Published on 23-Sep-2009
"Thanks to the IBM Cognos product suite we have managed to improve the decision-making capacity of human resources at the Ministry of Defence, bringing it into line with new technologies that are being applied in the Civil Service." - Reinaldo Martín, Head of the SIPERDEF/SIEP Coordinating Unit General Directorate of Personnel for the Ministry of Defence
Spain’s Ministry of Defence
Spain’s Ministry of Defence applies new IBM® Cognos® technology to human resources decision-making.
Provide the Spanish Ministry of Defence’s human resources departments with technology for executive dashboards, easy access to historical information and automation of periodic tasks.
An integrated IBM Cognos 8 BI and IBM Cognos 8 Planning solution for human resources, training and recruitment support in the Ministry.
Dashboard indicators for executive decision-making; user-friendly, intuitive access to historical information; capability for multidimensional analysis; automation of periodic reports.
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The Spanish Ministry of Defence is the department of the General State Administration whose job it is to prepare, develop and execute the defence policy as determined by the Government, and manage the Commissariat. The Ministry of Defence, under the Minister’s direction, is organized into the Defence Minister’s Office, the Deputy Defence Minister’s Office, the General Secretary’s Office for Defence Policies and the Armed Forces.
The technological configuration of the Ministry of Defence was slowing down access to historical information, in such a way that there was a high dependence on technical departments for the resolution of specific enquiries. At the same time, the Ministry needed to implement a series of dashboards for senior executives and automate as many periodic tasks as possible at the General Directorate of Personnel (DIGENPER) and in the General Directorate of Training and Recruitment (DIGEREM).
For that reason, the Ministry decided to set a plan in motion to provide business intelligence (BI) solutions for the management of human resources, which were to give added value to the existing applications. In this context, the main objective of the project carried out by the Ministry of Defence using IBM Cognos technology has been to develop an information system, independent of the systems currently operational in the Ministry of Defence’s Human Resources Department, which provides the Directorate of Personnel access to personnel and salary information.
Previously, there were no specific reporting solutions, only scheduled reports in the hosting environment where the operational infrastructure is housed. The Ministry needed to boost its capacity for multidimensional analysis, and improve access to the data being exported to the Microsoft® Office environment, SQL editing and scheduling capacity. Furthermore, the organization required all of this to take shape in an easy way, with short start-up and installation, without too much delay. The tool’s ease of use and quick-to-learn nature for users was another of the requirements that the Ministry of Defence established for selecting the tool.
The Ministry wanted the BI project, which was meant to give the Directorate of Personnel access to personnel and salary information, to allow access to information on the current state of the forces, its history and its evolution, in order to get reliable and immediate replies automatically. The Ministry also wanted to be able to compare the actual workforce data with the benchmark payrolls for each cycle, and to be able to detect deviations and make the relevant corrections. The last line of strategy to be covered was connected to the analysis, dissemination, statistical calculation and simulation of personnel data, which was to provide support for planning and decision-making.
The Ministry of Defence chose the IBM Cognos 8 BI and IBM Cognos 8 Planning suite over other solutions on the market after carrying out a very intensive benchmarking process that considered many aspects of the system, such as client-provider relations, the products, reporting, maintenance, functionality, development times and user management. In the end, the Ministry purchased an IBM Cognos 8 BI licence for a server with unlimited enquiry users, with the dashboard modules, and IBM Cognos 8 Planning for planning and budgeting.
The functional management of the application has been handled by the General Directorate of Personnel (DIGENPER) and the General Directorate of Training and Recruitment (DIGEREM), and the technical implementation has been carried out by the CIS General Inspectorate (IGECIS). Between June 2006 and February 2007, the building of the data warehouse, the creation of framework manager models, the building of the hubs and the creation of the initial package of predefined reports were initiated.
Between February and April 2007 the dashboard indicators were created, and the Ministry was then able to go on to focus on the expansion of requirements and functions. With all of this work finished, the project became operational in January 2008.
The installation has been carried out on Microsoft Windows® machines with Windows Server® 2003 32-bit operating systems. Oracle WebLogic is used as the applications server, and the enquiry data and internal IBM Cognos data is stored in an Oracle 10 database.
The solution is integrated with the corporate intranet using e-frames with single sign-on technology. The main difficulty encountered with the project was integration with the corporate intranet, an aspect that was resolved with customized code created by IBM Cognos Professional Services.
“We are constantly evolving, incorporating new user areas and new models of those that have already been developed. Using IBM Cognos 8 Planning, our new projects involve working on the development of a total wage bill simulation module; changing over to the latest version of the IBM Cognos products and the implementation of a report writer,” explains Reinaldo Martín, Head of the SIEP Coordinating Unit.
Many objectives have been met and many benefits obtained through the IBM Cognos solution. The most relevant has been the creation of dashboard indicators to aid decision-making by senior executives (personnel managers, deputy managers for the Ministry of Defence and the Forces). The system has also provided the user with user-friendly, intuitive access to historical information on-line, therefore decreasing query reply times.
In the same way, the Ministry has attained the homogenization of information transmitted to different levels of the organization, as well as achieving the automation of periodic tasks. On a daily basis, the Ministry uses the IBM Cognos solution to provide functions like the generation of periodic reports, the resolution of occasional questions from different government bodies and to carry out special studies.
“Thanks to IBM Cognos technology, we have managed to improve the decision-making capacity of human resources, bringing the Ministry of Defence into line with new technologies that are being applied in the Civil Service,” Reinaldo Martín concludes.
About IBM Cognos BI and Performance Management
IBM Cognos business intelligence (BI) and performance management solutions deliver world-leading enterprise planning, consolidation and BI software, support and services to help companies plan, understand and manage financial and operational performance. IBM Cognos solutions bring together technology, analytical applications, best practices, and a broad network of partners to give customers an open, adaptive and complete performance solution. Over 23,000 customers in more than 135 countries around the world choose IBM Cognos solutions.
Products and services used
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