Consumer Products/Retail

Business Objects Center of Excellence, Enterprise Reporting

Consumer Products Company Improves Information Delivery and Analysis while Maximizes Investment in Business Intelligence Technology

Business Challenge
An international consumer products company had several years invested in the development of an internal financial planning, forecasting and reporting application. This application, built on a platform that would no longer be supported by the business intelligence vendor, was vital to the client and could neither easily be replaced nor replicated. And the cost involved in fully replacing the existing environment was prohibitive.

Although 250 business users were trained on creating reports and retrieving information from this mission-critical reporting platform, the process was extremely complex and non user-friendly. The log-in process was extremely cumbersome causing users to sign-on to multiple systems while maintaining security on their corporate data. To increase productivity, the company established a centralized group to support business users in accessing information, creating reports and exporting data. Exporting data caused latency and accuracy issues, as the data – once in Excel – was open to manipulation by the business users. This affected the ability to make sound business decisions, since reports could easily be outdated, manipulated or, just inaccurate. The company needed to ensure data integrity and ease of access, while leveraging the time and money already invested the current environment. CSI was asked to address this problem.

Data Warehouse Center Solution
Data Warehouse Center leveraged its development methodology and the active participation of the company’s business users to design and develop a strategically-aligned business intelligence solution. Data Warehouse Center Business Objects Center of Excellence created an innovative, web-enabled reporting application using Crystal Enterprise, Crystal Analysis Professional and the existing Crystal Holos environment. This application had an intuitive user interface plus a one-step log-in process using current IDs and passwords. This single sign-on method logged and authenticated the ID against four different systems. This is the first system in the company’s enterprise architecture to simplify the log-in process for a web-enabled application. Most important, this solution was delivered on time and on budget within three months!

Return on Investment
A new, user-friendly, business intelligence solution has extended the life of a mission-critical reporting infrastructure. Furthermore, business users previously frustrated with the complexity and time involved in accessing needed information are now focused on managing businesses rather than managing different versions of the data. Finally, the adoption rate for new users is increasing by almost 30% each month, and is expected to exceed the previous three years by more than 500 users.

The CFO was so impressed by the increasing adoption rate, as well as, the ease, power, and availability of actionable information in such a short period of time that he has requested the solution to be instituted across all business units. Moreover, he has asked CSI to establish a Business Objects Competency Center within the company to provide insight, guidance and services through a proven set of best practices to the User Constituency.