

of real-time and historical information.

“”When people think business intelligence, they think Cognos, they think Business Object, they’re not necessarily thinking CA,”” says Ricardo Antuna, vice- president of marketing for the CleverPath brand at the Islandia, N.Y.-based company. “”But this is a very profitable side of the business for us, and we anticipate that this going to be an area of growth.””

To support this blueprint, CA is delivering a series of products with a component-based architecture that address specific requirements such as collaboration, online analytical processing, business process management and predictive analysis.

The blueprint is based on CA’s own information delivery maturity model, which has four progressive levels: centralizing access to data; delivering trustworthy information, transformation of information into knowledge; and finally, putting knowledge into action.

Antuna says most of CA’s CleverPath customers are either at the first or second level.

Radio Shack Canada is at the first level, with the recent opening its internal employee portal to its national network of independent dealers built using CleverPath. It enables users to perform self-serve tasks and access information resources.

Radio Shack, which in Canada operates as a division of InterTAN Inc. in Barrie, Ont., joins firms such as Oracle Corp. and CIBC in creating Web sites that encourage employees to manage tasks online rather than fill out printed forms. This can include an array of human resource functions such as vacation requests and changes of address, as well as expense

reporting and travel planning. Sometimes called business-to-employee (B2E) portals, companies such as Radio Shack Canada are also offering e-learning courses and discussion groups through the sites.

“”It’s allowed us to eliminate a lot of our paper processes,”” says Margo Weeks, the company’s vice-president of information systems, adding that encouraging use of the portal was the hardest part of the project. “”We tried to come up with some compelling incentives when we started, but we had to get a little more compelling than we thought.””

In the beginning, for example, Radio Shack Canada pushed its employees towards self-service by mandating e-learning courses be completed before they could earn promotions, Weeks says. Now they are using the portal in ways she hadn’t expected. Buyers, store employees and advertising personnel, for example, have begun collaborating online to come up with Radio Shack flyers. “”We thought we were going to have to go out and get a new system (to do that),”” she says.

Radio Shack Canada deployed the site in approximately two

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Gary Hilson
Gary Hilson
Gary Hilson is a Toronto-based freelance writer who has written thousands of words for print and pixel in publications across North America. His areas of interest and expertise include software, enterprise and networking technology, memory systems, green energy, sustainable transportation, and research and education. His articles have been published by EE Times, SolarEnergy.Net, Network Computing, InformationWeek, Computing Canada, Computer Dealer News, Toronto Business Times and the Ottawa Citizen, among others.

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