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October | 21 | 2010 | 50 Volume 06 | Issue 05

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EDITORIAL RAHUL NEEL MANI | rahul.mani@9dot9.in

Measuring Business Intelligence ROI CIOs Face it All A

lmost one and a half months ago, when we planned a special feature on Business Intelligence (BI), I guessed that a healthy percentage of India’s corporates must have already deployed BI tools to draw actionable insights from the data. My estimate was wrong. The CTO Forum BI Survey (nearly 100 respondents from across industry) suggests otherwise. Only 24 percent say they are using a proper BI solution. A majority (50 percent)

still use spreadsheets, MIS, or other in-house tools to manage their BI or reporting requirements. The good news is that it is not vastly different from the worldwide figures. The technology is certainly in the hunt. A whopping 68 percent of the respondents to the survey agree that enterprise data, if channelized properly through a BI solution, can provide an extreme edge over competitors. Then what prevents organisations from adopting proper BI

EDITOR'S PICK 12

Intelligent Talking

Rajeev Batra, CIO, MTS India on the evolution of Business Intelligence, its challenges and benefits to the organisation.

solutions? While discussing this with the CIOs and a few industry players, I found that the current cost of adoption of BI makes the technology prohibitive. The per-user or per-CPU license of using BI is still not very affordable for the midsize and even a lot of large enterprises. While only a few matured organisations have deployed the full-blown solution, a few others are at an initiation stage and the rest are ingenious - using home grown methods of reporting. The reason: As with any other technology, CIOs are answerable to the investments in BI. The high cost of BI acquisition and the IT infrastructure upgrade makes it even more necessary for CIOs to calculate its ROI. A few CIOs say they are not compelled to calculate the ROI immediately but over a period of time, it is impera-

tive for everyone to justify the investment made in BI. What’s the solution? Will the situation change? Will CIOs get cheaper and more sustainable BI tools so that they are able to justify the ROI? What’s the answer to CIOs' woes? This special issue of CTO Forum will answer some of these questions in greater depth. From a proper implementation methodology to exploiting your current BI tools to harnessing the power of Open Source BI to the actual usage of BI by your peers, there’s lot to learn. I am sure you will find the information worth your time. As always, I will request your feedback to make it even more impactful the next time.

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COLUMNS

04 | I BELIEVE: LEADING CHANGE Meenakshi Agrawal VP-IT, Mumbai International Airport Pvt. Ltd. on how CIOs can catalyse positive change.

Business Intelligence has come out of the hype cycle. It is now a realistic technology – tested, tried and ready for mass deployment. Are you still thinking?

60 | HIDDEN TANGENT: GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE SAND Don’t just talk climate change – act now. BY GEETAJ CHANNANA

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COPYRIGHT, All rights reserved: Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from Nine Dot Nine Interactive Pvt Ltd. is prohibited. Printed and published by Kanak Ghosh for Nine Dot Nine Interactive Pvt Ltd, C/o Kakson House, Plot Printed at Silverpoint Press Pvt. Ltd. D- 107, MIDC, TTC Industrial Area, Nerul, Navi Mumbai- 400706

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FEATURES

52 | TECH FOR GOVERNANCE: WHY PROJECTS ARE DESIGNED TO FAIL How to make them succeed. BY JACK BERGSTRAND

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www.thectoforum.com Managing Director: Dr Pramath Raj Sinha Printer & Publisher: Kanak Ghosh Publishing Director: Anuradha Das Mathur EDITORIAL Editor-in-chief: Rahul Neel Mani Executive Editor: Geetaj Channana Resident Editor (West & South): Ashwani Mishra Senior Editor: Harichandan Arakali Associate Editor: Dominic K Principal Correspondent: Vinita Gupta Correspondent: Nipun Sahrawat

12 A QUESTION OF ANSWERS

12 | Intelligent Talking Rajeev Batra,

CIO, MTS India on the evolution of Business Intelligence, its challenges and benefits to the organisation.

50

57

REGULARS

01 | EDITORIAL 08 | ENTERPRISE ROUND-UP advertisers’ index

50 | NEXT HORIZONS: WINDOWS PHONE 7 Is Microsoft Abandoning the Enterprise? BY SUSAN NUNZIATA

57 | HIDE TIME: BALVINDER SINGH, VICE PRESIDENTIT, STAR INDIA likes to lead his team by example.

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DESIGN Sr. Creative Director: Jayan K Narayanan Art Director: Binesh Sreedharan Associate Art Director: Anil VK Manager Design: Chander Shekhar Sr. Visualisers: PC Anoop, Santosh Kushwaha Sr. Designers: Prasanth TR, Anil T Suresh Kumar, Joffy Jose & Anoop Verma Designer: Sristi Maurya Chief Photographer: Subhojit Paul Photographer: Jiten Gandhi ADVISORY PANEL Ajay Kumar Dhir, CIO, JSL Limited Anil Garg, CIO, Dabur David Briskman, CIO, Ranbaxy Mani Mulki, VP-IS, Godrej Industries Manish Gupta, Director, Enterprise Solutions AMEA, PepsiCo India Foods & Beverages, PepsiCo Raghu Raman, CEO, National Intelligence Grid, Govt. of India S R Mallela, Former CTO, AFL Santrupt Misra, Director, Aditya Birla Group Sushil Prakash, Country Head, Emerging Technology-Business Innovation Group, Tata TeleServices Vijay Sethi, VP-IS, Hero Honda Vishal Salvi, CSO, HDFC Bank Deepak B Phatak, Subharao M Nilekani Chair Professor and Head, KReSIT, IIT - Bombay Vijay Mehra, Former Global CIO, Essar Group SALES & MARKETING VP Sales & Marketing: Naveen Chand Singh National Manager-Events and Special Projects: Mahantesh Godi (09880436623) Product Manager: Rachit Kinger Asst. Product Manager: Priyam Mahajan GM South: Vinodh K (09740714817) Senior Manager Sales (South): Ashish Kumar Singh GM North: Lalit Arun (09582262959) GM West: Sachin Mhashilkar (09920348755) Kolkata: Jayanta Bhattacharya (09331829284) PRODUCTION & LOGISTICS Sr. GM. Operations: Shivshankar M Hiremath Production Executive: Vilas Mhatre Logistics: MP Singh, Mohd. Ansari, Shashi Shekhar Singh OFFICE ADDRESS Published, Printed and Owned by Nine Dot Nine Interactive Pvt Ltd. Published and printed on their behalf by Kanak Ghosh. Published at Bunglow No. 725, Sector - 1, Shirvane, Nerul Navi Mumbai - 400706. Printed at Silver Point Press Pvt Ltd, D-107, TTC Industrial Area, Nerul, Navi Mumbai 400706. Editor: Anuradha Das Mathur For any customer queries and assistance please contact help@9dot9.in This issue of CTO FORUM includes 8 pages of CSO Forum free with the magazine

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THE AUTHOR HAS has around 20 years of experience in the aviation industry

PHOTO BY JITEN GANDHI

I BELIEVE

BY MEENAKSHI AGRAWAL VP-IT, Mumbai International Airport Pvt. Ltd.

Leading Change Armed with

an inclusive approach, CIOs can catalyse positive change. ANY CHANGE in the IT infrastructure is driven by business requirements. In the aviation industry the changes in technology have been driven by consumer expectations. As CIOs, we have to be at the forefront in meeting customer needs and driving business transformation. We must be conversant with the strategic goals of the business and the alternative ways that the company can meet them. Armed with this knowledge, we can partner with

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CURRENT CHALLENGE ON ONE HAND THE TECHNOLOGY CHANGES ARE HAPPENING AT A RAPID PACE AND ON THE OTHER THE BUSINESS DEMANDS ARE INCREASING

the operating managers to create more powerful ways to do business, utilising new IT capabilities. The CIO must actually take the lead in redefining the business. This requires, first and foremost, that the CIO deeply understand the business, far beyond the day-to-day operations as currently conducted. We are definitely in a better position than other business functions to drive business growth and meet demands. I believe that merely identifying new value opportunities is not enough. The business-minded CIO needs to assess the attitude towards any change, and the reaction of other business units to this change. This has two vital components attached to it. One is to know the strength of the current business processes and the other is to understand how willing and able are the business units to make the changes necessary to reap the full potential of IT. For this to happen, the IT function and the business have to change the way they think about each other. IT has to deliver and win the trust while business should understand that IT will add value to the business. We need to talk business benefits of technology in a language that the business understands. The key to success in any change management initiative rests actively in engaging the business, and partnering with business peers in the company. In addition, CIOs needs to be aware of the business problems, otherwise, however good they maybe, they cannot drive change within the organisation. More than ever, it will be the CIOs effectiveness that will determine the destiny of the company. The challenge for me is that on the one hand the technology changes are happening at a rapid pace and on the other the business demands are increasing. Keeping a balance can be a tough ask.


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CYBE SECU R RITY

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NON TECHNOLOGY IT LEADERS

In my view, leadership to the technology team can only be provided by a technology person who understands the field. I agree that as a CIO/CTO, one need to be more business focused and talk more business then technology, but that does not mean that a person who does not understand technology can do this job better. The CIO interprets the language of technology to business and translates into more meaningful terms to the board and helps leverage or combine the strength of technology to business objectives.

How do you treat your vendors - a partner, a service provider, or a mere salesman? It is situational. Partner relationship arises mostly in case of transformation and transition situations or long term Support commitments where stakes are involved from both side. This way it makes both parties go the extra mile with a smile. Else it is Service Provider or pure Sales vendor.

—Pankaj Sahni PGDBM, PGDCA, Prince 2, ITSM, ITIL The Cloud is all air and no substance I am a strong believer of cloud services however on the other hand there are not many players who have reached the maturity level. The way Google Apps shaping up and gaining market share on messaging it looks the game will change sooner than later.

—Manoj Sharma Vice President & Head IT at Jones Lang Lasalle

CTO FORUM 21 OCTOBER 2010

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thectoforum.com/ content/makingseductivepromises-areality

USE BEFORE YOU PAY Transformation times for IT

“Cloud computing brings in elasticity in usage of services allowing pay per use models. Telecom, Virtualisation and Cloud computing together are here to transform IT.” To read the full story go to:

WRITE TO US: The CTOForum values your feedback. We want to know what you think about the magazine and how to make it a better read for you. Our endeavour continues to be work in progress and your comments will go a long way in making it the preferred publication of the CIO Community.

6

VMware is certainly not giving up its position in the hypervisor market but that’s not something the company banks on. Paul  Maritz, CEO of VMware speaks to Rahul Neel Mani about how the company will rule the world in data centre automation and management space. 

OPINION

DD MISHRA, Head - IT Outsourcing at Vodafone Essar

Send your comments, compliments, complaints or questions about the magazine to editor@thectoforum.com

CTOF Connect

www.thectoforum.com/content/use-you-pay SUNIL SIROHI VP, INFORMATION RESOURCES ORGANISATION, NIIT LIMITED.


FEATURE INISDE

Enterprise

Seven Leadership Skills CIOs Need. Findings from Latest Book.Pg 10

ILLUSTRATION: SURESH KUMAR

ROUND-UP

Oracle set to improve position in BI.

Seems to be well positioned with the launch of Oracle BI 11g. AFTER three years since Oracle acquired enterprise performance management (EPM) vendor Hyperion, the company rolled out a new version of its Business Intelligence (BI) software. Oracle Business Intelligence 11g, says Aditya Bhattacharyya, Sales Consulting Director, Applications Sales, Oracle India, will aid enterprises to gain alignment across all of its enterprise applications. “The application will help us improve our position in the BI space,” he says. One of the key features of the new solution is what Oracle calls “actionable BI”. The application prompts

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users to take actions based on insights on the BI dashboard. “BI 11g allows users to encode a set of business process actions that can be taken,” says Bhattacharya. The solution integrates with transactional applications like Siebel CRM etc. According to Forrester Principal Analyst Boris Evelson many BI vendors talk about using open technology to connect intelligence across applications. Often, Evelson says, it still requires customisation on the end user part, but "Oracle takes it to the next level”, he says.

DATA BRIEFING

63% have not budgeted for any type of cloud service in 2010 SOURCE: GARTNER


E NTE RPRI SE ROUND -UP

THEY STEVE SAID IT BALLMER Microsoft launched a battery of 10 phones by Samsung, LG, Dell and HTC based on their latest Windows Phone 7 platform. They have arrived last to the smart phone party (unless Nokia stems a surprise). During the launch of the platform Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft said :

Oracle buys Passlogix. Enterprise Single Sign-on provider to enhance identity management capabilities ORACLE has agreed to acquire Passlogix, a leading provider of enterprise single sign-on (ESSO) solutions. Passlogix products help organisations improve and simplify security by enabling SSO for a broad range of applications including client-server, mainframe and web-based applications. Oracle had a successful OEM relationship with Passlogix before the acquisition. “Driven by regulatory mandates, organisations are being pressured to provide stronger authentication mechanisms while reducing the number of passwords required,” says Amit Jasuja, vice president, Oracle Identity Management. “Passlogix and Oracle have had a successful OEM relationship for more than three years and have many of the same customers. With the addition of Passlogix, we expect to provide a complete enterprise-scale identity management solution and be able to provide more global reach and support resources to customers.” The combination provides enterprises with an identity management solution to advance their identity management, compliance and authentication initiatives with even tighter integration capabilities. The financial details of the transaction, that is expected to close this year, were not disclosed.

“Microsoft and its partners are delivering a different kind of mobile phone and experience - one that makes everyday tasks faster by getting more done in fewer steps and providing timely information in a 'glance and go' format.” —Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft

QUICK BYTE ON CONSUMER FIXED SERVICES MARKET

Indian consumer fixed services market is on pace to reach Rs 245 billion in 2010, a 5 percent increase from 2009 revenue of Rs 232 billion, according to Gartner. THE CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER FORUM

CTO FORUM 21 OCTOBER 2010

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IMAGING: BINESH SREEDHARAN

E NTE RPRI SE ROUND -UP

Seven Leadership Skills CIOs Need Findings from Latest Book Presented at Gartner Symposium, Orlando.

IN THE recently published book “The CIO Edge – Seven Leadership Skills You Need To Drive Results”, Graham Waller vice president and executive partner with Gartner Executive Programs; George Hallenbeck director, intellectual property development, for Korn/Ferry Leadership and Talent Consulting; and Karen Rubenstrunk, formerly with Korn/Ferry’s CIO practice, examine the key skills CIOs need and how to develop

them. Following three years of data-driven research, the authors distilled their findings down to the behavioural patterns and key skills they believe to be the most critical to success. High-performing CIOs distinguish themselves by mastering the following seven skills: Commit to Leadership First and Everything Else Second. The highest performing CIOs are effec-

GLOBAL TRACKER

IT Budget Distribution

The IT budget distribution is fairly consistent globally, with IT personnel

accounting for about 30 percent; data center systems 24 percent; end-user equipment and PCs 20 percent; telecom costs 14 percent; and IT services 13 percent.

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13% 30% 14% 20% 24%

tive because they embrace the idea that everything they need to accomplish will be achieved through people, by people, and with people. They don’t pay lip service to that idea. They live it. They lead. Lead Differently than You Think. A high-performing CIO is an incredibly complex and creative thinker. Yet when the time comes to lead, they don’t rely on their superior ‘smarts’ and analytical skills to come up with the best possible solution. They act collaboratively. Embrace Your Softer Side. Effective CIOs manage the paradox of gaining more influence by letting go of control and allowing themselves to be vulnerable. In turn, that vulnerability enables them to create deep, personal connections — connections that provide the ability to inspire people both inside and outside their organisation. Forge the Right Relationships to Drive the Right Results. This skill may not be surprising. High performing CIOs spend a greater percentage of their time and energy managing relationships that exist sideways: with internal peers, external suppliers, and customers. They purposely invest in horizontal relationships which form the foundation to drive results. Master Communication. The best CIOs know that their colleagues - especially the people who work for them are always watching. They take advantage of that situation by constantly reiterating core messages and values. Through their focus on clarity, consistency, authenticity, and passion, they make sure their message is not only understood but also felt. Inspire Others. The best CIOs provide a compelling vision that connects people to how their enterprise wins in the marketplace and that their contributions are meaningful and valued. Build People, Not Systems. By developing people all around them, these CIOs increase their capability and capacity to deliver results. They also know that leaving behind the next generation of leaders is the best thing they can do for the organisation—it will be their lasting legacy. “All CIOs must deliver results. What distinguishes the best is how they do it: through people, by people, and with people,” says Waller.


E NTE RPRI SE ROUND -UP

Now SAP on your iPhone. Launches mobile application for the SAP Business ByDesign solution.

