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.

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