Microsoft Announces Business Internet Analytics for Smarter, More Efficient and Profitable Web Businesses

LAS VEGAS, Nov. 15, 1999 — Today at COMDEX/Fall ’99, Microsoft Corp. outlined its vision for Business Internet Analytics (BIA), a broad-reaching initiative aimed at improving the customer satisfaction, operational efficiency and profitability of Web businesses through a combination of high-capacity clickstream data analysis and business data warehousing. BIA, a set of tools and processes that can be implemented more quickly than any other solution available, supports some of the largest businesses on the Internet and delivers unprecedented near real-time results.

As part of the initiative, Microsoft also announced the Business Internet Analytics Provider Program. The program will enable leading systems integrators and solution providers — charter participants include PricewaterhouseCoopers and STEP Technology Inc. — to deliver best-of-breed BIA solutions to their customers.

“Business Internet Analytics can offer benefits for customers trying to grow and evolve their businesses in the dynamic and highly competitive world of E-Business,”
said Larry Gosselin, director, PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Global Data Warehousing Practice.
“Leading companies are rapidly discovering the benefits of data warehousing as an enabling technology for E-Business and related customer relationship management initiatives. PricewaterhouseCoopers is excited to apply our industry experience in implementing data warehousing solutions for our global clients by leveraging the capabilities provided by Microsoft’s BIA.”

While generating a large amount of data about customer behavior and preferences, Web businesses have lacked the tools to access and make use of this information easily. BIA can help businesses create more powerful and profitable Web sites by providing insight into the effectiveness of their Web content as well as product positioning and advertising, and in addition, it can do so in near real time, thereby accelerating the customer feedback loop. It will also offer closed-loop personalization, which will help Web businesses discover cross-selling opportunities, identify hidden trends, and offer users an even more customized experience.

“Business Internet Analytics solves a critical visibility problem for any business that, like Ford, has extended operations online,”
said Kevin Vasconi of Ford Motor Co.
“With BIA, businesses will be able to serve customers better, streamline operations, and identify and react to new business opportunities with a speed and clarity we never thought possible. Microsoft is showing thought leadership in driving to resolve this critical need.”

“To offer a true customer-concentric shopping experience, it is important that customer data be easily accessible and usable,”
said Ed Felton, vice president of Operations and Engineering for Pandesic, the leading e-commerce service provider.
“Today, the competitive advantage goes to the dot-com enterprise that can improve its customer’s experience and increase its own profitability through a scalable, flexible and feature-rich set of tools like those found in BIA.”

Business Internet Analytics Pilot Implementation

The initial implementation of Business Internet Analytics is on Microsoft’s internal group of Web sites, which over 35 million unique users visit, generating nearly 2 billion hits and over 200 GB of clickstream data each day. This implementation uses BIA to process and load clickstream data daily from over 500 Web servers around the world. The data is loaded into Microsoft® SQL Server TM 7.0 OLAP Services, and the resulting multidimensional information is available for analysis by nearly 500 content developers, operations and site managers, and executives for interactive analysis within 10 hours.

The ability to turn data around in a matter of hours is a significant improvement over other technology on the market, which can require days or even weeks to consolidate data — by which time it has become much less relevant. By virtue of the speed of BIA, a staff writer for MSNBC, for example, can analyze the total number of people who read an article, what sites or articles they came from to find it, and what was read next — all by the morning after the article was posted.

SQL Server: A World-Class RDBMS

Created by a world-class development team, Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 is the leading Windows NT® Server operating system-based database, bringing business advantage and improved decision-making to all levels of an organization through the power of data warehousing, industry solutions and interoperability with Microsoft Office. SQL Server 7.0, with SQL Server OLAP Services, is the only RDBMS to integrate essential data warehousing technology for multidimentional analysis. SQL Server is an integral part of Windows® DNA, Microsoft’s comprehensive platform for building Web applications.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, Windows NT and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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