AS GROWING numbers of employees increasingly work from the road more than the office, companies of all sizes are demanding immediate access to business applications to be able to run their business from any location, at any time. Furthering its objective of supporting these companies through accelerating the mobilisation of SAP solutions, SAP has created an iPhone application for the SAP Business ByDesign™ solution, which is now available on the Apple iTunes Store. This mobile version of the integrated on-demand solu-

tion dedicated to midsize companies is easy to use and available for free to all customers of feature pack 2.5 for SAP Business ByDesign, launched in July 2010, and requires only a user and password. “Customers today have to run real-time businesses with a mobile workforce that needs to quickly make decisions no matter where they are,” said Peter Lorenz, executive vice president, Small and Midsize Enterprises, and corporate officer at SAP AG. “This mobile app for SAP Business ByDesign is an integral step in delivering greater value for all users and expanding our on-demand business.” In a first step, SAP has focused on providing content mainly for management and sales roles. Managers, for example, can instantly approve, reject or forward items that require immediate attention, including price lists and quote or payment approvals. In addition, personalised mobile reports provide up-to-the-minute details of company operations and key facts. Sales representatives are supported by mobile lead and opportunity management as well as account and activity management. A scenario that is also supported is the ability to check product availability online for sales orders, and the possibility to immediately create a sales order as follow-up. With the next version of SAP Business ByDesign, SAP plans to make additional scenarios available and to support further mobile devices, including BlackBerry, Android and Windows Phone 7. The company will also aim to enable partners to create supplemental content, which can then become an incremental part of the application. The application is available for the iPhone, with a minimal requirement of Mac OS 3.1.3.

FACT TICKER

Sustainability More Important for PC selection. Says new

research from Gartner. PERSONAL computer (PC) upgrades in Asia Pacific are in full swing in the second half of 2010 and businesses are placing a greater emphasis on environmental sustainability. However, analysts say PC providers are not offering the right mix of capabilities and messaging on sustainability and risk being excluded from lucrative opportunities.

The Asia Pacific PC market is forecast to grow 20.4 percent in 2010 and continue to grow at CAGR of 20.8 percent between 2009 and 2014. “Price, performance and service will continue to top the list of purchase criteria for new PCs, but energy efficiency, power management and disposal services are becoming increasingly important to PC buyers in large enter enter-

prises and midsize businesses.” Says Lillian Tay, principal research analyst at Gartner. However, despite government involvement, each country does have differing levels of development in environmental sustainability and the needs of PC buyers will differ slightly. In China, India and other emerging markets in Asia Pacific, there will be pockets of opportunities such as new eco-cities that are being developed. In these places it will be easier to adopt green technology as it is a ground-up directive, offering opportunistic proj projects that can be good reference sites.

STORAGE APPS

Buffalo Technology, a manufacturer of wired and wireless networking and network and direct attached storage solutions, announced the free WebAccess iapp for Apple iPod touch/ iPhone and WebAccess i HD app for iPad. These new apps provide iPhone and iPad users an way to access and stream digital content from a Buffalo NAS solution to their mobile devices. Buffalo's newly redesigned WebAccess feature allows users to easily stream digital content stored on any Buffalo network storage solution from anywhere in the world via a Web browser, iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. "Digital content, whether music, videos or photos, is an integral part of most lives and consumers want a simple and convenient way to enjoy their favorites from anywhere at any time," said Ralph Spagnola, vice president of sales at Buffalo Technology. "Buffalo's new WebAccess i apps allow our customers to enjoy and share their digital life at any time from an iPod touch, iPhone or iPad, rather than tuck it away on a computer or external hard drive." Buffalo's WebAccess i app for iPod touch and iPhone and WebAccess i HD app for iPad, are available free at the Apple iTunes Store.

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A QUESTION OF ANSWERS

L ARRY CL I N TO N

Create Differentiation: You must have an answer to all market situations – otherwise you will be pushed out of the market.

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A QUESTION OF ANSWERS

Intelligent RAJEEV BATRA | MTS INDIA

Talking Rajeev Batra, CIO, MTS India in conversation with Rahul Neel Mani on the evolution of Business Intelligence, its challenges and benefits to the organisation. Tariff wars have reached a certain level and number portability is about to happen. What do you think will be the differentiators and how will the difference come in in the services being provided by the service providers. Tariff wars started about a year ago and now they have reached a level where there is no differentiation left in the tariff, except in dropping the prices further or making long distance the same as local calls. The only differentiation now comes in the form of what more can we give beyond voice. This is where the data angle comes in, so the next big thing is going to be how do we interlink voice and data and introduce services around that. That will make more of a impact going forward rather than reducing prices or doing dynamic pricing. Now,

more or less all the operators are offering the same when MTS went ahead and offered half-paisa a second to remove all the confusion. What role does BI play in a telecom company? Telecom companies, traditionally, start with some or the other MIS. Every function in a 'telco' needs a very high level of MIS, which is the information about what is happening in the field. The next stage is, 'how do use this data to see what is going to happen rather that what has been happening?' Also, see how the company is placed in the market in terms of products, positioning and tariffs. BI plays right from the type of customer profiling one has to do and the type of usage pattern, then we build tariffs around that usage

pattern. If there is a churn happening you have to check the pattern into which the customer is going so that you can prevent the churn. Preventing churn also helps you to keep your ARPUs (average revenue per user) at a pretty steady state, otherwise they start dropping. Then you have to see about the marketing campaigns, customer care and finance – all of these are used as inputs for Business Intelligence to start. Churning out proactive analysis of the past data. All of this is used to build new tariffs, project revenues around it, build new types of products in the market depending upon what the customer likes to use: whether they are happy to be contacted at a particular time of day or if s/he is happy with the plan that they are using. Using this data you can also do a targeted campaign

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A QUESTION OF ANSWERS

depending on the users’ usage and preference pattern. It’s all of these generally contribute into stopping your churn, growing your ARPUs, doing cross bundling and cross promotion. At the end of it, it is the revenue game that we are trying to win.

PHOTO: SUBHOJIT PAUL

You said that it is being used to create differentiation… The BI tools help us do an analysis of the success of your past products and services, even compare with what is going on in the market and come up with something based on the historical data analysis. It helps judge the new products in comparison with the older ones and helps us decide what the customers would like more. It gives you a basis to create a tariff or product dependent on what customers like. Thus, it helps give us differentiation. If somebody has a certain type of tariff, what can you do to counter that or give a different type of tariff that a customer may like – otherwise you will be pushed out of the market. The industry is so competitive that if the customer does not feel that your tariffs are honest and beneficial, the customer is intelligent enough to understand and move away. For a company like yours that does not have a legacy and is a late entrant in the market, what are the key areas of concern that require a full-fledged business intelligence deployment. In our case, yes we have been a recent entrant and we are reaching the 7 million mark in one and a half years of operation. There is a sort of niche that we have to make of our brand. Since we are based on CDMA, the best we could come up with was – in this cluttered market, what will give us the best leverage with the customer. That’s where went ahead with the data strategy. This had made data our strength and has given a pretty good footing in the market. We also worked on the basis of getting the fundamen-

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tals right. Getting our network work to the best wherever we operate. If you see the latest TRAI ratings we have the most satisfied customers in the class we operate in. Going forward, the marketing plan and CRM efficiencies have to be backed by sound business intelligence. Where you are able to provide the marketing team the intelligence to create smart offerings for the market. The half-paisa plan was launched last year in Tamil-Nadu; we have been able to launch this plan in various ways in various geographies of India depending upon the demographic of the region. India operates in 22 circles with each region having its own requirement. That is where business intelligence is used to say which products did well for which region. While the underlying product remains the same some differentiation is created for each region. Similarly for CRM – the customer churn patterns and usage patterns are taken care of by business intelligence. Do you think there is a particular area where BI is important for a telco or is it a general requirement. I would put it as a hygiene requirement for a telco, specifically for a market like in India it becomes mandatory. Every now and then, some operator will come up with something that is a differentiator – and you must be ready to come up with a differentiator or you should have the capability to match it immediately. For this, business intelligence becomes a necessity. BI is also sometimes used to check fraud in the telecom industry, wherein we can check irregularities by checking the usage patterns. We can then pinpoint the type of subscribers that are more prone to committing fraud, as compared to another user. In all our business meeting something or the other comes up that requires an input from business intelligence to act as a decision sup-

THE CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER FORUM

THINGS I BELIEVE IN BI helps us decide what the customers would like more. It is a hygiene requirement for a telco, especially in a country like India. The biggest challenge that the team faces is collecting data from all the sources.

port system. Thus, the effects are across the business. In a typical telco setup, what is the best way to look at deploying a business intelligence system? First we check the maturity of an organisation. Is the data in the organisation sufficient for a robust BI system? If it just the first year, a normal MIS may also suffice, but the planning for a BI system must start from the first year itself. This is the time when you start gathering the requirement from each department and then make a sort of a blueprint of the system and show what it may look like. There are two aspects to BI in a telco. One is the operational data store that you may have and another is the analytical business intelligence model. It works in two layers: The lower end caters to the daily operational needs. Any telco


A QUESTION OF ANSWERS

R A J E E V B AT R A

will have not less than 1,500-1,600 reports being generated on a daily basis. There are three main departments that become customers to IT – marketing at the top, customer care and finance. Then there are adjoint systems to business intelligence that feed into it – one is

process – it makes it more granular, putting it down in a document, and getting a business sign-off on what they want completed at what point of time. Once the sign-offs are done, the regular implementation starts. Most of these packages have a lot of available patterns with them,

“Earlier, it would take three years; now six months is the time given before the system starts bearing fruit with some results.” —Rajeev Batra, CIO, MTS India the GIS, fraud management system and mediation system. Overall this is the blueprint that you make. Then you decide upon the technology that may best work for you. You can also make a pretty big data warehouse and then start working on the system – but that needs a pretty long gestational period. So if you see, more and more ISVs and service providers have started giving a modular approach to this. They give, quick-start solutions also. Earlier, it would take three years before something fruitful started coming out of the system. Now six months is the time given before the system starts bearing fruit with some results. It still takes 12-18 months before you can start giving any higher intelligence levels of analytics. Business, is anyway happier if you can crunch it further. We have undergone a similar process wherein you create an RFP to get the intelligence, then you define the scope and phases in which it will grow and deliver results. Once this is done you need to ensure that the technology chosen is easily scalable to petabytes of data that any telco will go up till. Then we go through full business requirement workshops. Business requirement workshops are combined with all the departments. It happens very frequently. We also have business analysts and implementation partners sitting with IT who capture everything that the business tells. This is done even before the ordering

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that are being used by telcos. Based on the maturity of the package it may already have a lot of things that they may roll out for telcos – these are the low hanging fruits that you target. After this, the innovative part starts where marketing may come up with some or the other plan that we try and execute by BI. Usually, once the plan is made, it is given to the business to operate rather than IT operating it for business. What kind of inputs do you provoke the business leaders to give while conceptualising this whole platform so that nothing major goes wrong? What we usually ask is that if they want a view of a particular data, what fields would they like to see, what perspective would they like to see of the data. Usually there is an agreement on the columns in the report. Customer care or marketing might ask for the same report in a different manner – the views change for each department. We change the interface for them. There are packages available that enable them to create these views on their own. So we train the business users on usage of these OLAP tools. They can get the views that they want, rather than IT building it for them. Usually, the approach is to make the business users more powerful. The technology piece here is that the data quality that is getting loaded is updated, relevant and can be used by the front-end in a

very relevant manner. Then there are some complex analytics that the business may ask for; for instance, if the patterns have to be linked not from the existing data but from some external data feeds also then IT gets involved as this may involve some developmental works. Ultimately, who is the owner of this? In our organisation, I can tell you, we have made marketing the business sponsor for this. That’s who that becomes the core business responsible for this product. CSD and finance are the other two major users of these system, but the core owner is marketing. Then we have other systems like GIS that start feeding into this system. There are times when the system will give you solutions that humans cannot do manually. For instance, 'a region is not getting utilised properly' and 'this is the tariff that you can launch for this region.' Those types of reports can also be generated. Can it go wrong? The main point is that it is a technology – it takes an input, you build a logic around it and it gives you an output. If there is something wrong with the input, it can very well give you a wrong output. It requires a lot of discipline in operating this system, it is not a magic wand. It is important to have experienced people in business, who understand the pulse of the market. If the system goes wrong they are able to catch that. Yes, there are certain fundamental things that you may not be able to catch even if you have an experienced person around. What are the implementation challenges? The biggest challenge that the team faces is collecting the data from all the sources and maintaining the database to ensure that they have correct information available always. There are software available that help in cleansing the data. They give you a pretty reasonably quality of data in the data warehouses or data cubes that you may be building. These tools were not available earlier, but the they are available now and can correct some basic mistakes from the data.


Business Intelligence SPECIAL

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Business Intelligence

No Hype All Real

Business Intelligence has come out of the hype cycle. It is now a realistic technology – tested, tried and ready for mass deployment. Are you still thinking? By Rahul Neel Mani

I

f you follow the Hype Cycle of technology analyst firm Gartner, you will find a big change this year. Business Intelligence, which was on the top of the charts for last few years, lost its position. This could only indicate one thing: While its adoption rate of 20-25 percent by itself doesn't reflect this, the technology seems to have found many homes. In other words, there is yet to be a massive tilt towards deploying BI tools, but there certainly is an increasing number of takers.

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Unlike ERP, which swamped the enterprises in last one decade, BI is still the choice of a select few – mostly those who either have massive customer data or those who are in a fiercely competitive environment. But the scenario is changing slowly. A decade (or so) ago, simple MIS (management information system) reports were enough to do business and inventory forecasts. Perhaps customers didn’t have many options to choose from either,

helping a few vendors maintain healthy market shares and consistent growth. Today consumers have got variety, and they are also certainly more aware of their privileges. Businesses need more than MIS reports to analyse markets. To enable intelligent decision making and bringing actionable insights out from the existing data warehouses or ERP data, businesses require tools that could help in looking into the future.


Business Intelligence SPECIAL

PRODUCTIVE TOOL Supported by a software stack that provides insight into business and its operating environment, Business Intelligence (henceforth BI) is one of the most productive tools for progressive, modern enterprises. Most of us, for a long time, weren’t able to differentiate between standard reporting tools and BI. Standard reporting is a good tool to know the historical data that shows what has happened in the past. It won’t tell you why something happened, or whether it can be prevented or improved upon in the future. CIOs and other specialists who have either implemented or are preparing a BI roadmap need to ask and answer the following five questions: Why does my organisation need BI? What tools does my organisation need and what purpose will they solve? How do I select the most appropriate BI tools? How do I implement BI in my organisation? How do I ensure BI TCO?

WHY BI? Most businesses, by design, are destined to move forward, not backwards. MIS reports, which mostly provide information about the past and churn out data based on past incidents, cannot drive a forward looking organisation. Instead, it can lead to massive errors through incorrect assumptions. BI as a tool is meant to not only eliminate the human imperfection from intelligent decision making but also assist businesses to look in to the future. It empowers businesses to take decisions based on evidences and not inept assumptions. This very characteristic of the BI tool helps in cleansing the entire enterprise decision making process. It leaves no room for personal biases, enthusiasm and inputs and helps in driving you into activities that ultimately support your business productivity and profitability goals. BI, unlike plain vanilla reporting, reduces the decision risk and empowers you to you streamline the manufacturing, sales, operational, marketing and many other many activities. In all, it is meant to help produce the most valuable insights from the least amount of resources.

WHAT TOOLS FOR WHAT PURPOSE?

The biggest benefits of consolidating data from systems: 11% 68% 21%

Single view of the customer across all business lines Consolidated financial and risk view of data across all product lines Both of the above

Which would be the primary area in which you feel a BI solution would give the maximum return on investment? 5%

24%

26%

45% Risk & Compliance Financial and profitability reporting Operational Reporting

Customer intelligence (including cross sell, up sell recommendations)

One can easily lose focus at this stage. A lot of due diligence is required to get past this stage of BI journey. As an organisation, one may be used to a plethora of applications from multiple vendors. The lure of a steal may entice a CIO to go with one of his or her existing vendors for the BI stack as well – an approach that might prove Faustian. “Relying on the vendors to conduct their interpretation of due diligence and discovery could add a level of uncertainty and disconnect that may result in a reporting tool that does not meet expectations,” says Alec Smith, Vice President Projects, at U.S.based SWK Technologies Inc. On the one hand, if it is important to ascertain what BI tools to use, it is equally important to know what purpose those tools will serve. One of the biggest issues that a CIO might face is the lack an internal vision. Don’t fall for short-term gains. Communication between all important departments such as sales, marketing, production and supply chain to create a 'demand document' is crucial to ensuring that the tools deployed will remain effective. It might seem contradictory, but it isn't: relying on 'human' wisdom, and on the knowledge and wisdom of many, holds the key. The key here is information. Technology is merely a means to an end. Mahesh Manchi, CIO at Mahindra Resorts and Holidays suggest that a CIO can just be the catalyst of a BI implementation. “A lot depends on the business folks on how much they're able to see what the CIO sees. In many organisations the business executives (at operational levels) are reluctant to back these kinds of implementations which finally defeats the whole purpose,” he says. Some CIOs also aren’t well versed with business, they understand technology. BI is a business issue just like an ERP or CRM. The reason a lot of ERP, CRM and BI projects fail is because they are not led with business focus. If the goals of a BI project are nor well defined, the implementation is bound to fail, says Israel Ptashnik, a business technology strategy consultant and coach at Business Technology Strategy, Israel.

