By Doug Bartholomew Crane Group Ltd., a leading manufacturer of non-ferrous metal products and plastic pipeline systems and Australia's largest distributor of plumbing supplies, will use business intelligence software from MicroStrategy Inc. to deliver information on its 300 sites across Australia and New Zealand. With its ERP system from J.D. Edwards anchoring the system, Crane will provide up-to-date business transaction information across the manufacturing and distribution arms of the company to 1,500 users. With 4,400 employees throughout Australian and New Zealand, Crane exports its manufactured products to customers in Southeast Asia, Japan, the Middle East, the United States, Canada, and New Zealand. "Business intelligence and data warehousing are essential to a successful ERP implementation, providing more flexible and efficient reporting than ERP systems alone," says Andrew Dunn, group manager, business development and systems at Crane in Sydney. "We were impressed by MicroStrategy's ability to present information to both business managers and users in a useful format, which we know will enhance our business knowledge." MicroStrategy's Business Intelligence Platform is a system designed to improve business information queries, reports, and analysis. The information can be distributed to users via Web, wireless, and voice. Customers include Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse, AT&T Wireless Group, Wachovia, and GlaxoSmithKline.