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Building a BI Solution for a Multinational IT Software Company

Information Technology | Data Services

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One of the nation’s leading software companies partners with TEKsystems for a critical data consolidation effort that will ultimately enable the company to move from product-based selling to solution selling by creating a unified view of its customer data across all sales organizations.

The client is a leading software company providing software solutions across distributed, mainframe, virtual and cloud environments. The company offers a comprehensive approach and unified platform that helps IT organizations reduce costs, reduce risk and drive business profit. The company reported revenue of $2.2 billion for the 2011 fiscal year. TEKsystems has strategically partnered with this client on IT initiatives for the past eight years.
Informatica, Microstrategies, Netezza, Oracle SOA Suite

The Challenge: Disparate Data

Like many of today’s services and sales organizations, our client struggled with internal business intelligence gaps. To alleviate these gaps, our client resorted to using a variety of technologies, which resulted in disparate and inaccurate data sources and an inconsistent way to consume and leverage that data. Our client needed a business intelligence (BI) and master data management (MDM) solution, and it needed it fast.

Our client’s sales force and internal business stakeholders struggled on a daily basis to obtain even the most basic information on clients, products and licenses. For example, there wasn’t an effective way to manage data, the company couldn’t update account information with new data points or maintain legacy data. Executives and business leaders requested seemingly straightforward reports, but it would take too long to find the information, put it into a digestible format and return it to the business leader. Moreover, the data that was reported was often inaccurate.

Leadership was unable to obtain the information needed to fuel the strategic decision-making process, i.e., who was buying and what needs were out there. They were also unable to efficiently onboard new account managers because the lack of data hindered the knowledge transfer process and greatly diminished the company’s ability to transition accounts from one account manager to the next. The result? Our client had a hard time attracting and retaining top sales talent; in fact, the churn on account managers was 40 percent a year.

Due to these challenges, IT leadership made the decision to go full speed ahead on a BI initiative. Our client’s business leaders knew they didn’t want to attack the problem in a piecemeal fashion; they wanted to develop a strategy to streamline data collection—and they needed a partner that could help them do it. To make the three-year, $10 million dollar BI initiative a success, our client needed a solution that provided MDM, BI and data governance solutions in a way that would allow its existing teams to maintain daily operational integrity. To win the 14-month engagement, we competed with three vendors over an 11-month period. After multiple presentations, multiple discussions and a complex RFP process, we won the engagement.

A Custom-Built BI Solution

After meeting with client leadership, TEKsystems recommended a managed center of excellence (COE) team, to develop the project and ensure program success and alignment of IT and business goals, with an off-shore corporate information factory (CIF) report development. We deployed a team of nine architects to restructure how the client moved and consumed data at an enterprise level. These leaders were tasked with executing strategy and providing consultative support that integrated our client’s designated resources and ensured knowledge transfer took place.

Our client was impressed by our pre-sale campaign capability and ability to bring on-site resources to bear. Our on-site presence was key to developing a successful working relationship with the client and enabled us to earn trust and address project-related issues that would have been impossible to address remotely. Our client was also impressed by our mature off-shore delivery model and proven track record of delivering high-quality analytics, reports and integration objects via the business intelligence competency center (BICC) model. And thanks to our recent work on a similar engagement, where we provided a fixed-price report development service as well as a managed COE team, we were able to provide a solution that leveraged the work they had accomplished to date—rather than forcing the client to start over completely. TEKsystems implemented a new set of technologies, including Informatica, Oracle SOA Suite, Microstrategies and Netezza, which enabled our client to achieve its goals for improved corporate data governance, movement and utilization.

TEKsystems' solution for our client included:

  • On-site project oversight and guidance
  • Program/project delivery
  • A consolidated architectural environment
  • Centralized master data in one environment
  • Creation of report/analytic capabilities
  • Effective and continuous knowledge transition

Our client reported that our BI solution transformed the way the company did business. By implementing a new set of technologies and architecture, we helped our client achieve its goals for improved corporate data governance, movement and utilization. And we successfully improved the IT’s reputation with the business while transitioning valuable knowledge to their resources on how we achieved this success.

TEKsystems managed services solution:

  • Provided a consolidated MDM and BI strategy that our client can expand exponentially to meet business demands
  • Implemented a new set of technologies and architecture that helped our client improve corporate data governance, movement and utilization
  • Instituted a managed COE team to develop the project and ensure program success and alignment of IT and business goals
  • Provided leadership and prototype services and ensured that effective knowledge transition occurred
  • Ensured that cost-contained solutions for program development and conversion took place by providing a fixed price for report development and conversion.
  • Streamlined the quote-to-order process by standardizing product offerings and contract terms

Best Practices for Managed Services Success

  • Select a managed services vendor that has a proven track record. Take the time to review a vendor’s past performance on similar initiatives and do your due diligence by looking into those references to assess how they executed past initiatives.
  • Make sure the vendor offers a flexible approach. Does your vendor take the time to consider your overall managed services needs? Work with vendors who offer more than a canned approach or force solutions on you.
  • Engage a vendor who can address organizational friction with IT as it relates to ownership and leadership and can explain how it will integrate its roles within the client’s roles.
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