WHICH IS BEST? SOURCE: CTOF BI SURVEY 2010

BI can become very confusing at times. Generally, when an organisation realizes that it THE CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER FORUM

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Business Intelligence SPECIAL

Market Watch

2010 Gartner Magic Quadrant for BI Platforms After consolidation, pure play BI vendors are competing well with mega vendors. IT IS TRUE that the megavendors (top vendors in the BI space) held almost 2/3rd of the market share. But a large amount of business users also turned to the pure-play BI platforms from the smaller, innovative players, to not only fulfil their time-to-value needs but also to keep the costs under control.

most of the pure play BI vendors were engulfed by the mega-vendors (Oracle acquired Hyperion, IMB acquired Cognos and SAP acquired Business Objects). Ever since, there has been a sense of dissatisfaction due to the messy post-acquisition process. Still these mega-vendors dominated the BI deploy-

MAGIC QUADRANT FOR BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE PLATFORMS

Ability to execute

Challengers

Leaders Oracle Microsoft IBM SAS MicroStrategy SAP Information Builders

OlikTech Tibco Software (Spotfire) Tableau

Targit

Board International Arcplan Panorama Software Actuate

Niche Players

Visionaries

Completeness of vision SOURCE: GARTNER (JANUARY 2010)

If we do a deep analysis of the Jan 2010 Magic Quadrant for BI by Gartner, there’s a clear struggle between the resilient pureplay BI players and the invincible mega-vendors. The whole of BI market underwent consolidation frenzy during 2007-09. During this timeframe

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ment decisions by the corporates in 2009 and the top five vendors controlled 75% of the market. At the same time, however, based on Gartner research, there was a significant amount of satisfaction with and accelerated interest in pure-play, innovative BI platforms.

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There were a few noticeable changes that occurred to the Magic Quadrant of 2009. A few ‘visionary’ vendors of came into challengers’ category this year. QlikTech [QlikView] and Tibco Software [Spotfire]) which were visionaries last year are featured in the challengers in the Magic Quadrant of Jan 2010. Alarmed by the initial success of challengers few of the traditional BI vendors are not shying away from imitating them lucrative alternatives (SAPBO Explorer, IBM-Cognos Express are a few examples) This trend will further accelerate in the remaining 2010 and will likely go into the 2011 as well. This may lead to another round of industry consolidation wherein companies like HP, Microsoft and a few others would like to augment their portfolio, putting pressure on the challengers and compelling them to innovate further. Gartner analysis says that the market for BI platforms will remain one of the fastest growing software markets. In tough economic times, when competitiveness depends on the optimisation of strategy and execution, enterprises continue to turn to BI as a vital tool for smarter, more agile and efficient business.

needs BI, it isn’t very clear on what a BI solution should include. As a result, comparing BI solutions becomes very tough. Every solution has its own characteristic. In such a scenario how would you know which elements to look for in a BI solution? There is a standard checklist, like ad-hoc reporting, ability to take data from multiple sources/databases, and exporting data to Excel and PDF. Besides these, a good BI solution should include executive dashboards and interactive reporting modules. Executive dashboards are meant for providing information which can help in taking informed business decisions. They can provide timely alerts to an organisation in the event of a problem. These kinds of dashboards generate a number of tailormade graphs giving a real-time view of the business. The dashboard, as said earlier, can be customised depending on the needs and demands of an executive. Any BI solution is incomplete without an effective dashboard. Normal reports are a passé. Interactive reporting comes into play here. It fosters improved usability and adoption. It gives CIOs instant access to tons of data at one place. It's a useful tool because it lets you view your data how you want. The interactive reports are an essential part of BI because of the ease of use and flexibility it brings in analysis of data. The above two functions make a BI tool desirable. Apart from this, the tool should also have the capability to assess the potential changes before you make them effective. The BI tool should be able to use the historical data and tell you about the impact of the changes you are about to make in the areas including sales, revenue and logistics. This kind of functionality gives you a heads up on both risks and rewards even before implementing a BI tool.

IMPLEMENTING BI Apart from just selecting the right technology and mapping the organisational demands before actually implementing the BI solution, the whole process of implementation needs to be carefully designed to eliminate any major failure. In fact when I asked a few CIOs about their BI implementation journeys, none of the stories suggested a clean implementation cycle. There’s also a big debate about whose responsibility


Business Intelligence SPECIAL

it is to successfully deploy a BI solution? The technology implementation is a given. A trusted vendor and a smart systems integrator will do the job. Certainly there will be some changes needed to the IT infrastructure in the areas of storage and computing hardware, application and data sources, data integration middleware etc. You may have to invest in a state-ofthe-art data warehouse and analytics applications which will help you in running queries against the data to do a slice-anddice analysis of historical data. It will also help in doing a ‘drill-down’ analysis for better predictions. But there are a few very fundamental steps which an organisation has to consider outside technology. An organisation needs to make BI a prestigious priority which is supported by sufficient resource allocation for an immaculate deployment. While the CIO should own the primary responsibility for a BI project in an organisation, s/he is far from being the only one in determining the overall success on this implementation. While only the CIO can be expected to complete the technical implementation correctly, the entire management team must be involved in the ‘vision implementation’ – ensuring that the intention of the system is well-defined and met, says Kevin Minshaw, a former SABMiller business analyst in South Africa, who now tracks the enterprise technology industry closely and writes about it. “In South Africa, there’s a ‘King III’ code of conduct for companies,” Kinshaw says. “It prompts the board of directors to take direct accountability for IT governance and to take

REDUCED BI COSTS ARE PREDICATED ON FAR MORE THAN SIMPLY NEGOTIATING A GOOD PRICE ON A PACKAGE OF SEATS

Challenges in consolidating data 5% 26%

24% Managing consistency of data Data quality in the extracted data Data mapping from the source into the target data model Report and dashboard development Managing consistency of data

26%

18%

How does your organisation currently manage its business intelligence/ reporting requirements: 29% 29% Spreadsheet based reporting 3% BI Solution and spread sheet Business Intelligence Solution

8%

In House Middleware In House Web based platform MIS from out HMS Reports from Core Banking System

3%

3%

Reports from ERP

3% 24% SOURCE: CTOF BI SURVEY 2010

responsibility for IT expenditure and projects.” Therefore, if the project impacts the well-being of the company, “they all have to be involved, he says. “I can do wonders as long as I have enough information; without that information, my work lacks fizz and insight. I think it would be the same for the CIO with good specifications,” says Minshaw. To summarise, the CIO could be the right person to bring the project to reality, but he's not the only person who must decide what it must be when it gets there. BI is not an ‘IT project’ instead it is a ‘business project.’

Thus to make it effective, the key business heads of your organisation should be willing to work with you to guarantee their parts are well covered. They must have the required know-how to understand their data and extrapolate appropriate metrics.

COST OF OWNERSHIP Traditional BI tools can run riot in your organisation if the expenditure is not measured and controlled. In The Aberdeen Group's April report "TCO View of Business Intelligence: How to Get the Most Bang for Your Analytical THE CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER FORUM

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Business Intelligence SPECIAL

Buck" the firm found that top performing companies focused heavily on managing the total cost of ownership (TCO) of their analytical strategy in order to achieve 10 times lower costs per user of BI software, hardware, and services. The Aberdeen study collected data from 401 executives across the globe and found that companies with an analytical strategy optimising the usage of time, financial resources, and human capital, were able to equip more users with analytical capability and drive a higher return on BI investment. "The ability to reduce BI cost is predicated on far more than simply negotiating a good price on a package of seats," said Michael Lock, Senior Research Analyst of Aberdeen Group. (This report is designed to educate the executive community as to how organisations are able to maximise their resource utilisation to deliver BI capability to more users, in a self-service capacity, while minimising capital and operational expenditure. The report recommends actions for Industry Average and Laggard companies to achieve these types of performance improvements.) According to the report, during the previous 12 months, the average total expenditure per BI User was as follows: Best in Class – $357 Industry Average – $968 Laggard $3,321

Market Watch

33% of Firms Missing Out on Business Analytics: Deloitte Organisations understand the importance but struggle with processes. STARTLING but true, nearly a third of technology executives and business professionals have mentioned they don't know whether their organisation uses business analytics or if they have business analytics capabilities at all. These facts were revealed in a recently concluded survey by Deloitte. It is evident that plenty of organisations are missing out on the benefits of

So just what is behind this significant variance in expenditure, what is it that best-inclass companies are doing at a lower cost than other BI initiatives. According to other findings in the report best-in-class BI teams:

A BI solution helps achieve which of the following objectives 70

Had a clearly defined BI strategy – including a strategy for BI data management Had standard processes for gathering end user BI requirements Were 2.9 times more likely to formally

8%

61

61

The results reveal that nearly 52 percent of respondents outlined "departmentally siloed information" and "limited cross-functional interaction" as top two challenges around how data management, BI, quantitative performance management and business analytics were enacted in their organisations. But the respondents to the survey seemed clear on the value of implementing

Key considerations while planning BI

66

60

business intelligence (BI) and other analytical tools that can otherwise enable them to leverage the massive amount of data to make intelligent decisions and explore new business opportunities. Deloitte is said to have gathered this information from over than 1,900 participants during a recently held webcast, "Business Analytics: Shifting from Hindsight to Insight to Foresight."

5%

37

40

37 29

30

21%

20

66%

10 0

22

Better decision making

Facilitate Innovation

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Enable strategic focus

Providing competitive advantage

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Achieve regulatory compliance

Facilitate organisational re-engineering

Functional Clarity

Time to implement

Total cost of project

Clarity on the project's ability to extract data

SOURCE: CTOF BI SURVEY 2010

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BI. Nearly 40 percent of total surveyed believed that "improving operational efficiency" is the top priority and major use of business analytics. Nearly 17 percent ranked "customer segmentation and target marketing" as their next priority. The results reveal that however organisations understand the value of business analytics, many of them are still struggling with fundamental technical and business process foundations and are thus not comfortable deploying BI in their organisations. "That emerging understanding and pent-up demand is why these types of investments are going to continue to explode and the demand for business analytics capabilities will continue to increase in the coming months and years," he added. — Thor Olavsrud The article is published with prior permission from CIO Update.

What business imperatives are driving better data management? 11% 21% 13%

Need for data integrity

5%

Increased competition Increased choice for customers Complianceand security Standardisation of operations Increased product offerings

13%

37%

Biggest challenges in implementing BI 29% 45% Integrating data from disparate systems Lack of a good reporting tool

develop BI knowledge and skills amongst users Were 1.8 times more likely to track BI project costs to budget Were 1.7 times more likely to automate the creation of reports. The message here is that the total cost of ownership of BI is not only just about the deployment of technology. It is largely impacted by the transformational efforts made to define a BI strategy, manage BI project roadmap iterations, and to educate users on how to extract more value from their BI tools. The special cover on Business Intelligence in this issue of magazine gives you a lot more. A whole lot of implementation stories, structural guide to implement BI in your organisation and the growing influence of Open Source BI...all packaged in one issue.

Lack of knowledge of vendor All of the above

21%

5% 58

IT priorities for the next year 45 32

34

47

37

26

5 m lity lity ion ion ms ms ms ste ua ua ce lat rat ste ste y ste q q u g y y s y n , e s t ls reg Ls ata rity erna int en ed d u D na a s m c n t v o i AM e ba se go ct Da ea ag bta d sa nc an We lia Da an ran m t p k m re Ris Co Co SOURCE: CTOF BI SURVEY 2010

—rahul.mani@9dot9.in

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Business Intelligence SPECIAL

Business Transformation

Through Business

Intelligence Understanding customers, merchandise and operations in retail using Business Intelligence? By Sudeep Majumdar

S

pencer's Retail is one of India's fastest-growing retail companies with approximately 2 million square feet of retail space and more than 250 stores in 50 cities. Their products include food, apparel, electronics, lifestyle products, music, and books. Spencer's Retail is a division of RPG Enterprise, a business group with more than 20 companies in industries such as power, technology, retail, and entertainment. Established in 1979, RPG Enterprises has annual revenue of $3.25 billion. The growth is stimulated by an excellent supply chain process, understanding of the market and a strong IT infrastructure that supports the business goals. In 2006, Spencer's Retail opted for centralised storage area to augment the rapid business growth. The next year, it took a step further with the deployment of Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing.

THE CHALLENGE “Actionable data was not available to supplement the marketing and business strate-

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gies,” says Amit Mukherjee, Group CIO and VP IT & SCM, Spencer's Retail. “In a dynamic market transactional data alone is not good enough. Data had to be presented in a manner that is user friendly, easily accessible, complete, accurate and should be available at real time. This was the premise on which we went ahead with deployment of BI in the organisation.” Earlier, the company was grappling with transactional data which was not actionable. Implementing ERP to monitor business processes was not enough. They needed to understand the needs, potential and challenges as they expanded to different locations. The data available then was not able to give market insights.

WHY BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE The retail industry mainly depends on intelligence on three fronts: merchandise (everything from product inventory to price and marketing); customer (knowing buying patterns to ensure customer loyalty); and operations (which ensures cost management and includes reducing retail shrink-

age due to theft by employees, shoplifting by customers or vendor fraud). BI helps to understand and decipher different behaviour patterns. Deployment of BI made this entire process more role specific. The decision was taken by the management committee on the recommendation of the IT team led by Mr Amit Mukherjee. Further with BI it is easier for users to extract data and reports without depending entirely on the IT department.

THE DEPLOYMENT PROCESS The methodology adopted during the implementation was to create a 'Data Model' and a blueprint based on the inputs from the functional consultants from Deloitte and RPG's in-house team. A workshop was held to determine the important KPIs to be incorporated. It was important to map the user acceptance. The business processes covered under this were purchasing, sales, inventory control along with finance. All the stores and warehouses across the locations were integrated with the data centre in Kol-


Actionable data was not available to supplement the marketing and business strategies” —Amit Mukherjee Group CIO and VP IT & SCM, Spencer's Retail

kata through intermediary servers. It works on real time and at the end of each day, the data is sent to the parent data centre for processing and analytics. The system now helps them analyse customers' buying patterns, inventory and stock keeping. It integrates all the functions from warehousing to distribution, front and back office systems and merchandising. The entire process took 3 months to implement. The process of implementation was smoother as RPG had a stable BIW which formed the basis of BI and transition to Business Intelligence was without any hiccup. It was relatively less complicated to pull out clean data. The deployment was done in a phased manner. In the first phase, Operations, Supply Chain Management and Merchandising were brought under BI. In the later stage, Finance was also incorporated. Spencer's Retail uses SAP as the legacy system at most of its stores. It uses SAPZone for bill value and time analysis. It also uses MySAP BW 7.0 and Business Objects for analytics.

THE BENEFITS The feedback from different departments have been very good. It has made it easier to access clean data at a faster rate. Since the data is available on a single platform, every user is able to use the data as per requirement. Monitoring data on a periodic basis has become easier and this has directly benefited the organisation's business strategies. This innovative solution helped Spencer's Retail to generate higher profit by churning their operational and transactional data into 'Actionable Intelligence.' Using this solution they have been able to: Optimise Inventory costs Maximise earnings through visual Profitability Analysis reporting Increase Sales by improved customer recognition Get better mileage for merchandise spends, with better Product behavior patterns

deployment have been very encouraging. Although, the results may not be possible to be measured in tangibles, but intangible benefits like user experience and faster access of clean and relevant data has been beneficial.” “From here on, the road ahead could only look at better results. The information needs to be available faster and sharper. Business goals and strategies change depending on various market factors. The technology should be able to guide and facilitate decision making. Information could be required in different format or style. Information should be focussed on the enterprise goals. This improvement is a continous process.” It is important for the technology to be able to predict the business in future. What's going to come up and what could be the need of tomorrow; it should be able to deliver information proactively. Because this would give the retail business the cutting edge!.

THE ROAD AHEAD Mukherjee says “The results from the THE CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER FORUM

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Business Intelligence SPECIAL

BI

Jet Setter

Jet Airways automated around 80 percent of its work processes, and improved productivity by 30 percent with its BI solution. By Ashwani Mishra

F

or Jet Airways, getting one version of the truth across all business functions was a hurdle that the company wanted to overcome effectively. Information dissemination within the organisation was not standardised – there was dependency on excel sheets for conducting data analysis, and reconciling numbers periodically posted a big challenge. The company was operating on disparate systems and the data from all these systems was not in sync with the ground reality. For example, if the company wanted to look at the financial data for a month in a particular year, it had to wait till the end of the next month to get the required data. So there was a month’s lag in getting the required information. “We wanted to have a centralised reporting structure so that information could

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be made available to key decision makers quickly,” says R N Moorthy, General Manager-IT, Jet Airways. To address these concerns, the company embarked on a BI roadmap way back in 2006, when it decided to implement the SAP Data Warehouse to generate its MIS out of the existing SAP ERP system. The system was implemented with the help of partners, who helped in the initial design along with the in-house IT team. Later the company only consulted its technology partners while the development and implementation was done by the internal team. Towards the end of last year the company implemented the SAP Business Objects (BO) analytical tool on top of its ERP and Data Warehouse to further increase its decision-making capabilities. “The key reason for the implementation

was the growth in business and need for quicker data analysis,” says Moorthy.

