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Cover Story: Business Intelligence

BI at your door

It's important to select the correct BI integration partner for your enterprise, since a BI project is more vital and intensive than a regular enterprise application project. Here are some guidelines for selecting a good vendor, and a preferred integrator. by Soutiman Das Gupta

Now that you're ready to use BI tools to help your company, and want to purchase a BI solution, you have two vital decisions to make.

  1. Select the correct BI solutions provider/vendor.
  2. Select the correct integration partner.

Essentially BI tools comprise a number of integrated applications like OLAP, warehousing, mining, query and reporting, and Decision Support Systems (DSS). A number of vendors provide a large range of tools, which support all these functions or some of them.

A particular vendor may offer good warehousing ability but may be weak on query and reporting. So it's up to you to decide whether you want a single-vendor solution or a mix-and-match integrated solution.

To make your decision easier, check out the table of different vendor offerings and the features and functionality of their products.

Integration partners

A BI project is very special and unique to an organization. It's special because this project will identify the sources of profit for your company in future. And it's unique because the concept is rather new in India. It's so new, that many integrators do not have the necessary qualified staff to handle deployments.

Here's what people in the IT industry say about choosing the correct integrator. "One must select the person who has the relevant experience, domain expertise, and technical competence. Technical knowledge is not enough," said Pranav Kumar, Gartner Research Director (APAC)-Enterprise Application Software (EAS).

"Domain expertise is important with the right methodology and process. If the integrator talks about technology competence rather than domain knowledge of the industry, then you know it's not the right choice," advises Balaji Jagannathan, National Manager, Information Management, of CA.

The integrator has to offer an open component-based solution. By doing this, it can be connected to any data source or any third-party reporting tool," explains Alok Bansal, Solution Architect, of Baan Info Systems India.

"The selection process will usually yield a small number of acceptable product choices. The final choice is often made based on financial terms and a subjective assessment of the business relationship with the vendor. After vendors are chosen, it will often be necessary to renegotiate purchase agreements. Care should be taken to avoid pitfalls leading to excessive shelfware or maintenance costs," opines META Group analyst David Folger.

Cost of a solution

Alok Shende, Industry Manager IT Practice, of Frost & Sullivan feels that prices vary drastically over different areas in the BI space with each segment having issues affecting them in different ways. Pricing issues depend on aspects like the number of sites, the number of users, and platforms. The price range for a BI solution is between $1,000 and $1 million.

"One needs to understand that the BI application is a decision-making application, which is quite different from other enterprise applications like ERP, SCM, and CRM, which are basically process-oriented applications. So, it would depend on the top management as to how many employees in their organization they want to be equipped with better decision making tools," said Shende.

Soutiman Das Gupta can be reached at soutimand@networkmagazineindia.com

The way BI goes

Kurt Schlegel, Program Director-Enterprise Analytics Division, at the META Group feels that in USA and Europe there is a marked trend towards the use of BI and analytics tools. And this trend is mostly felt in banks and telecoms.

The banks are especially moving faster than any other vertical in order to comply with legislations, and the hunger to know more about the customer. They want to perform functions like customer profiling and customer behavior.

A BI solution comprises the collective use of a number of tools/components. The components are explained below:

  • Core-reporting tools - Tools that offer formatted and organized presentation of data.
  • Ad-hoc querying tools - Applications that allow queries based on user-specific parameters.
  • OLAP tools - OnLine Analytical Processing (OLAP) tools are server-based analysis tools that enable organization of data in a hierarchical fashion in multiple hierarchies and analysis across multiple dimensions like time, geography, organizational unit, customer, and product line.
  • Data mining tools - Applications that allow one to extract information from a data warehouse spanning single or multiple dimensions like time, geography, customers, and product groups.
  • APIs - APIs must enable the site designer to control the BI system and perform tasks like instruct it to display a report or pivot an OLAP model. Ultimately, APIs supporting Java, .Net, and XML will be needed.
  • Information portals - Integration with Enterprise Information Portals (EIPs) must go beyond just displaying a report in a window. Integration must include integrated management of roles, access control, and user profiles, so that a single management layer (LDAP-based) can manage both the EIP framework and associated structured information delivery servers.
  • Digital Dashboards - These are graphical and pictorial representations of a company's business performance in a few key areas. The dashboard covers the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and includes crisp, clear interactive graphs, and gauges that provide instinctive visualization of organizational performance. Business users should require little to no training to understand the current levels of performance in customized key areas within at a glance.

Company Solution name Functionality Relevant Vertical

Business Objects
C/o DBS Corporate Club
213, 2nd floor,
Raheja Chambers
Nariman Point
Mumbai 400 021
Tel. 022-5630 9200 Ext: 206
Fax 022-2287 2640
www.businessobjects.com

  • BusinessObjects Enterprise 6
  • Other products
  • Web query
  • Reporting and analysis
  • Suite of analytic applications
  • Connectivity to packaged Applications
  • Analytic applications
  • Query and reporting tools
  • Information delivery
  • Information delivery
  • Data integration
  • BI strategy
  • Banks
  • Non-banking financial institutions
  • Manufacturing
  • Services
  • Telecom
Computer Associates
Sarjan Plaza, 3rd Floor,
100, Dr. Annie Besant Rd,
Worli, Mumbai 400 018
Tel. 022-2498 0720
Fax. 022-2498 1979
www.ca.com

  • CleverPath Forest & Trees
  • CleverPath Predictive Analysis Server
  • CleverPath EUREKA:
  • Strategy and CleverPath OLAP
  • CleverPath Reporter

 

