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Brio Steers Toyota USA Desktops

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Tuesday expanded its deal with business intelligence (BI) applications maker Brio Software for the car manufacturer division to use its reporting and analysis tools for employees and dealers across the United States, the Santa Clara, Calif., company said.

Although terms of the deal weren't disclosed, Brio characterized the agreement as a "significant additional commitment."

Brio is the BI vendor of choice for Toyota in the U.S. and has served as such for the last five years, providing employees dashboards, reports and analyses, which help corporate employees make better decisions about how their customers behave.

This in turn helps Toyota to make better decisions about how to cater to their customers. Under the amended deal, Brio software will now be used by all of the division's desktops, or for all 2,000 employees.

Toyota estimates that more than $1 million is saved each year through using Brio's automatic reporting and reconciliation of payments to freight carriers, with market research firm IDC pegging the return-on-investment for the combination of TMS' data warehouse and Brio's software at 506 percent.

Statistics such as these are what is propelling the BI software movement, leading IDC to forecast the market to balloon to $4.5 billion in 2007. Brio, in the process of being acquired by Hyperion, competes with a slew of vendors, such as Business Objects , Cognos and Actuate .

"Business intelligence software has become an attractive toolset for organizations engaged in efforts to extend the value they derive from existing investments in other enterprise applications due to shorter implementation times and quick ROI," said Dan Vesset, research manager for IDC's Analytics and Data Warehousing Software service.

"Brio is used throughout the organization from executives to clerks and everyone in between," said Mike Burkes, technology manager within Enterprise Data Management, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc, who views the applications of Brio's products to the business operations as a strategic investment to help the company compete with rivals for customers at a time when consumer cost-consciousness is high.

Toyota Logistics Services, a large unit at TMS that moves about 1.7 million vehicles each year, uses Brio widely to help cover its suppliers, freight carriers and internal Toyota operations from port to dealership. Using Brio reports and VINs, the group's employees engaged in more manageable, streamlined supply chain transactions by tracking vehicles

Toyota attributes Brio software to helping it boost its volume by 37 percent in the last few years, as well as helping it expand rail and truck routes by 24 percent, -- and the product mix expanded 35 percent.