GETTING DATA RIGHT The number of aircrafts had gone up from 25 to 212 (Jet Airways and JetLite combined) that compelled the company to deploy an intelligent data reporting system. Before deploying this solution, the airline used to have reports but they were on a transactionbased system (where the data was fed) and getting the data out from the central data warehouse for analytics and reporting was quite a cumbersome task. With the BO tool in place, the airline now is able to generate reports on time and has improved the decision making process. Jet Airways officials say that the BO tool has helped in making almost 80 percent of company’s work automated. The tool helps analyse the data at finer granularity and is


Business Intelligence SPECIAL

We wanted to have a centralised reporting structure so that information could be made available to key decision makers quickly”

PHOTO: JITEN GANDHI

—R N Moorthy General Manager-IT, Jet Airways

available to employees across the organisation based on their roles. Currently more than 150 business users within Jet are using the system around the globe. The Business Objects tool has also helped the company carry out route profitability and cost allocation at the most granular level. “We can now find out a flight’s most profitable route, landing navigation rate, oil con-

sumption and so on. With the weight of the aircraft, the oil and landing navigation, the cost goes up. Hence it’s important to look at the Profit and Loss (P&L) of every aircraft. All this information is now available in real time,” says Moorthy. The company now carries out the P&L on flights every week and depending on the future booking loads they can, for instance, decide to combine two flights instead of fly-

ing two separate aircraft. The financial data is now available within a week and personal productivity has increased by 30 percent. The company now has the capability to create dashboards for the management. “We intend to take BI to the next level by using it for predictive analysis , and enabling on-demand BI in the next couple of years,” says Moorthy. THE CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER FORUM

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Business Intelligence SPECIAL

Staying

ahead of the

Curve Vodafone Essar revamped their BI infrastructure to meet existing and future business demands. By CTO Forum team

V

odafone Essar is one of India’s leading cellular service providers with more than 100 million customers. The company has around 10000 end-users across 23 circles in the country working across various departments like customer service, marketing, sales, finance, IT, commercial, legal and regulatory etc. All these users have varied requirements in terms of MIS and BI. The company has been adding nearly two million subscribers each month and this created a demand for scaling up the existing infrastructure in terms of getting information. The BI journey had started with an initial maturity level with limited dimension of data sophistication and work load complexity. With the addition of new circles and an increase in customer base, it became challenging for the current BI system to give timely data. Besides, appropriate BI tools

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were necessary for Customer Value Management (CVM) and analytical needs like segmentation, churn and usage modelling. “The old BI architecture was not geared up to scale up to this kind of growth,” says Thomas Cherian, Head BI Practice, Vodafone India. There were various reports and interfaces which were built over time and were not easy to manage in the absence of standardisation. In addition, the expectations from end user groups were different in different geographies. The data available in the Data Warehouse was outdated and there was business demand for increased turnaround time, better uptime and accuracy along with high volumes.

FINDING NEW INTELLIGENCE The company decided to implement BI tools to support analytics and CVM for executing marketing campaigns. Mining

tools and analytics would be used in identifying potential segmentation, priorities and retention efforts while CVM tools would lead to increase in conversions at lower cost of communication. The new tools deployed increased the conversion rate. This in turn led to increase in base management revenue due to better segmentation and use of modelling inputs. “We want to take BI to the next level; make the system scalable and ensure IT operations maintain work load balance,” says Cherian. The company managed to reduce cost of contact considerably due to focused targeting and have one view of the customer across all channels leading to better customer experience. The current scoring framework encompasses close to 400 models scoring 50 million subscriber information bi-monthly that has been developed over the last two


We have achieved huge time saving benefits by the speed and availability of the solution despite it running millions of records” —Thomas Cherian

PHOTO: JITEN GANDHI

Head BI Practice, Vodafone India

years. The scoring platform is a complete automated system and take cares of event triggering, ETL, scoring and score delivery and automated mailers by its own. “We have achieved huge time saving benefits by the speed and availability of the solution despite it running millions of records that get executed in a matter of hours,” says Cherian. Using the BI tool, the churn percentage on postpaid business has reduced by 0.5 percent in a year, translating into substantial revenue saving and generation due to ongoing relationship with churn subscribers.

FUTURE PLANS The company has plans to enhance and introduce next generation of automation in data extraction, loading and aggregation process to address workload management. The systems viz. Data Warehouse and MIS will undergo transformation by implementing the ETL (extract, transform and load) application layer and the reporting layer. “BI is extremely critical and represents the face of IT to our management. It will remain as one of our biggest focus areas to ensure we have the latest and accurate data at all times,” says Navin Chadha, DirectorIT, Vodafone Essar.

BI will also be integrated with current strategic IT programs that are being undertaken within the organisation like 3G network, mobile number portability (MNP), new billing platform, new prepaid platform and CRM. The enhanced BI will used for micro segmentation and automation of scoring and sharper predictive modelling. Campaign management solution will be integrated to newer channels like kiosks and online medium for targeted and segmented offerings.

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Business Intelligence SPECIAL

As

Easy as an

ATM

TG Dhandapani, CIO, TVS Motors increased the usage of his open source BI product by making it as easy as an ATM machine. By Rahul Neel Mani

T

VS Motor Company is one of the largest industrial entities in India with majority interests in the automobile industry. This includes two wheelers, finance, parts and distribution. It is also the third largest two-wheeler manufacturer in India and one of the top ten in the world, with an annual turnover of more than $1 billion, and is the flagship company of the $4 billion TVS Group. The company has been growing at close to 35 percent year on year. With three manufacturing units in India – Hosur, Mysore and Himachal Pradesh – TVS Motors produces 2 and 3 wheelers and markets them through 600 dealerships and 1,200 authorised service centres. Logistics in the company is one of the most important things as the parts are to be procured

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After ERP, the thrust was on knowing more about our customers products in the field. TG Dhandapani CIO, TVS Motors

globally and marketed globally. Continuous improvement in product and service quality is the order of the day. To meet these business challenges, TVS Motors uses information technology as a transformation platform for business innovation and bestin-class operational efficiency. The cultural and organisational transformation at TVS Motor is to change the role of functional managers and employees from being passive information receivers to being proactive information seekers – resulting in better business decisions and performance. “For this transformation, BI is playing an important role to drive the achievement of strategic and operational objectives of the company” says TG Dhandapani, CIO, TVS Motors. The first milestone on this journey is to implement ERP and integrate all business


Business Intelligence SPECIAL

floor worker also”, he says. In TVS motors all employees get their full personal information including compensation details, salary certificate, PF details, Loan, Leave and so on using this open source tool. Dhandapani says that the main force for the decision to go for the tool was its simplicity, elegance and effectiveness. He also notes that this open source BI tool is very useful and effective for the data pulled from ERP in smaller companies.

IMPLEMENTATION TG Dhandapani

PHOTO: CHANDRU

CIO, TVS Motors

processes not only within the company but with suppliers and customers as well. “After ERP, the thrust was on knowing more about our customers and performance of our products in the field.” For this TVS Motors developed the Dealer Management System (DMS). “It is an ERP for the dealers that talks to the company ERP seamlessly and provides valuable information on customer profiles and product performance from the electronic job card used in the DMS,” says Dhandapani. The next stage was the digitisation of New Product Development for which valuable information were received from the DMS. This was followed by shop-floor integration where activities on the shop-floor were digitised for improvement in productivity and product performance. “At this stage BI was implemented to drive the achievement of strategic initiatives and operational per-

formance improvement. A cross functional team was formed where stakeholders from all functions participated. IT was spearheading the team.”

THE ROLE OF IT The role of IT here was to provide an appropriate platform while maintaining focus on the strategic objective. BI was implemented by integrating the ERP and DMS. The ERP covered all areas including PLM and CRM. There were other non-mission-critical applications too. “These included time management, Travel, Fleet management, Taxi management, Visitor management, Shopfloor integration projects and so on,” Dhandapani said. Those 20 applications were not a part of the ERP and Dhandapani decided to use an open source BI solution, Dundas, to provide intelligence. “This BI tool is user friendly and can be easily used by the shop

Generally BI tools are used extensively by employees that are not comfortable with technology. Since these tools are designed to give on-demand information, they are not too different from designing a good mobile phone or a user-operated kiosk. For a tool to be good and efficient it should be so transparent that the user does not even know that they are using a tool. Case in point, take ATM machines. They are so simple to use that practically no training is required. As Dhandapani observes, “Any BI implementation is a journey and we could understand that the user involvement and their thirst for analysis is the limitation. Once this is in place simplicity of operation is important. As we ensured that the operations of this BI system were as simple as using an ATM, we could see many IT users joining and contributing for enhancement.”

BENEFITS TVS Motors has seen significant benefits. The first win for the IT department has been the users are actually using the system to its potential. Otherwise you may create tens of dashboards for the employees to use, but they may not use them simply because either they are not comfortable or there is resistance to change. By using a smart system and by proper employee orientation TVS Motors has surpassed this milestone with ease. With this out of the way, the users are actually using the system for tangible business benefits. Dhandapani concludes that “In the short term we could see usage mushrooming and in long term we will experience IT users taking informed decisions. We also expect to see functional managers and employees as proactive information seekers to improve business decisions and performance. THE CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER FORUM

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Business Intelligence SPECIAL

Using Intelligence

Smartly Open Source BI tools can be teamed up with proprietary tools to reduce TCO. In an interview Mark Madsen, CEO, Third Nature, tells us how. By Rahul neel mani

What, according to you, are the most noteworthy downsides of adopting proprietary/standards-based Business Intelligence (BI) solutions from the large software companies? There are two downsides to the large enterprise BI vendors' products. The first is cost. The second is complexity. On average, an enterprise BI product costs $1500 per user in the U.S. There are packages that reduce this cost for small deployments, but the price jumps up if you increase the size of the deployment. This inhibits broad use of the products in the organisation because the license cost doesn't scale well to the size of the organisation. The products are also very complex, for both operations and end users. Most of the enterprise BI products are suites with

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many components. To manage the environment and the models in the BI tool takes an administrator with a high degree of technical knowledge. The challenge for end users is the level of understanding needed to get information. The tools were designed during a period when usability was less important than query features. The vendors today are competing mostly on the number of features rather than whether people can use the tools, much like the spreadsheet wars of the 1980s when Microsoft and Lotus constantly added features until nobody could use their spreadsheets. Vendors mostly concentrate on selling products or tools that can be used to build BI solutions but rarely concentrate on the problem the customer is

trying to solve...given this scenario, do you think corporations will still go in for proprietary BI solution? I agree with you on the goal of the vendors, but they do recognise that they have to sell what customers need. Their problem now is a monolithic software environment. This forces them to serve the most common needs while at the same time providing features for expert users in the same product. They also have a problem with organisational size: they are so large that many of the product engineers and managers never see how the product is used and under what circumstances. I don't believe this changes how corporations adopt open source or proprietary BI. It creates an opportunity for smaller, more nimble BI vendors to take some of the BI use


Business Intelligence SPECIAL

away from the big vendors. Open source vendors are a part of this, but not the only part. The general sentiment is that off-the-shelf BI tools are costly, complex and fall significantly short of enabling enterprises to achieve the sought-after benefits in efficiency and effectiveness. How can this gap be addressed by the Open Source BI software/tools. Open source BI tools do not have the same richness of features that the large BI tools have. There is a downside to this gap because many people have a need for those more advanced features. The good is that the open source products are less complex to configure and use for basic purposes. I don't see many people replacing their proprietary tools with open source. I see them using open source BI tools for the more common uses because it meets the need at a lower cost. The other area I see open source used more often is for embedding BI features into applications like customer self-service portals and call center systems. It is easier to integrate an open source product directly into an application than it is with a proprietary BI tool, as well as being cheaper when you consider the large user population of such an application. What key features will you attribute to Open Source BI tools which are absolutely missing from the traditional options available in the market? I believe the open source tools lag behind the traditional vendors when features are compared. There are some exceptions. Some of the dashboard software and visualisation components are superior. The ability to integrate and embed into applications is superior. The real question is how many of the more advanced features in the proprietary tools are used often enough to justify the expense. Vendors can give support and that is a big draw for the users. Are open source BI tools trustworthy and will there be support available? Support is available for all the major open source projects. The most widely-used

products are from commercial open source vendors, meaning they provide both open and closed source versions of their product. If you use the entirely free open source software then you rely on the community of developers or a third party consultancy for support. If you purchase a support contract then you are essentially buying the commercial open source version of the software. There are differences in the software. The commercial version usually has more enterpriselevel features like multiple developer support, highavailability options and single-sign-on integra-

between vendors of any type. What I've found is that open source BI tools are on par to slightly better than Microsoft BI when it comes to labor costs. Both open source and Microsoft BI development environments require more labor than the big BI players. In general, this raises the initial development costs but doesn't have as much of an effect on long-term labor costs. I have not seen significant differences in the size of BI staff between open source and proprietary implementations of the same scope. What trends do you see toward greater adoption of Open Source BI tools vis-a-vis solutions from the

I don't see many people replacing their proprietary tools with open source. I see them using open source BI tools for the more common uses because it meets the need at a lower cost. — Mark Madsen, CEO Third Nature Inc. US

tion. The level of feature difference between the open and closed versions varies from vendor to vendor, as does the size and quality of community. What advantage can a user company get by using Open Source BI tools when we talk about “total cost of ownership”, “customisation” and “better analytics”? I find that the TCO varies based on the size of the environment. There are some attractive pricing options from the big vendors available if you are deploying to a small number of users, generally less than 25. I find that the small cost difference at this level can sometimes favors the proprietary vendors. However, an unsupported free open source version will still have the lowest TCO at this level. The medium to large deployment TCO favors open source tools because the per-user cost is much lower. The labor side is not largely different

large vendors such as IBM, Oracle, SAS, Sybase? I expect to see continued growth, but the open source vendors are still trying to make money like other software vendors. They will face increased scrutiny of their features and the difference in both cost and time to deliver a satisfactory solution. This is likely to slow the adoption rate. Open source is growing faster than the large vendors today, but at about the same rate as many of the new BI vendors in the market. It's hard to measure the true adoption rate because only the paid support side of open source BI can be counted easily. The many users of the free versions of the software are largely uncounted. —Third Nature provides consulting and technology research for information management, data integration, business intelligence and performance management for IT organisations and technology providers.

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Business Intelligence SPECIAL

Niche BI VS.

Open Source

Open Source BI approach has been led mostly by Jaspersoft. Brian Gentile, CEO, Jaspersoft in a telephonic interview from San Francisco discusses where it's all headed. BY Rahul Neel Mani

What are the key inhibitors of widespread BI adoption despite being so necessary for businesses to beat competition? Despite being an important tool to bring competitive advantage, BI is still far from being a pervasive tool in enterprise organisations. More recent research indicate that it is still in the range of 20 percent adoption. One of the biggest reasons for the BI tools to become pervasive is their cost model. Unlimited use of the BI technology has been a costly endeavour for companies. Let’s take the example of Business Objects. They have two models: one, which says pay-per-user and the other way, is to pay the per-CPU license fee upfront. Even for the midsize and large organisations, the cost of implementing BI becomes an issue.