  • Developing Web-based BI applications
  • Provides predictive intelligence
  • Identifies exceptions or thresholds, and alerts the analyst via email, fax or the network.
  • Development of production and adhoc reports
  • Banks
  • Non-banking financial institutions
  • Manufacturing
  • Services
  • Telecom
SAS India Pvt. Ltd.
103/104, Free Press House, 10th Floor, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400 021
Tel. 022-5634 9400
Fax. 022-5634 9418
www.sas.com/india

Analytical CRM

Marketing Automation Solution (Part of Customer Analytics suite)

Financial Management Solution (FMS)

Risk Management Solution (RMS)

 

  • Customer profiling and segmentation
  • Identification of cross-sell and up-sell opportunities
  • Churn management
  • Customer profitability analysis
  • Helps develop a targeted marketing campaign at lowest optimal costs and highest possible returns

Helps

  • Budgeting and planning
  • Financial forecasting
  • Reporting and analysis
  • Cost management
  • Performs current and potential exposure
  • Can support credit metrics to arrive at an enterprise wide risk measure
  • Telecom
  • Banks
  • Non-banking financial institutions
  • Manufacturing
  • Services

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baan India
Baan Info Systems
India Pvt. Ltd.,
311-324, 3rd Floor,
Bonanza
Sahar Plaza Complex M V Road,
Andheri (East)
Mumbai 400 059
Tel. 022-2823 6051- 56

Fax. 022-2838 3802
www.baan.com/
mycountry/india/

?version=1
  • iBaan Business Intelligence
  • Suite (iBaanBIS)                    
  • iBaan Decision Manager (the BI engine)
  • Enterprise reporting
  • Tactical intelligence
  • Multi-dimensional analysis of business performance
  • Data-into-information transformation
  • End-user tools          
  • Manufacturing
  • Services
  • Telecom
JD Edwards
J.D. Edwards Software
India Pvt. Ltd.
DBS Business Center,
Raheja Chambers 213
Nariman Point
Mumbai
400021

Tel. 022-56309233

Fax. 022-22047489
www.jdedwards.com
J.D. Edwards Business Intelligence solution                
  • Financial Management Analytics
  • Sales Management Analytics
  • l Advanced Cost Accounting Analytics
  • Procurement Analytics
  • Inventory Analytics
  • Manufacturing Analytics
  • Customer Relationship Management Analytics
  • Scorecards, key performance indicators, reporting, and dashboards
  • Telecom
  • Banks
  • Non-banking financial institutions
  • Services
  • Telecom        
SAP SAP India Pvt. Ltd.
Thapar Niketan
7/4 Brunton Road Bangalore-560 025
Tel. 080-559 3554/509 5677

Fax: 080-509 5888/509 5969

www.sap.com/india
mySAP Business Intelligence              
  • Data warehousing
  • BI tools
  • Best practice models
  • Business analytics
  • Administrative resources      
  • Manufacturing
  • Services
  • Banks
  • Non-banking financial institutions
  • Telecom
Reveleus
i-flex solutions limited 399,
Subhash Road,
Vile Parle (East), Mumbai 400057
Tel. 022-2839 1909/2823 5190
Fax. 022-2836 3140/2823 5231

www.reveleus.com
Reveleus Business Analytics
  • CRM analytics
  • Risk management analytics
  • Performance measurement
  • Line of Business analytics        
  • Banks
  • Non-banking financial institutions
  • Services
  • Telecom      
Teradata
Teradata Division
NCR Corporation India Pvt Ltd. A-501,
Landmark,
Suren Road,
Chakala
Andheri East Mumbai, 400 093
Tel. 022-695 7500

Fax. 022-695 7555
www.teradata.com/ global/country.asp? countryName=india& regionID=2
Teradata Warehouse 7.0.1   Teradata CRM   Teradata analytical applications                
  • Hot standby nodes
  • Large cliques
  • Analytical CRM
  • Marketing automation
  • Analyze and manage operational, financial, and business performance                
  • Banks
  • Non-banking financial institutions
  • Telecom
  • Services
ProClarity
Netpro Technologies
Pvt. Ltd.
23, Mamta D,
A M Marg,
Prabhadevi
Mumbai 400 025
Tel. 022-5663 3954

Cell. 0-98212 91227

www.proclarity.com
  • ProClarity Analytics Server  
  • ProClarity Professional
  • ProClarity Standard
  • ProClarity Business
  • Reporter for Excel   Software Developer's Kit
  • Open
  • Component-based architecture
  • A desktop tool to publish analytic knowledge in the form of business views and shared business logic
  • Tool to interact with ProClarity Analytics Server for consumers of advanced analytics.
  • Provides the ability to receive standard or multi-dimensional views in a familiar spreadsheet environment.
  • Used for making future changes, modifications, or implementations.
  • Banks
  • Non-banking financial institutions
  • Telecom
  • Services              
Oracle
Oracle India Private
Limited Block 1, DLF Corporate Park, DLF City, Phase 3 Mehrauli - Gurgaon Road Gurgaon, Haryana 122 002 Tel. 0124-2549250 /2549260 www.oracle.com  
Oracle Business Intelligence Solutions,                
  • Oracle9i Database includes embedded ETL
  • Oracle9i Warehouse Builder
  • SQL Query Aggregates
  • Web-enabled query & analysis (Oracle9iAS Discoverer)
  • Enterprise reporting (Oracle9i Reports)
  • Oracle9iAS Portal products
  • OLAP
  • Oracle9i Business Intelligence Beans
  • Banks
  • Non-banking financial institutions
  • Telecom
  • Services
  • Manufacturing        
Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation
(I) Pvt. Ltd.
The Great Eastern Center
70, Nehru Place,
New Delhi 110019
Tel. 011-2629 4600/4601

Fax. 011-2629 2650

www.microsoft.com/india
SQL Server 2000                
  • OLAP
  • XML-based              
  • Manufacturing
  • Services
  • Banks
  • Non-banking financial institutions        
 
     
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