Brio gets rich return in fed market

Just one year after Brio Technology began targeting the federal government market with its data warehousing tools, the vendor has garnered about 50,000 federal users covering more than 100 sites.

Among the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company's customers are the departments of Agriculture and the Interior, NASA, the Army, the Air Force, the Social Security Administration, the Navy, the Internal Revenue Service and the Census Bureau.

Brio's query, analysis and reporting tools allow these agencies to analyze and display— as graphs, charts or other media— reams of data that are locked away in databases. "Once somebody does a query, it's just data," said Kelly Collins, Brio's director of its federal and mid-Atlantic regions. "Until you start analyzing it and summarizing it and graphing it, then it becomes information. [Agencies] want to [World Wide] Web-enable their financial data; that seems to be the area where most federal agencies feel they can have the most impact. It's sort of Mother Earth, apple pie data for an agency," Collins said.

The query tools perform ad hoc queries with an SQL database engine that processes complex queries against a wide array of data sources. Brio users throughout the enterprise share the same file formats, data models and central repository whether they are using Microsoft Corp.'s Windows, Apple Computer Inc.'s Macintosh or Unix platforms.

One of Brio's recent customers is Interior's Bureau of Land Management. Just this month, BLM officials went live with their data warehousing application to allow 500 users at 356 offices scattered throughout the country to access financial data via Netscape Communications Corp. browsers using Brio.Insight, a browser-based query, analysis and reporting product, coupled with Brio Enterprise Server.

Users who previously had to wait 30 to 45 days for a printed financial report now can access the information within 24 hours, said Peter Ertman, BLM's management information systems proj-

ect manager. In addition, with the older system, data analysis required re-keying the data into a spreadsheet, which Brio avoids, he said. Brio also offers data in charts as an alternative to spreadsheets, which some users do not like.

"The demand from the field is, 'Get us more, get us more,' " he said. "One piece of software satisfies the needs of an entire spectrum of users— from people who hate computers to the power user. It just makes administration a snap."

At the Census Bureau, Brio has helped officials take census data that is tagged with obscure names in databases and present it in an easy-to-read graphic of the United States. Users need only to click on a state icon and then scroll down to a city or a ZIP code to access population data.

NASA is using the company's Web-based tool as part of its recently awarded Integrated Financial Management Program contract to consolidate all the agency's systems used to manage its approximately $13 billion budget. The Army is using client/server-based products for 5,000 users of its Global Command and Control System.

Brio's products are offered on the company's General Services Administration schedule and on NASA's Scientific and Engineering Workstation Procurement II through Government Micro Resources Inc.

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