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The second major impediment is complexity of the technology. Traditional BI technologies require a lot of time before they get streamlined into an organisation. It puts a huge onus on IT to implement these sophisticated tools even before they start using it. In all, the cost, technology architecture and deployment – all put together - make traditional BI tools prohibitive. Another big challenge facing the enterprises is embedding BI within other applications. Traditional tools are mostly standalone and disjointed. BI works as a separate technology and has separate interfaces within the network. That also acts as a big barrier to the adoption of this technology. Finally, there are a few challenges from the flexibility standpoint too. Whether you would like to run the BI stack in your own

data centre, or as a hosted service or in the cloud – it should be a choice with the users. But the traditional platforms are mostly inflexible on this. Most of the pure-play BI vendors have been already acquired by the IT Mega Vendors? How does it impact the user choice? It is true that customers have strong relationship with one of the many mega IT vendors. They can get good, attractive deals. It is a fact that licensing challenges are mostly neutralised when you are investing a lot in IBM or Oracle or any other mega vendor. But the fact is the users have to suffer on two counts when they get locked in with one vendor. First, BIT tools and solutions coming from these mega vendors may not


Business Intelligence SPECIAL

be very comprehensive in terms of functionalities. Second, the licensing model of these mega vendors hasn’t changed much. The licensing cost of CPU or Server from these mega vendors still keeps BI out of the reach of most users. Specially when there are multiple options such as On-demand BI or open source BI, the users can get many more choices than getting gridlocked with these mega vendors. This debate is no different from Bestof-Breed ERP versus Full-suite ERP. In BI space, there is a visible trend of users adopting best-of-breed tools and not the whole stack from the traditional vendors. Users know that the full stack from one mega vendor doesn’t address their IT needs. The success of vendors such as QlikView, Jaspersoft and a few others underpins that statement. The Fortune 500 companies, which already have these tools in-house, are also looking for alternatives because they think their needs can only be fulfilled by the bestof-breed solutions. What momentum do you see in the adoption of open source BI by the users? The open source BI market is certainly growing faster than the overall BI market. The emerging open source BI vendors are causing great disruption both from the cost and technology perspective. Open source BI costs 80 percent less than a traditional BI tool, according to a recent report by researcher Gartner. That itself is catching the hearts and minds of many users in the market. Studies also show that open source BI has greater adoption in the 'New Projects' and not replacing the existing BI tools already implemented. A lot of successful implementation stories by midsize and large organisations have made open source BI a safe choice. Cost will always be a motivating driver for adopting open source BI. Independent analysis proved that Jaspersoft achieved the highest growth over any platform provider in the year 2009. The trend we see from downloads of our BI tools is that adoption is on the rise and it certainly has a correlation with our business. The number of people who come to our

community to register, buy, implement and attend training tells a positive tale that community is engaging with open source BI. How do users typically engage with an open source BI vendor? There are a couple of ways that a user can engage with open source BI vendors. One, you Google ‘open source BI software’ and find out about the vendors. For example, we top the chart on Google (tested and verified by the interviewer). Jaspersoft is the most widely deployed open source BI tool. The number of downloads, premium documentations sold, make us the

tecture that we offer can start with support for 100-200 users and scale to thousands of users without incurring too much additional cost unlike the traditional vendors. I agree that users may have to spend 30-40 percent more on open source BI than the traditional players because the latter have small business packages available at lower costs. But the cost jumps dramatically when they have to scale up the application unlike the open source where the cost increment is negligible. What about the trust? Have open source BI vendors been able to gain trust what the mega vendors and traditional BI vendors enjoy today?

Open source BI costs 80 percent less than a traditional BI tool, according to a recent report by Gartner. That itself is catching the hearts and minds of many users in the market. — Brian Gentile, CEO, Jaspersoft

top choice. There have been times when we have seen 500,000 page views on the forums on our website. Today, Jaspersoft has 15,000 commercial customers satisfactorily using our tools. Usually it is pretty simple to engage with open source BI vendors. Users often don’t come back with any sort of complaints unless there is some major malfunction. It is a very elegant relationship which remains within the boundaries of getting support and adding more functionality. What are the benefits for the users from using open source BI vis-a-vis traditional BI? First, open source is 80 percent less costly (five year analysis of fee). An organisation which starts small and has ambitions to grow can benefit a lot from us. We have a per-socket pricing model. The robust archi-

This is indeed a great point. Yes, the trust for open source BIis growing among the community. When we claim we are the most widely deployed BI tool in the market, the basis is trust and nothing else. Keeping the BI tool up and running 24/7 and helping the customers with proper deployment and customisation, open source BI is growing as a choice of the enterprises. Despite having a choice of adding one more CPU for BI with their existing vendor, large BFSI, Telecom, Manufacturing organisations around the world are deploying open source BI. They find us more flexible, better to integrate and cost-effective. This is not a small testimonial of success by any means. Time is not too far when open source will be considered as most reliable and robust BI tool in the large IT organisations.

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Business Intelligence SPECIAL

Business Intelligence

The Real Challenge

Business intelligence tools have matured, but have IT's internal capabilities? A look at the real challenge CIOs face in executing their BI strategies. By John Parkinson

B

usinesses have been accumulating data in digital form from business operations for more than 40 years now. In parallel with this accumulation, tools for organising, categorising and analysing this data—turning it into the kind of context-rich information that can drive decision making—have been growing in capability and sophistication. If you believe the vendor stories today, we can “empower” everyone in the business with the information tools they need to make better, faster operational and strategic decisions and thus please both customers— because we know who they are as individuals and can anticipate what they want and need—and stakeholders, because happy customers make for a profitable business. There are even credible “proof points” to back up the claims, such as case studies of

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Information should be presented in a context that is relevant and immediately absorbed John Parkinson former CTO of TransUnion

businesses that do this really well. Information-driven businesses do exist. They do work. Some of them even do better than the rest of the market they compete in. Shouldn’t we all make use of the mountains of data in our warehouses and match the performance of these pioneers? Isn’t it time for “Enterprise BI”? If only it were that easy. In the more than half a century since Peter Drucker and others introduced the idea of an information-driven business, a lot of practical issues have surfaced alongside the piles of data we have accumulated. Three in particular stand out as major impediments to pervasive and effective BI: Few organisations have consistent definitions for all of the data they have accumulated, making reconciliation a necessity before analysis can be performed reliably.


Business Intelligence SPECIAL

This “master-data management” process is a late entrant to the BI party, and the tools for it aren’t all that great yet. That’s because this is a genuinely hard problem and cleaning up four decades of metadata indifference is expensive. Lacking the appetite for the required discipline, most of us (or our business sponsors) concluded that the cleanup wasn’t worth it in the general case, compute cycles are pretty cheap, and our analysts could always figure things out if we ever needed to get a “single version of the truth” together. Which brings us to the second issue: audience. It can be argued that you get the most value from enterprise BI when it’s accessible to and integrated with the work of your frontline staff and managers. The people who touch your customers and critical business partners make myriad decisions every day that potentially could be influenced by better information. Instead, BI has generally focused on a much smaller group of specially trained “data analysts” who use sophisticated (and often pretty “user-hostile”) tools to analyse business performance and make “reports” available to managers to take (after the event) corrective action or to inform the strategy-creation process. As valuable as this might be, we’re not going to get to pervasive BI along this route, which arguably misses the whole point of individually better-informed, real-time decision support. Following it leads us to the third issue: comprehensibility. Ideally, information should be presented in a context and form that is instantly recognisable as relevant and immediately absorbed into the decision-making process. That way, “intelligence” influences the decision being made if it should do so (and not if it shouldn’t). We seldom get either capability in today’s BI platforms. The first requires our BI platform to have “situational awareness” so that information can be selectively filtered for relevance in a dynamic, complex, hard-to-predict pattern. The second requires the platform to present information in a form that is in part tailored to the cognitive preferences of the user—who could be anyone, including people providing managed services to your business and thus who don’t work for you and are outside of your control. These are hard problems

WHILE OUR SUMMARISED AND FILTERED DATA IS OFTEN JUST WHAT WE NEED TO ASSIST IN MAKING A DECISION, IT ISN’T ALWAYS ENOUGH TO DRIVE IMMEDIATE UNDERSTANDING.

that always seem to occur periodically when for the BI platform vendors, but harder still everyone wants the same information at the for a business’ organisational design, role same time and the sudden demand triggers design and human capital management significant peaks in usage? process to address. So, pervasive BI isn’t easy. It requires an Even where we have been able to address architectural approach. It needs (much) these issues, more challenges appear. While better tools for most users. It needs more our summarised and filtered data is often than just a pile of data and some analytic just what we need to assist in making a models. And it requires us to ask ourselves: decision, it isn’t always enough to drive If information runs the business, what role immediate understanding. We may need to do managers and human decision makers “drill down” to the original information to play? When can a human override gain a full understanding of the situthe decision indicated by the ation, and hence make the best information? Should we decision. monitor our decision makThis is easy in theory ing to better understand with today’s BI tools—the what information actually dashboards that present STILL USE improves our decisions summarised informaSPREADSHEETS BASED and why? Should we meation connect directly to the REPORTING sure our managers’ and underlying data—but the associates’ ability to use inforcapability in practice raises some mation to do a “better” job? Is “BI challenges. What’s the computablindness” a new impediment to career tional and storage cost of unrestricted “drill advancement? down?” Can I manage security and privacy The promise of an information-based if I provide complete visibility to everything (intelligent) business is certainly there. I in the warehouse? If I find errors, can I fix know we want to realise it. I’m just not sure them (and are they really errors?), and what we’re quite ready for the consequences— does that do to everyone else’s view of the intended and otherwise. “correctness” of the data? Does a change I make invalidate a decision made seconds (or hours or days) before on the previous, then-thought-to-be-correct, view of the data? — John Parkinson, the former CTO of TranHow much history do I need to keep in case sUnion LLC, has been a technology executive I have to undo changes? How do I avoid and consultant for over 30 years, advising many the kind of “editorial” clashes over the truth of the world's leading companies on the issues that we have seen flare up in wikis? How associated with the effective use of IT. do I arbitrate disputes? How do I deal with This article is published with prior information the inevitable “hot spots” in the database from CIO Insight

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Business Intelligence

Implementation

Framework It is very important to analyse and choose the correct stakeholders in a BI implementation. BY Alec Smith

A

ccess to financial and managerial information to gain understanding, metrics and pinpoint weaknesses or opportunities to improve operations has gained tremendous attention as solution providers flood the market with “user friendly” business intelligence tools. Solution providers position these tools to help “enlighten” businesses enough to purchase their products. However, a software solution is only as good as the implementation process conducted to leverage the full functionality of the BI tool. An underutilised BI tool will frustrate users and will not generate the expected insight demanded by managers at all levels of an organisation. Relying on providers to conduct their interpretation of due diligence and discovery could add a level of uncertainty and disconnect that may result in a reporting tool that does not meet expectations. I suggest that businesses review the following frame-

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work in identifying their own BI opportunities, including the approach and potential benefits from a BI tool as well as defining the key performance indicators (KPIs) and functional group collaboration in developing a library of analytics. The road map for a BI solution, much like any other IT solution, is to start with who has issues that a new solution can address. The 'who' needs to be specifically identified. BI tools are successful in providing insight to operations hence, functional areas or business units. If the BI rollout is the first of its kind for a company, it’s best to focus on functional areas rather than business units as they tend to perform specific operations and are easier to define, conceptualise and measure. Whereas, business units contain multiple functions and usually involve collaboration with other units and data stores from multiple systems that will increase the complexity of the design and integration requirements. Based on the experience and lessons

learned from the initial BI rollout, plan for business-unit, cross-function projects as this level is more about decision making and strategy than process improvement. After the functional area(s) have been identified, the next level is to determine who will use or has use for a BI tool. Generally, the lower the job position the greater the need for operational transactional data. As the job position moves up organisationally, the greater the need for summarised information. Companies need to determine which level of the organisation will benefit from a BI tool. Basic inquiries should be examined at each level to discover BI opportunities such as what processes are working and which ones are not, where are the bottlenecks in the process, where are most of the costs accumulating and trace back known bad decisions to their sources of data that supported the bad decisions. Determining what information offers the most value is fundamental to the process.


Business Intelligence SPECIAL

This step is crucial to finding value in a BI tool. It needs to be patiently performed diving into the details, asking lots of questions and is best conducted by people with deep understanding of the business — those who understand the processes and how those processes interrelate. BI reporting is broken down into three distinct segments of measures, dimensions and level of detail. Measures are the quantifiable values of a business such as total sales and volume of product sold for a given period. Determine what metrics are important to the functional areas that reflect the base processes of those functions. Measures can be broken down into two categories of base measures and calculated measures. Base measures capture transactional data such as unit sales or customers who bought “x” item(s). Calculated measures are those such as average gross sales over a period of time or a moving average over a multi year range. Defining measures need to be relevant to the functional areas. If the functional area is production, measures capturing unit costs, scrap and units produced would be most relevant. Dimensions describe measures. Reporting on sales measures are meaningless unless they are related to categories. For example, saying sales were up without providing a point of reference is not informative and will leave the audience wondering where and when. A common way to describe dimensions is to think of measures by something such as sales by product line, sales by region, sales by quarter and so on. Consider which dimensions are critical and then associate measures with them. Each functional area has its unique dimensions.

Take the time to identify all potential dimensions. In setting up group sessions to brainstorm ideas – an effective ideation exercise – pick groups of people who fully understand the business and functional area operations, and who rely on comprehensive information for decision making. There is a tendency to think of a BI implementation as a technical experiment because of the level of technology used. This approach is fatally flawed as the point of any reporting tool is to provide people with relevant and reliable information in making informed decisions. Identifying measures and dimensions is a business exercise to gain insight into the business to look for opportunities, to improve, to pinpoint inefficiencies and to spot trends both positive and negative. Therefore, business questions need to be asked such as what are the margins for a particular product line? What is the ratio of won deals to lost deals for a particular sale rep? Once the list of business questions has been documented, translating them into measures and dimensions is relatively easy. Depending on the completeness of the business questions, a library of measures and dimensions will develop. It might be surprising how creative business questions will bring to surface more measures and dimensions then thought possible. Don’t dismiss any metric as irrelevant as they might lead to new measures and dimensions that might not have been thought of without making that left turn. The preliminary list of measures and dimensions should be documented in a spreadsheet so to allow the ability to rank and sort each combination as each metric is reviewed and prioritised.

IF THE BI ROLLOUT IS THE FIRST OF ITS KIND FOR A COMPANY, IT’S BEST TO FOCUS ON FUNCTIONAL AREAS RATHER THAN BUSINESS UNITS AS THEY TEND TO PERFORM SPECIFIC OPERATIONS

Business questions are more important than technology questions while implementing BI. Alec Smith, Once the combinaVP- Projects tions of measures and at SWK Technologies, dimensions have been Inc. identified, the next step is to screen them and grade their plausibility. At this point, its time to bring in the technical team to transition theoretical wants to practical terms as some metrics may not be programmatically possible. For example, Can data from different sources be joined where a single data source does not contain the necessary fields? Grading the library of metrics for a given functional area should be based on the degree to which the library is actionable, materially impacting and whether the metric is tactical or strategic. Based on being actionable, will the BI tool generate a material impact if actions are preformed from the information provided by the BI tool and finally will the BI tool impact short term operational results or generate competitive advantage for strategic planning. As the library of measures and dimensions were listed in a spreadsheet, the three criteria as well should be entered into a spreadsheet to facilitate grading. List the criteria across the columns with the functional areas on the rows and apply a 'high,' 'low,' 'strategic' and 'tactical' value to each applicable column. Depending on the outcome of this grading, the proposed BI tool may or may not generate the expected value. If not, additional brainstorming sessions can be held with a new set of participants with a fresh point of view or the initiative can be canceled if the stakeholders warrant it. — Alec Smith is VP- Projects at SWK Technologies, Inc. US

THE CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER FORUM

CTO FORUM 21 OCTOBER 2010

39


Business Intelligence SPECIAL

No Such

Thing as

BIB 2.0

Just as the birth of a second child doesn't make a family Parent 2.0; adding additional capabilities to BI platforms – such as interactive visualisation, or search-based BI – does not imply that this is BI 2.0. BY Bhavish Sood

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I platforms are widely used by most large enterprises to build custom analytical applications and to service information delivery requests. The BI platform market is well-defined, with many established vendors. Most commonly used BI platform capabilities – such as reports, ad hoc queries and OLAP – are mature, and there is less and less significant differentiation between the vendors' core offerings. However, the market is still dynamic because emerging technologies, such as in-memory analytics and interactive visualisation, are having an effect on how BI platforms are deployed and used. In addition, as organisations climb the BI maturity curve, they are beginning to use less widely deployed, but arguably more valuable, BI platform capabilities, such as predictive modelling and data mining.

Although a continued wave of departmental purchasing is evident, a resurgence of enterprise wide BI initiatives is beginning to occur as India returns to an environment of high-growth percentages. Indian enterprises continue to struggle with two basic issues: first, the inability to attract users once these platforms have been deployed; and second, the lack of enough electronic data to justify the investments. While the adoption of BI platforms is increasing in India beyond large enterprises, and although we expect the market in India to reach $38.6 million in 2010, it is still a small portion of the entire Asia/Pacific BI market of $558 million forecast for 2010. Mere addition of newer capabilities and addition of strong self-service capabilities does not imply a rebirth. Rather it’s an indication of the past technology issues that have largely been responsible for BI not


Business Intelligence SPECIAL

being as pervasive as it should have been. Here are some emerging technologies in Business Intelligence that CIO’s in India should evaluate: Interactive Visualisation: Gartner's definition of a BI platform includes "interactive visualisation" as an analytic capability and "dashboards" as an information delivery capability. However, some interactive visualisation capabilities are becoming an important aspect of dashboard functionality as dashboards move away from being static representations of data. This trend is analogous to the shift from static to parameterdriven text-based reporting, and shares the aims of promoting better user engagement and self-service. Whether it is incorporated into a dashboard or exists as a standalone analysis tool, better interactive visualisation is a valuable addition to the BI platform, because it applies a user's innate visual ability to aid understanding of patterns, for example, in a much more effective fashion than tabulated figures. Both are demonstrably image-driven and interactive, but dashboards and visualisations have very different uses cases, effectively forming the ends of a continuum of usage. BI Integrated Search: The typical use case of a BI integrated, search-based data discovery tool is to discover all the related information of a particular record, such as an individual customer, product or other entity. For example, users can simply type in a keyword, such as 'PDA returns,' into a search field to find information associated with that keyword when that information is distributed across multiple information silos that include both unstructured content stores and structured database tables. The data discovery tool combines all these results and maps them into a classification structure of dimensions and measures (see the left hand panel) that users can easily navigate. This approach catapults a non-traditional BI user into a BI-like experience, going from keyword to faceted exploration of content, and then to an OLAP-like navigation for drilling of structured content.

