Five years ago, business users at Boart Longyear were running Crystal Reports on their desktops, leveraging a library of 4,000 reports to get answers to their business questions. The company had been divested from Anglo American and was acquired by private equity firms, so it had not established its own culture and identity in terms of business intelligence functionality. Lack of coordination on this critical initiative led to a report proliferation nightmare. Management determined they wanted to get to “a single source of the truth” through an enterprise-based solution for the company.
One Core, as the initiative came to be called, focused on the concept that all Boart Longyear employees would work from one core set of business processes and practices. The goal was to implement one best-practice way of doing things and to create consistency across the global organization. Self-service BI would then be leveraged to communicate uniform business information to all Boart Longyear employees and to tie back to the BI department’s mission of getting the right information to the right people at the right time so they could make better and more informed decisions.
Off and running, the IT team chose to implement Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) Release 12 along with the Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBI EE) platform for enterprise reporting.
Though the corporate decision had been made to purchase Oracle, none of the employees were familiar with that platform. The IT team began a search for a solution that could replace the custom data warehouse and provide the reporting capabilities needed while getting everyone’s knowledge of the Oracle platform up to speed.
IT conducted a rigorous evaluation and selection process and narrowed it down to two vendors: Oracle (including Oracle BI Apps) and Noetix. Both were asked to present their capabilities to the company.
Ultimately, Boart Longyear chose to close the information gap between Oracle EBS and users’ needs by implementing the OBI EE platform and purchasing the mature content contained in two key products from Noetix (NoetixViews and Noetix Analytics). NoetixViews provided the foundation for operational reporting and ad hoc query required by the business users. Noetix Analytics came with a pre-defined, dimensional data warehouse containing detailed and historical data as well as summary and trended data.
In coordination with the ERP implementation (Financials, Manufacturing, Order Management, etc.), the project team started building out Oracle BI reporting on top of NoetixViews and Noetix Analytics. The team was building and validating the report specification baseline while the EBS application was still going through its methodology of specification and configuration. They reviewed the 4,000 original reports and rationalized the list down to 900 before eventually reducing the list to nearly 200 operational and analytic reports and 350 out of the box EBS reports.
Boart Longyear estimates that before One Core, it took a month to deliver requested information to business users – especially the meaningful analytic content that users desired. Now, reporting is embedded into every process of the business – one of the advantages of implementing reporting early and in parallel with an ERP implementation. The company anticipates the flow of information will be much more rapid once it has settled into its new self-service system. With as many as 2,000 end users running a projected 100,000+ queries through the report system every month, the result should be a positive strategic impact on the business as a whole. Users will be getting immediate answers to the questions they would have had to scramble for previously. In fact, the initial results within the first two months already show unique users approaching 300 and query volumes surpassing 50,000 a month.
“Because we’re so early in the cycle of our implementation, it’s a little bit hard to know what the real ROI results are going to be,” said Jeff Burtenshaw, the Director of BI. “But in terms of where we’re at in the implementation cycle, in terms of getting out of the gate, we were able to expose valuable information and content and close the books in our first month live. Noetix was an invaluable tool for that – we simply could not have delivered so much information so fast without the product. Noetix has been fantastic in terms of helping us get through our baseline process – having the right BI partner in place is very important.”
As part of the Magnitude Software family of products, Noetix world-class business intelligence solutions are used by hundreds of industry leading customers worldwide. Armed with immediate access to Oracle E-Business Suite data, users finally have the answers they need to make better business decisions.
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