RealTime IT News

Microsoft Pushes Six Sigma Accelerator Solution

Microsoft says it will release this spring a new software solution that will map to Six Sigma methodologies. Microsoft will take some of its existing products and enhance them to help companies improve the efficacy of data in the enterprise in an effort to improve productivity.

Six Sigma is a management philosophy that puts emphasis on ambitious objectives, collecting data from a variety of sources, and then doing sophisticated analysis in an effort to reduce problems and defects in company products and service. Companies that have used the Six Sigma philosophy claim it's a means for systemically eliminating defects. By using data, firm are said to improve upon the effectiveness of manufacturing processes leading to lower costs, faster production times and improved customer satisfaction. A variety of major companies are pursuing Six Sigma.

Microsoft Accelerator for Six Sigma is a group of products and services that compliment other Microsoft software programs, such as Microsoft Project and Visio, so that they can be customized by companies practicing Six Sigma.

The new software suite is designed to add value for Six Sigma practitioners, which Microsoft says it is practicing internally. The Microsoft Accelerator for Six Sigma bundles Microsoft XP Profession, Microsoft Project Server 2002, Microsoft Project Professional 2002, Visio 2002, Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, SQL Server 2000 and SharePoint Team Services, in addition to third party products and services. Microsoft is billing its Accelerator package as way to improve enterprise performance management for companies pursuing the Six Sigma management philosophy.

Microsoft says it is working closely with Apriso Corp., a specialist in providing real-time collaborative execution solutions. Microsoft has also teamed with SigmaPro Inc., a supplier of Six Sigma consulting and training services.

Several IT departments at major U.S. and multinational companies are pursuing the Six Sigma standards, and Microsoft is leveraging its existing role in those companies to expand with the Accelerator program. Data is the cornerstone of the Six Sigma approach, and as many companies are working to reduce costs and improve processes, this package of programs is designed to enhance corporate performance.

According to a new study by International Data Corp., the demand for "business analytics solutions" is growing as more companies put a focus on business intelligence and data warehousing software. The study says software vendors that emphasize "data quality" are expected to have the most success in the market.

It is precisely data quality that relates to Six Sigma standards that are aimed at processing data, so that a corporation can improve the quality and efficiency of its business processes.