INDIAN ENTERPRISES STRUGGLE WITH TWO BASIC ISSUES: FIRST, THE INABILITY TO ATTRACT USERS ONCE BI HAS BEEN DEPLOYED; AND SECOND, THE LACK OF ENOUGH ELECTRONIC DATA

Mobile BI Applications: Handsets dominate the mobile device marketplace and will define the future of mobile work and leisure in mature markets. By 2013, smartphones will outship enhanced phones globally, and will dominate overwhelmingly in markets such as Western Europe, where they will comprise around 80 percent of all handsets shipped. Even in the U.S., which lags Europe a little, smartphones will comprise around 60 percent of handsets shipped by 2013. Smartphones are sophisticated application platforms, and the battles for App

Rather than gut feel, BI will allow enterprises to make more fact-based decisions. Bhavish Sood, Principal Analyst, Asia-Pacific, Gartner

Store, ecosystem and platform dominance will be key features of the mobile space for the next five years. One driver for the inexorable rise of smartphones is Moore's Law, which is pushing performance up and prices down. By 2015, an entry-level smart phone could cost as little as €100. The boundaries between previously distinct device categories, such as e-book readers, tablets, smartphones and net books, are blurring. However, all of these are basically consumer devices, and consumer trends will drive the market. While this trend has virtually no impact yet in the BI space, the ubiquity of smartphones will quickly bring BI content. Smartphones will be used mostly for information delivery, as opposed to analysis, except in narrowly defined mobile applications for certain tasks. When used to their fullest, BI can have a transformational effect on the business by changing the focus from primarily reporting to process optimisation and strategic alignment. Decision making in India historically has been based on either 'gut feelings' or on the business experience of managers. BI will allow enterprises to make more factbased decisions.

— Bhavish Sood is a Principal Analyst with Gartner’s Software Applications Group covering Business Intelligence and Data Management for the Asia/Pacific region. Write to him at bhavish. sood@gartner.com

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Business Intelligence SPECIAL

BI Vendors

AReady Reckoner

Even as the interest from technology buyers increases in BI, figuring out what's needed and who to go to is a tough ask. Here's a very brief ready reckoner on the betterknown vendors. By Harichandan Arakali SAP

IBM

SAP's BusinessObjects business intelligence (BI) solutions seeks to help all users, from the high-end analyst to the casual business user, according to the company's Web site. They can leverage business intelligence solutions to access information they need – with minimal dependence on IT resources and developers, the company says. SAP BusinessObjects business intelligence solutions for the enterprise will enable reporting, interactive analysis, advanced analysis, dashboards and visualisation, data exploration and information infrastructure, according to the site. Gartner Magic Quardrant Position: Leader

The company has a well-integrated BI platform architecture, research firm Gartner said in its January report Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms. IBM Cognos 8 remains much better integrated than most competing offerings, with shared metadata across the platform enabling ease of transfer from report to query to analysis, Gartner said. The benefit of this architectural consistency was evident in the survey results, with IBM Cognos customers reporting that they need only three administration staff per thousand users on average. IBM Cognos has a high proportion of enterprisewide, enterprise-standard BI plat-

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form deployments — almost three-quarters of the IBM customers Gartner contacted as part of this research consider its products a BI standard in their organisation, according to the report. Gartner Magic Quardrant Position: Leader

ORACLE Oracle has established the Oracle BI Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) platform as the "BI standard" in 82 percent of the references that responded to its Magic Quadrant survey. Oracle also has the widest range of BI platform capabilities employed the researcher said. Gartner Magic Quardrant Position: Leader


Business Intelligence SPECIAL

BI Services Expertise Varies By Technology

SAS

6.5, Windows 7.0, Blackberry, iPhone, iPad, Android and Symbian. Privately-held SAS's approach to BI continGartner Magic Quardrant Position: Leader ues to focus on the more advanced technologies, such as forecasting, predictive modeling and optimisation, and embedding them MICROSTRATEGY into cross-functional and industryThe company is a business intelspecific analytical applications, ligence technology provider, according to the Gartner covering integrated reportreport. SAS remains the ing, analysis, and monitormost widely known analyting software that enables USE BOTH BI ics and data mining vendor companies to analyse the SOLUTIONS AND and its customers use data data stored across their SPREADSHEETS mining or predictive modelenterprise to make better ing extensively. Although SAS business decisions, accordfocuses on advanced technoloing to MicroStrategy's Web site. gies, survey data suggests that its MicroStrategy’s business intellicustomers use a broad range of SAS BI gence platform delivers actionable informacapabilities, Gartner says. tion to business users via e-mail, web, and By reaching agreements with database mobile devices, including the iPhone, iPad, management system vendors, such as and BlackBerry. The MicroStrategy Mobile Teradata, Netezza, IBM, HP, Aster Data Suite, is a software package that allows comand Greenplum, by which the SAS scoring panies to build mobile business intelligence engine runs natively within the hosting applications at no cost, the company said in database management system (DBMS), SAS a statement on its Web site. expands the reach of its analytic capabilities MicroStrategy Mobile enables compainto non-SAS clients' infrastructure, says nies to quickly and easily extend graphs, the report. grids, enterprise reports, and information Gartner Magic Quardrant Position: Leader dashboards to the iPhone and iPad. With MicroStrategy Mobile, there is no coding SNAPSHOT or app design experience required. Using a point-and-click interface, mobile BI applicaCustomers: More than 45,000 business, tions can be built using an intuitive array government and university sites inn 123 of iPhone and iPad-optimised displays and Countries controls, according to the company. SAS Customers or their Affiliates RepreGartner Magic Quardrant Position: Leader sent 93 of the top 100 companies on the 2010 FORTUNE Global 500 list Employees ACTUATE 11,398 total employees Actuate founded and co-leads the Eclipse BIRT (Business Intelligence and Reporting Financials Tools) open source project. BIRT is the pre2009 Revenue: $2.31 billion mier development environment to present Reinvestment in R&D data visualisations in compelling ways via 2009 R&D investment: 23 percent of the web on any device, the company says on revenue its Web site. Actuate products add interactivWeb site: www.sas.com ity, dashboards, analytics, and deployment options for web and mobile applications, MICROSOFT according to the site. Microsoft's clever combination of Exel, SQL Gartner Magic Quardrant Position: Niche and SharePoint more or less guarantees the Player continued adoption of its BI software, especially among Microsoft-centric enterprises, SNAPSHOT Gartner said in its report. The maker of Windows 7 operating sysRevenue tem has also a new version of PUSHBI Q2 2010: $30.3 million coming out at the end of October that will FY09: $119.3 million support seven devices including Windows Employees

BI SERVICES PROVIDERS HEADCOUNT BY TECHNOLOGY

DATA INTEGRATION, QUALITY, AND MASTER DATA MANAGEMENT

DATA WAREHOUSE

BI

29%

SAP Business Objects

17,397

IBM Cognos

12,793

Oracle

12,130

SAS

7,480

Microsoft

6,224

MicroStrategy

2,784

Actuate

1,047

QlikView

743

Jaspersoft

717

Information Builders

700

Pentaho

666

TIBCO Spotfire

609

Panorama

167

Oracle

20,890

IBM

12,088

SAP

9,955

Microsoft

9,207

Teradata

4,390

Sybase

1,857

HP

1,327

Netezza

1,142

Informatica

13,002

IBM

9,685

Oracle

9,057

SAP

8,124

Microsoft

3,877

SAS

3,542

Ab Initio

3,472

Information Builders (iWay)

1,445

Pervasive

116

Pitney Bowes

91

Base: 96 BI services providers (percentages may not total 100 because of rounding. Source: Forrester SOURCE: FORRESTER RESEARCH, INC.

570 Worldwide (as of June 30, 2010) Customers 4,600 Stock, Listing ACTU, NASDAQ NM Location: San Mateo, California Web site: www.actuate.com THE CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER FORUM

CTO FORUM 21 OCTOBER 2010

43


Business Intelligence SPECIAL

JASPERSOFT

QLIKTECH

Leveraging a commercial open source busiQlikTech Inc.'s flagship QlikView business ness model, Jaspersoft provides end-to-end intelligence solution is used by more than BI capabilities at a fraction of the cost of 15,000 customers and more than 570,000 other vendors, the company says on its Web users in more than 100 countries, according site. The BI suite includes pixel-perfect to its Web site. enterprise reporting, ad-hoc query, Its software platform, QlikView, comdashboards, OLAP and in-membines enterprise-class analytics ory analysis, and data integraand search functionality with tion. Jaspersoft is the only BI the simplicity and ease-of-use vendor that enables comfound in office productivity panies to adapt to the new, software tools for a broad THINK virtualised world by providset of business users, the FUNCTIONAL ing a complete spectrum company says. CLARITY IS MOST of on-premise, multi-tenant QlikView enables users to IMPORTANT SaaS and cloud-based deployconsolidate large, disparate ment options for both embedded data sets and discover relationand standalone business intelligence, ships within data in real time when according to the site. requested by the user. QlikView also visualises this data in a simple, intuitive user SNAPSHOT interface that enables users to interactively explore and analyse information, according Downloads to the company. 11 million Gartner Magic Quardrant Position: ChalProduction Deployments lenger 160,000 Customers SNAPSHOT 13,000 Stock, Listing Revenue Privately Held Q2 2010: $51.1 million Location Employees Headquartered at San Francisco, Califor650 nia, U.S. Customers 15,000 Web site: www.jaspersoft.com Stock, Listing QLIK, NASDAQ INFORMATION BUILDERS Information Builders' award-winning Location combination of business intelligence and Founded in Lund, Sweden in 1993; Headenterprise integration software has been quartered in Radnor, providing innovative solutions to more PA, USA Web site: www.qlikview.com

66%

IF THE CIO GOES TO 'BUSINESS' COLLEAGUES AND ASKS 'WHAT IS IT THAT YOU WOULD WANT IN YOUR BI SOLUTION,' CHANCES ARE HIGH THAT 'EVERYTHING' WILL BE THE ANSWER, SAYS FORRESTER. 44

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than 12,000 customers for the past 30 years, according to the company's Web site. The company's WebFOCUS business intelligence platform helps create executive, analytical, and operational applications that reach dozens to millions of users. Information Builders' iWay Software suite provides state-of-the-art, multi-purpose, pre-built integration components that address all SOA, application, data and information management requirements. Its integration adapters have been adopted by the leading software platform providers. Information Builders also offers solutions in the performance management,business activity monitoring, and enterprise search markets. Gartner Magic Quardrant Position: Leader

PENTAHO Pentaho Corporation says on its Web site, it provides a comprehensive BI suite that includes capabilities for data integration/ ETL, modeling, data mining, analysis, reporting and dashboards. The suite supports the company’s Agile BI initiative, which enables organisations to build BI applications more quickly, respond to business changes more easily and expedite timeto-value for up to 90 percent less cost than traditional BI vendors, according to the site. Pentaho uses a subscription model, eliminating software license fees and providing support, services, and product enhancements via an annual subscription, according to information available on wikipedia.org.

TIBCO TIBCO Software says its Silver Spotfire – a fully functional on-demand offering designed to enable anyone to create, publish and share custom dashboards or reports for business analytics and business intelligence (BI) in the cloud. The company says it is the first provider to truly make good on making BI and analytics available to anyone. TIBCO Silver Spotfire enables visual analytics and interactive dashboards to be created and published to the cloud in minutes without requiring time consuming setup or infrastructure, according to a statement on its Web site. Gartner Magic Quardrant Position: Challenger


Business Intelligence SPECIAL

How we Brought Our

BI Back on

Track

BI is supposed to benefit the organisation with healthy insights — what happens when it goes bad? By Rajesh Munjal

W

e are the largest personal ground transportation industry in India diversified into Car Rental, Radio Taxi and Operating Lease business. We use multiple web based business applications, CRM and Oracle Financials for all our three businesses. While we were getting the desired output from the current applications, consolidated business analytical reporting was a challenge. We initiated a BI implementation with a world-renowned technology provider and a good implementation partner to help us with the roll-out. Things were very complex as multiple systems were to be used and we were looking for a single tool to provide us the complete outlook of the business. We were aware that we required strong analytical tools to help us grow our business. Things started very well, with a complete requirement analysis and clear definition of scope and delivery; we were excitedly anticipating the dramatic changes that the BI implementation would bring in: There were regular updates, conference calls with the partner on reporting formats needed by our business teams and things were running smoothly.

BIG SHOCK When the time came to showcase the pilot, to our utter dismay it was altogether different from our expectations. After the pilot project fiasco, we got down to the requirement analysis and realised that the output was mostly a postmortem. Things turned ugly when there was a

dispute with the partner – prospects for a resolution seemed bleak and our business teams were in no mood to waste any more time and resources on this. We decided to develop an immediate business requirement through our internal IT Team from the existing application and keep the talks going with the partner to find a way out of this morass.

BRING IT IN

Setting out contracts is fine, but what if your vendor simply can't deliver? Rajesh Munjal, Head - IT, Carzonrent India

Our work was done with the internal development and then we took up with the vendor and asked about delivery. It is all fine, setting out contracts on deliverables and so on, but what if your vendor simply can't deliver? We just decided to bring the whole thing in and asked the vendor to train our IT team on the product. We were aware that the internal solution we provided was only to fix the current requirements and that the tool was needed on a priority as business was growing. We internally trained the resources on the BI product and started our own development. The changes were immediately apparent, although the full benefits of the tool were a long way yet. What salvaged the project for us was that we were able to rebuild the confidence of management in the internal team's ability to deliver. THE CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER FORUM

CTO FORUM 21 OCTOBER 2010

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NO HOLDS BARRE D

PERSON' S NAME

ROAD TO

INFORMATION MANAGEMENT In the second part of his interview Manoj Chugh, President India and SAARC, EMC Corporation in a long, exclusive conversation with Rahul Neel Mani talks about how the company has reacted to customer demands, private clouds and EMC’s role in sustainability.

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M A N OJ C H U G H

How has the company reacted to customer demands? One secret that we can ascribe EMC's success to is our ability to remain close to our customers. We listened and acted upon our customers’ advice. Initially our customers hesitated to buy EMC because of the prohibitive costs. A lot of them told us to be more affordable. Based on the feedback, in 2004 on one single day EMC launched 12 new affordable products. Majority of those products were focused on mid-market. It was a remarkable shift, which allowed us to go after a market otherwise out of our reach. That was our first response – customers felt they were being heard. That was also the first time that EMC introduced a range of products comprising not just storage but also backup, recovery and information management. We repositioned ourselves from being just a network storage company to a company that was trying to tell enterprises that storage itself was not enough – it was important to manage that information also. This was also the time when business continuity and disaster recovery were becoming extremely important because of a number of natural calamities or terrorist attacks. This is the time when we also took a position of leadership and said that network storage and managing your assets is important, but what is also important is disaster recovery. EMC went into the market and deployed very early implementations of a three-stage disaster recovery. In those days when we went and spoke to the customers about storing their information, protecting it, business continuity planning and disaster recovery they came back and asked us about security. In 2006, we acquired RSA and gave an answer to the market. I do not think we could have given a better answer to the market than RSA. We were very quickly able to integrate RSA technology into our products and were able to offer it to the market place.

Then the customers said that the information is growing but it is more in the unstructured content than structured content. Then there was this concern about compliance. EMC acquired Documentum at that time, which played a pivotal role here. Customers started coming to us for their 360-degree storage needs – that included – storage, management, security, BCP, disaster recovery and unstructured data. Then came the problem from customers that in a day we have only 24 hours and our backup window is only 24-hours; god-forbid with this huge growth of information where we cannot control backup windows. At this time, Indian IT companies were making significant IT investments. While they have been perfect at different points of time it also created heterogeneity in the data centres. One of the biggest challenges is in managing this. EMC answered this by very simple ways – first, consolidation at the storage level. This amongst many other EMC products and solutions solves the problem of heterogeneity. Every point in time during our history in this country in the past 10 years, we have listened to our customers and we have provided real, value-added solutions that made a difference to the customer.

“We want to have the deepest and broadest range of products and lead in terms of technology and in terms of depth.”

NO HOLDS BARRE D

Q. Technology, consulting and outsourcing are the three things that any large IT vendor should offer, also the competition to EMC has been offering these. How do you see yourself in these areas as compared to the competition? First, we have been able to distinguish and differentiate ourselves from our competitors. We are a very focussed technology company with an infrastructure focus – we are very clear about this positioning. Within IT infrastructure we play in Information and virtual infrastructure. These are the two core elements of our policy and are mutually reinforcing. From a go-to-market perspective – EMC is the vehicle which we use for information infrastructure and VMWare is used for virtual infrastructure. We have no pretentions of being anywhere else. We are at the forefront of innovation and will remain there. We want to have the deepest and broadest range of products in infrastructure. We want to lead in terms of technology and in terms of depth as we look at our product portfolio. One of our biggest differentiators from our competitors is that we are a company focussed on technology. There are many different players that lead with service and have technology; and (for them) products are important but not that important. In some cases it is quite incidental. There are other players that are quite focussed on software. EMC is a technology company that has hardware and software which helps us in building superior products. We have great competitors but they limit themselves to single point products – it is our ability to focus on the whole information infrastructure space in terms of depth and breadth of our portfolio that is second to none. You mentioned about the private cloud and the way enterprise users are at various stages of

THE CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER FORUM

DOSSIER COMPANY: EMC Corporation INDIA LAUNCH: 2000 SERVICES: Information Management

CTO FORUM 21 OCTOBER 2010

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NO HOLDS BARRE D

M A N OJ C H U G H

adopting the private cloud – what do you think will be EMC’s role. If you look at the EMC history – we started with saying that we would help customers store the colossal amounts of data that they have in their organisations. Now we do it for a large set of customers. Cloud takes centre stage in driving efficiency, choice and control. Clearly the data centre is getting re-architected as we speak. The IT real estate in the data centre is going to go undergo a transformation. This transformation is being driven by the desire to be more efficient. Seventy percent of IT budgets of organizations are spent on keeping the lights on. Only 30 percent are being used to drive business benefits. Clearly organisations and leadership teams have different expectations of IT. The expectation is IT investment must drive more benefit for business. It became more important in

Again, the first step is consolidation, and the second is virtualisation – we find that has started, more within the IT department. You start by testing your own applications, kick the tyres and do 20-25 percent virtualization. At this time some organisations have already started putting business applications on this journey towards virtualisation. The other big technology that will help organisations in this journey is federations. When all these things come together, only then IT will be truly delivered as a service. This is a journey that is going to be very exciting – it is not going to happen overnight. The wave of cloud computing will be far bigger than any other wave for IT. If we are able to ride this wave well, we will be able to deliver the promise of IT that we have been talking about for many years. IT as a fifth utility and we are on the journey to make it possible.

“The IT real estate in the data centre is undergoing a transformation driven by the desire to be more efficient” the last year, where IT faced a lot of pressure to deliver more business benefit. We continuously hear from CIOs that their managements are expecting them to drive far more business benefits including – acquiring customers, better customer service, creating products and ecosystems. There is a clear need to re-architect the data centre if you want to meet those expectations. While you want to get more IT budgets, you do not want to touch current applications. You want greater efficiency, more choice and better control but do not want to be very disruptive. This means that when you re-architect, you must do it in a phased manner and you want to do it in a way that the business benefits are very evident.

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Our goal is to provide products with other ecosystem players, provide the infrastructure, based on which the organisations can then drive services to different user groups. When you build your cloud infrastructure, we as EMC want to be the infrastructure block provider for that. Can you talk about the sustainability aspect? We were the first to launch flash technology in India and people were surprised why we launched them – they were 40-times more expensive than a normal drive. We had a simple goal, that you get significant reductions in power and cooling apart from the (gains in) performance.

The Digital Universe study by us in partnership with IDC speaks about the growth of information. It says that by the end of this year we must have created or replicated – as mankind – 1.2 zetabytes of storage. This is equivalent of the whole population of this earth tweeting for 100 years simultaneously. That is the amount of information we are creating. All this needs to be stored somewhere. If you use only classical storage, imagine the amount of power needed. If the information is growing by 60 percent every year and you are increasing your storage accordingly. Imagine the impact on sustainability. This is where organizations such as EMC come in and say how do we make sure that you are able to manage your information assets in a fashion where the most critical information resides in such a space that is most critical for you at that point in time. So, if the information is not that important right now, can that information be moved to a real estate that consumes less power. That makes a huge impact. A lot of technologies are required to be able to enable this. These technologies are extremely important in reducing the hot spots. When you look at power and cooling when you want to reduce these hot spots. That is where EMC has played a very important role in India, by bringing these technologies first to market. Nobody has brought these technologies to market except us. Our challenge here is to popularize these technologies. Many times these are not adopted because of the lack of budget. We need to convey that this is a very important aspect while making new technology purchases. This is because by postponing sustainability efforts we are just postponing the inevitable. If there is one area where there needs to be a big difference, it is in organizations truly doing something about it – not just articulating and recognising it. Unfortunately it has not come to the level of heightened importance when it comes to signing the cheque. Can we change the outlook and instead of saying that I will choose the option with the lowest price, I will pick the option that will save the most number of trees – that will make a difference. —Rahul.mani@9dot9.in


Author: K.P Shashidharan

HIDE TIME | BOOK REVIEW

“Moving ahead with oomph, and passion.”

Celebrate the Flavour of Life Through the journey of Yin and Yang

LIFE is not just about winning or losing. It is linked with celebrating each of those innocent moments, which you never know, will prevail or not. It's rather about experiencing both – sorrow and joy, in the same breath. This is what, the latest poetic prose, Whispering Mind, from K.P Shashidharan – an alumnus from the London school of Economics, currently serving as member of the Indian Audit & Accounts service – largely talks about. Whispering Mind is a love story in poems. The book narrates the journey of Yin and Yang, who represent the negative and positive vibes in the world. The book, according to the author, is meant for all those who love life; like to live in love; believe in exploring and discovering the inner hidden energy in them; and linking it with the supreme energy vibes of the universe. The intention of the book is to bring enduring joy in the mind, heart and soul; stimulating

the appetite of both traditional prose and poetry lovers. The author compares his characters "Yin and Yang" with eternal lovers like Shakti and Shiva; Radha and Krishna; Adam and Eve. His characters believe in the power of celebrating now, not overshadowed by the past and influenced by the anxieties of the future! They believe in taking baby steps in the life, driven by passion and compassion. Humanity and love is the biggest religion for them. The poems have been written mainly catering to three themes emphasizing the essence of life. Theme 1: Spectrum of life: Poems on philosophy and environment. Theme 2: Rainbow of love: About the realms of relationships, feelings and emotions. Theme 3: Journey to Awareness, Enlightenment & Bliss: About destiny versus determinism, restlessness of mind and infinite bliss. The book seems to be influenced by the teachings of controversial

ABOUT THE REVIEWER

Jatinder Singh works with IT Next magazine as a Senior Correspondent.

legend, Osho, in parts. The message of eternity has been beautifully expressed in form of poetry. An interesting amalgamation of views, thoughts, experiences and examples can be seen in the poems. Thoughts have been well penned with intricate details. Examples touching almost every nuance of varied aspects of life support the views of the writer. Fables and excerpts from different mythological episodes have been rightly placed. Though mention of latest online activities viz-a-viz orkut/ facebook appears to be forcefully put in. "The Bliss", conclusion of the book gives an encouraging and insightful ending. The basic issues of mind and body gymnastics for bringing a beautiful mind in a beautiful body are explained in simple verses. All in all a must read for people who have the vision to see the "real" life. —Jatinder Singh

THE CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER FORUM

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NEXT

HORIZONS

AUTHOUR SAYS

2010 market share for Windows based smartphones is 6.8%.

ILLUSTRATION: JOFFY JOSE

W Windows Phone 7

Is Microsoft Abandoning the Enterprise? BY SUSAN NUNZIATA

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hile the enhanced Office Hub is attractive, many questions about IT management and integration with existing enterprise applications remain unanswered as Microsoft gets ready to offer its first Phone 7 devices. Microsoft looks to be placing a bet that its efforts to capture consumer hearts and minds with its new Phone 7 OS will translate into enterprise success as well. Enterprise applications built on the company's previous Windows Mobile operating systems or its .Net framework are commonplace in functions such as field service and support, transportation and logistics, and healthcare and government solutions that run on rugged handhelds. These users, IT teams and enterprise application developers seem to be left out in the cold for now when it comes to Phone 7. At a launch event in New York City Oct. 11, Microsoft and AT&T unveiled plans to introduce three Phone 7 devices in the U.S. beginning Nov. 8. Ralph de la Vega, president/CEO of AT&T's Mobility & Consumer Markets, described the $200 LG Quantum -- with its multi-touchscreen and slide-out


WI N DOWS PHO N E

QWERTY keypad -- as aimed at the "e-mail heavy mobile pros." Two other devices due in November from AT&T, the HTC Surround and the Samsung Focus, emphasise multimedia, gaming and social networking capabilities. "We needed the platform to talk to each target user," Michael Woodward, VP Mobile Device Portfolio, AT&T Consumer & Mobility, told CIO Insight in explaining the mix of devices on tap from the wireless carrier. He added that, these days, most business users make their smartphone choices as consumers first. For the IT organisation, Woodward noted, the platform supports IT management capabilities available in Microsoft Exchange, including strong encryption, PIN, and oversees Windows Mobile 6.X, will issue a remote lock-and-wipe. Microsoft is "clearly new release this fall based on its existing CE re-affirming their commitment to the users, 5 kernel. "We'll have two platforms in paralto the lines of business in the enterprise," lel initially," said Tiffany. "Future versions says Philippe Winthrop, managing director will be based on the embedded Compact 7 of the Enterprise Mobility Foundation, notkernel that Phone 7 is also based on." ing the platform's deep integration of ShareIt remains to be seen how Phone 7 will Point, its upgraded version of Mobile Office fare in an enterprise market that has seen and its Outlook connectivity. "The question Apple's iOS account for 56 percent of net that remains unanswered is, what is their new enterprise smartphone activations level of commitment to the IT department in June-September 2010. Apple's iPhone in terms of manageability?" 4, iPhone 3GS and iPad led the market in He adds, "It still remains to be seen enterprise mobile device activations in that from the enterprise perspective how the IT period, according to a report from Good department is going to be able to manage Technology. Android followed, accounting the devices beyond ActiveSync policies, and for 28 percent of net new activations in the how it's going to play out moving forward same period. from an enterprise app store perspective." In addition to the AT&T Phone 7 lineup, The Microsoft Office "hub" that is includT-Mobile will offer two Windows Phone 7 ed in the Phone 7 OS offers considerably handsets in the U.S. beginning advanced mobile functionalin mid-November. Of these, the ity for apps such as OneNote, Dell Venue Pro is a ruggedised SharePoint, PowerPoint and device targeted at the mobile Excel. But, there is no news yet professional and features a slideof which -- if any -- third-party OF ALL ENTERPRISE out QWERTY keypad. Whether enterprise apps might be availthe Dell device will go head-toable in the Microsoft MarketSMARTPHONES head with recent rugged enterplace when the devices launch ACTIVATED prise smartphones introduced by next month. BETWEEN JUN-SEP Motorola and Intermec remains Microsoft's Rob Tiffany, to be seen, notes Winthrop. The Mobility Architect for Windows WERE IPHONES latter operate on the previous Mobile, discussed Phone 7 Windows Mobile platform. and its predecessor OS in his Jack Gold, Founder & Principal Analyst keynote at the MobileTrax Mobile Innovaat J. Gold Associates, puts enterprises tors Awards, on October 6 during the CTIA in the "loser" column when it comes to Enterprise & Applications trade show in San Phone 7, "especially those with specialised Francisco. He says Microsoft's Windows applications built to the Windows Mobile Embedded Handheld Group, which now

NEXT HORIZONS

Business users were at the core of the previous Windows Mobile constituency, but many have defected to other platforms. It is unclear whether Microsoft can win them back, or even keep the existing, albeit significantly diminished, base of enterprise users.

56%

platform." Apps for Phone 7 are developed using Visual Studio, Expression Blend and Silverlight Runtime. Gold adds, "It will be hard for [existing enterprise] apps to be ported unless they are already Silverlight-compatible or built in standard .Net mobile protocols. The majority of enterprise apps are not." Gold notes that, with Phone 7's reliance on Silverlight, "if developers are accustomed to C programming and lower-level languages, they will be very hard pressed to move their products to the new WP7 interfaces. Visual Studio does provide a path (through .Net Framework) but this is only convenient if they are already using this tool, and not something like Eclipse." Business users were at the core of the previous Windows Mobile constituency, notes Gold, but many have defected to other platforms. "It is unclear whether Microsoft can win them back, or even keep the existing, albeit significantly diminished, base of enterprise users." According to IDC's September 2010 Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, the 2010 market share for Windows Mobile smartphones is 6.8%. The research firm is forecasting that by 2014 the OS will claim 9.8% market share, by far the smallest share of the five major mobile operating systems currently available.

– This article is published with prior permission from www.cioinsight.com.

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P R OJ E C T M A N AG E M E N T

5

POINTS

TECHNIQUE: Traditional techniques to dynamic organisations PEOPLE: Are the biggest cause of failure SPECIALISATION: Becomes dysfuntional while working together

PHOTO: PHOTOS.COM

CONVENTIONAL: Planning costs too much REINVENT: Project management practices

WHY PROJECTS ARE

DESIGNED TO FAIL 52

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How to Make Them Succeed. BY JACK BERGSTRAND


P R OJ E C T M A N AG E M E N T

Unlike reengineering, which

focused on making established business models more efficient, reinvention focuses on improving the business models themselves by successfully balancing continuity, change, and organised abandonment. Reinvention involves implementing new initiatives that are successful, expanding existing capabilities that are already successful, improving areas that are struggling, and/or stopping practices and businesses that are unsuccessful. Implementing reinvention projects is critical for companies to win in the global marketplace. Unfortunately, project failures have consistently been a major barrier to reinvention. According to Standish Research, 70% of major projects fail to meet their objectives; 50% exceed their original cost estimates by a whopping 200%; and 20% are ultimately cancelled. Why is this? Companies and their consulting partners have been working on large enterprise projects for many decades, and yet the numbers haven’t improved.

Projects are designed to fail After researching this for 10 years with a very experienced team and personally managing large projects for a decade prior to that, the source of the project failure has become increasingly clear: Important projects often struggle in large organisations because they are systematically designed to fail. We manage projects the way we’ve been trained, but we were trained using methods originally designed by Frederick Taylor in the early 1900s that were developed for the industrial age. They don’t take into account the human complexities inherent in large enterprise initiatives. Traditional project management, with its emphasis on numbers, objectivity, and static pre-planning, works well when you are building a bridge or an assembly line. It fails 70% of the time when working with people. The problem is that reinvention initiatives

T E CH F O R G OVE R NAN CE

Over the course of a project, stakeholders with conflicting interests inevitably create dissension and, as a result, this creates problems for the enterprise initiatives overall 70% of the time.

Designing projects to succeed

The solution to the 70% failure rate problem is for large organisations to reinvent their project management practices in a way that is grounded more in the social sciences and less in the physical sciences. Doing this will help project stakeholders better manage their ever-changing human dynamics, and ultimately to plan and implement key initiatives better, faster, and less expensively. The Reinvention Problem The Reinvention Solution Manufacturing-based orientationSocial Science orientation Specialised with significant human considerations (i.e. perspectivesHolistic perspective Static virtually every large enterprise project) can’t orientation to planningAction orientation to be managed the same way as industrial projplanning Head-to-head conflict resolutionects. Trying to apply traditional techniques Facilitated/ mediated conflict resolution to dynamic organisations typically results Moving from a manufacturing to social in over engineered decision making proscience orientation: Doing this requires a cesses, mismanaged consulting resources, holistic framework and process to wisely time delays, and cost overruns. The result is incorporate the proper use of human subappallingly high project failure rates and disjectivity as well as systematic objectivity. turbingly low returns on important technolIt’s important to be subjectively clear about ogy and consulting investments. where you intend to go and why Therefore, implementing (Envision) and objectively prereinvention initiatives using cise with respect to what needs the traditional project manageto happen when (Design). ment approach, which doesn’t You need to be objectively effectively facilitate and mediclear about how to best do OF MAJOR ate organisational dynamics, those things (Build), and, finalPROJECTS FAIL is literally designing them to ly, you need to be subjectively TO MEET THEIR fail. Symptoms associated with sensitive with respect to who these design problems are very needs to be motivated to do OBJECTIVES common. For example: which tasks (Operate). The linear cookie cutter Design and Build are the approach to project managefoundation for the manufacturing-based orientation of conventional ment consistently breaks down with ongoproject management practices. Integrating ing change, as new people, new informait with Envision and Operate is needed to tion, and new requirements are introduced. ensure that projects have a clear destinaSpecialisation becomes dysfunctional tion and purpose, motivated people, and when people need to share a holistic picture a productive method for adaptation. For of success, and when interdependence is example, when Envision, Design, Build, and needed to get work done successfully. Operate are connected it is not uncommon The conventional way of planning is very to complete projects in half the time and at painful, takes too long, costs too much, and half the cost by reducing the time it takes to has too many moving parts. It is typically plan and execute, and improve the linkage over-engineered up front and then with between strategy and operations. time gets disconnected within and across Move from fragmented specialisation to stakeholders.

70%

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a holistic perspective: Doing this requires a shared vision and game plan for success. In practice, this requires the shared approach to the Envision, Design, Build, and Operate steps noted previously, and also a shared and holistic understanding of the organisation itself; including, in many cases, an appreciation for the critical interrelationships between functions, such as marketing, finance, manufacturing, and sales. When stakeholders are able to see where their specialisations fit into the bigger picture this often fosters significantly better teamwork because there is much greater visibility with respect to where individuals should work independently, where they need to work interdependently, and where they don’t need to contribute at all. Move from static planning to actionoriented planning: Even though planning is critical, there is probably no area where there is more wasted effort in major enterprise projects than in the planning area. This occurs for several reasons: First, in the industrial age, planning was hugely important because the plan directly drove how assets such as machines, assembly lines, and buildings were constructed. This approach to planning quite naturally extended into organisational initiatives. With reinvention projects, however, planning needs to be much more of a social process. Time consuming and precisely engineered plans put together in a laboratory-like environment invariably crumble when they come in contact with the ongoing human dynamics during execution. The second reason over-planning occurs is because consulting firms make a lot of money planning. In practice, the right answer is to engage in more frequent, much shorter, and more integrated planning/execution cycles with a prototyping mentality. This requires formal facilitation, mediation, and a shared and socially oriented framework and process including specific attention paid to important team insights, a rapid and integrated project planning process, accelerated execution practices, and ongoing adaptation through independently facilitated feedback mechanisms. Move from head-to-head conflict to facilitated conflict mediation: Implementing this successfully and sustainably also requires

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The Reinventing Problem

The Reinvention Solution

Manufacturing-based orientation

Social Science orientation

Specialized perspectives

Holistic perspective

Static orientation to planning

Action orientation to planning

Head-to-head conflict resolution

Facilitated/mediated conflict resolution

independent and experienced facilitation. Whether project stakeholders are comfortable admitting it or not (and many aren’t), every team, function, division, and firm involved has self interests that are not or will not always be aligned with the priorities of reinvention projects overall. It is inevitable that there will be disconnects within and across the stakeholders -- board of directors, senior management, the project team, consultants, and software/hardware suppliers. The truth is that independently and systematically resolving disconnects (early and often) needs to be proactively facilitated at the enterprise level to be productively and sustainably managed.

Validating a social sciencebased approach When applied in practice, the social scienceoriented approach has produced remarkable results. For example, a large global professional services firm removed six months from its enterprise software implementation with an 80X return on its reinvention investment. An international manufacturing company reinvented its enterprise-wide transformation initiative to achieve one-time benefits of $100 million, with an 18X return on investment. An international consumer products company reinvented its IT organisation,

reducing operating expenses by 15% and generating a 6X return. A Fortune 150 company reinvented its business transformation initiative, generating savings of $180 million, with a 200X return. As part of improving the returns on reinvention systematically, it’s also clear that successful organisations need strong portfolio management capabilities that provide the essential business direction and streamline priority setting for the projects themselves. A well thought out portfolio management strategy viewed through an organisational lens can help companies productively choose the right projects in the right order so they can do the best projects first and better. The fact is that using an industrial orientation to reinvention projects fails to deliver 70% of the time. Through the proper use of a more holistic approach, a better planning process, and the use of independent facilitation and mediation to accelerate execution, these projects can be designed to succeed. In our globally competitive world, speed is a prerequisite for quality and competitive advantage. As a result, this accelerated and socially-oriented approach is critically important. —Inspired by legendary management thinker Peter F. Drucker and more than 200 other

A Fortune 150 company reinvented its business transformation initiative, generating savings of $180 million, with a 200X return.

experts, Jack Bergstrand has dedicated his life’s work to enterprise reinvention. After a 20 year career in large organisations, including the roles of CIO of The Coca-Cola Company, as well as CFO and VP of Manufacturing and Logistics at Coca-Cola Beverages, he founded Brand Velocity Brand Velocity, wrote the book Reinvent Your Enterprise, developed the Strategic Profiling team acceleration tool, and created the Action Planning change leadership process. His company, Brand Velocity, was called “the smartest company that you’ve never heard of” in BusinessWeek, and his book is the only publication of its kind endorsed by The Drucker Institute.


VA L U E O F I T

T E CH F O R G OVE R NAN CE

IT and Business Value are One and the Same Importance of numbers in IT projects.

BY BY ALLEN BERNARD

PHOTO: PHOTOS.COM

R

ecently, I had the good fortune of spending the afternoon at a big local CIO event called TechTomorrow hosted by TechColumbus. Of the 350 or so attendees, it appeared that most of them stayed for the afternoon's main session: the CIO Value Forum. As you can infer the main topic was value. Specifically, IT's value to the business. As a tech journalist covering IT for over 10 years now this perennial topic never seems to get old -- nor resolved. There are a number of reasons for this but, the two main drivers are the business climate IT must work with (and therefore IT's budget) and the technology the business wants IT to deliver within that budget. Both of these drivers are in constant flux and are often at odds with each other. The main focus of the panel discussion was helping the business survive the current recessionary climate (technically the Great Recession is over but these panellists didn't seem that impressed with the turn-around to date) and come out swinging when things really do start to get better. As you probably already figured the No.1 theme was cost control. While IT can do a lot when it comes to reaching customers better, opening new markets, streamlining business process, etc. it has to do so at a cost that is justifiable in business terms – both balance sheet and lexicon. To that end, many of the panelists – CIOs of multi-billion dollar global enterprises as well as CIOs of smaller more regional players and everything in between – echoed a similar sentiment: Get IT, finance and business in the same room, talking the same language. Again a perennial topic but an important one since each group can educate the other on the limitations as well as the opportunities each brings to the table. Working together toward the strategic goals of the organisation is always the main goal of these get-togethers; the "why", if you will, of what your organisation is and does as opposed to the "how" of each

siloed domain. This will help focus everyone on "outcomes that are meaningful to the business", as one CIO said. This will also ensure your IT spend has "cross-function alignment", according to another. As far as implementing the decisions reached at these meetings, project portfolio management is a good place to start. So is attaching revenue numbers to IT business cases. Most IT projects, even the ones sponsored by the business, don't contain these bottom-line numbers and they should. This was the most important take-away for my table companion, a CIO of a large regional healthcare chain. Until that moment, she had always included the tactical costs of Projects X, Y & Z, but never took those numbers all the way down the balance sheet to the bottom line. This is how the board looks at projects and, if you want to be more than an order-taker CIO, you should, too. I paraphrase but basically what she said was: "Most CIOs could be strategic if they would stop whining and start paying attention to what the board cares about and how they look at the business." Perhaps this is why most of the discussion had very little to do THE CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER FORUM

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80%

ing money," was the quote I believe. with technology. It was focused on business concerns This also held true at a number of other companies and metrics: total shareholder return (TSR), customer represented by the panel: If the business didn't request satisfaction, customer retention, brand awareness ... it or wasn't sponsoring it, a project was not presented measures, until recently, tossed about more often in to finance for approval. To make this type of decision marketing meetings not IT conferences. Only one parBUSINESS making work, however, IT has to get involved with the ticipant said they still viewed IT as a cost-centre to be EXECUTIVES business early on, not mid-way through the decision contained and even he acknowledged that IT has a role RATE IT AS VERY making process when the business is just looking for to play in helping the business. numbers to fill in the blanks on their business case. "When you get customer service in there, you do IMPORTANT FOR Get involved this year on next year's business projects, increase revenue growth," he said of a big ERP imitative KEY ACTIVITIES for example. In this way, you can not only influence cost his company had done mid-decade. The whole purpose discussions but you can also offer up possibilities that of the project was "delighting our customers," he said. only someone with a deep understanding of what technology can Everyone else, to a greater or lesser degree, appeared to have a seat and can't do can offer. at the table and were involved in the more strategic aspects of the businesses they served; or at least were working to get there. For my table companion, her big break came when the Congress passed the New ideas American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Part of the bill rewards Some of the other – and newer – ideas bandied about were to read hospitals for switching over to electronic health records (EHR). She the annual reports not only of you company but that of your combegan the pushing for this back in 2002, so when this bill passed petitors. Have your direct reports and their direct reports and so on, and suddenly the feds would be picking up the bill for implementdo this also. The idea is it will help shift your thinking away from ing this technology (up to $9M, I believe), her decisions had a technology and towards a broader view of what your organization bottom-line impact and the board was impressed. does for a living. The further down in IT this thinking percolates, the better your organization will be at providing what the business needs because you will understand better what it (and it's competiBusiness ownership tion) does. Another theme is that of IT as a business function on par with HR, Having IT folks understand a P&L, balance sheet and the facFinance, Marketing, etc. "Ultimately, once the business owns IT, tors that drive revenue can also have a big positive impact on how you've won the game," said one of the panelists. In other words, if well IT relates back to the business. Do this "as far down into the the business doesn't request it no new technology projects are put IT organization as you can." Call you finance folks and have them forth for approval. This way of working comes from what I was told put together some training on this idea is a good place to start, sugwas a very profitable healthcare outfit. "They are very good at makgested one panelist. It was also suggested to tie compensation back to strategic objectives. This always gets people's attention and would most definitely increase participation in those training workshops finance was putting on. Ultimately, Strategic Objectives + IT = Value. You have to tie what you are doing in IT back to the business anyway you can, as often as you can. Obviously, this won't work 100% of the time. Nothing does. But, if you don't try, you will never move IT out of the cost-center category it still occupies on many balance sheets and you will be forever stuck trying to justify your existence when IBM or HP or Dell comes knocking with one of their outsourcing contracts in hand. As one participant said, "It isn't about IT vs. the business, it's about business."

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—Allen Bernard is the managing editor of CIOUpdate.com, ITSMWatch.com and ProjectManagerPlant.com. He has been covering the intersection of technology and business for over 10 years having written over 1,600 articles, assigned and edited thousands more, and conducted over 4,500 interviews with business and IT decisionmakers. He can be reached at abernard@internet.com. This article is published with prior permission from www.cioupdate.com


HIDE TIME | CIO PROFILE

Lead By Example BALVINDER SINGH

WHEN I first saw Balvinder Singh, I asked myself whether I was meeting the right guy. The tall, well-built Sikh resembled either an officer of the armed forces or a sportsman — not a Vice President-IT for sure. Even as my doubts were quickly allayed, as I discovered that this man from Ludhiana knew technology in and out, I wasn't far from the mark. “I was keen to join the Indian Armed Forces or take up sports as a career but lack of guidance at that point in time took me towards IT,” he said. A 15-year industry veteran, Singh started his career with an IT services provider, but soon decided his skills and knowledge were better applied on the 'buy-side': “The primary reason to make this shift was to add more value to the company that I would worked with, not only in terms of providing IT support but also understanding business requirements and enabling IT to run business functions,” he says. For instance he set up the entire IT operation at a pan-India level for an insurance provider. For this company, he built critical business systems, developed a business continuity plan and helped

NOT AFRAID TO DREAM BIG: Singh dreams to create a company where the entire business will be run using technology with the help of his IT team. All business activities like marketing, sales etc. will be done online. He says that companies in the insurance and retail sector can make such a thing feasible. He is reminded of a line from the French poet and playwright, Victor Hugo who

said, “There is nothing like a dream to create the future." KEEPING BUSY AT all times: Singh believes that people who constantly have something to do are happier than people who sit idle. “I inculcated this habit from my father,” he says. Even after retirement, his father started his own business so that he could keep himself busy.

the insurer expand to more than 100 locations in merely a year’s time. In 2007, Singh joined Star India where he got an opportunity to support both national and international operations. Here he facilitated the entire migration of IT THE CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER FORUM

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PHOTOS BY JITEN GHANDHI

Vice President-IT, Star India


HIDE TIME | CIO PROFILE

Snap Shot services of Star from Hongkong to India and also supported locations including Dubai, the U.K. and the U.S. He tries to lead by example and looks towards his efficient time management skills to this effect. “I am good at completing any task effectively, in time and above all understanding the impact of IT on business and how it can be simplified,” he says. Singh matches his tough expectations from his team by driving himself even harder, constantly consulting colleagues and peers and egging his team on to go farther with cross-functional transfers. “I believe that if people are given ownership of a task they are automatically motivated to perform well,” he says.He keeps himself abreast of the latest developments in his field by taking up various courses involving IT as well as courses that are beneficial to the business – this has already earned him a clutch of certifications, on Microsoft software, Project Management, and and even one from the London school of Insurance. He did the insurance course when he was working with one of the insurance companies that helped him to gain the requisite domain knowledge about the industry. I ask Singh his source of inspiration. “It has always been my father. I admire him for all that he has done,” he says. —By Vinita Gupta

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A Sports Enthusiast . Singh loves outdoor sports. During his days in school and college he participated in major inter school and college competitions. At Star India he is a part of the corporate cricket team. During weekends, Singh loves to play soccer on the beach. He is also learning golf and tennis. His only regret in life is that he couldn’t choose sports as a career. “I would love to see at least one of my daughters becoming a sportswoman, but I wouldn’t force my idea on them.” Behind the Wheel. Singh owns an SUV and every other month makes it a point to visit his in-laws in Pune. “The drive on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway is thrilling.” A Family Man. Singh ensures that he spends good time with his family. The members in the family comprise his mother, wife and two daughters. The elder daughter is six years while the younger is a year old. For Singh, 24th of January is the luckiest day in his life. “Both my daughters were born on the same day.”


HIDDENTANGENT GEETAJ CHANNANA geetaj.channana@9dot9.in

THE AUTHOR IS Executive Editor, CTO Forum

Get Your Head out of the Sand Don’t just talk climate change – act now. IT IS almost the end of October in Delhi and we are still using airconditioners. About 15 years back we would have been wearing at least full sleeve shirts, if not blazers. Are we doing anything? There was a joke going around sometime back that the Delhi government wanted to make Delhi a green city so they painted all the auto-rickshaws and the buses green. Thanks to the Commonwealth Games, the city has actually started to look green, because of trees and not the painted buses. There were plantation drives where at least 50,000 trees were planted across the city on the run-up to the games. We can argue and ask 'was it enough?' I on the other hand would like to take this as a good start. In a country that is strewn with poverty and bigger problems to deal with, a conscious effort to reduce the carbon footprint of an event of this magnitude is a great step to ensure a cleaner environment for the forthcoming generations. Even as the government takes some steps, the private sector needs to push itself harder to become more sensitive to the environment. In a recent interview, Manoj Chugh, Pres-

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CTO FORUM 21 OCTOBER 2010

ident India and SAARC, EMC (see the No Holds Barred section for the full interview) made a very interesting point: He said that organisations should think in terms of the number of trees they are saving every year – and that to me is a great measure. Going back to energy efficient cities – have you ever heard of Masdar? Masdar is a new city being built about 17 km outside Abu Dhabi, in the UAE in West Asia; designed by Foster + Partners, a British architectural firm. The city aims to be the first carbon-neutral city in the world. Estimated to be built at a cost of close to $20 billion, the city is slated to complete its first phase in 2015. It will be spread across six square km and will house close to 50,000 people. No automobiles will be allowed in the city and people will have to depend on mass transit systems. Everything in the city starting from water to plastics will be recycled. The biological waste will be converted into fertilizers while the plastics will be recycled to be used in the 1,500 businesses that will be established there. The city plans to power itself with a 60 megawatt solar power plant supported by photovoltaic modules on

THE CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER FORUM

"There was not even one Indian company in the Top 100 green companies list published by NewsWeek"

rooftops producing 130 megawatts, in addition to geothermal energy and a 20 megawatt wind farm. Water will be made available using a solar powered desalination plant and will be reused as many times as possible. Though this is an ambitious plan it is a great proof of concept that it can be done. Bigger cities such as Delhi and Mumbai can look at the ways in which Masdar is reducing its carbon footprint. The private sector too can learn. To give things some perspective, there was not even one Indian company in the Top 100 green companies list published by NewsWeek recently. Many of the top companies operate in India and the company at number 99, ArcelorMittal, is controlled by an Indian – but not even one of the companies is from India. It may look like an inconspicuous report – but to me these are alarm bells. By saying that it is easy to talk green but very expensive to implement, you are just acting like an ostrich with your head in the sand. Your actions today are going to impact the way your children live their lives – hope you want them safe and healthy. If they are not, the argument of lack of IT budgets may seem too hollow.


Brain Of The Matter