Published on 31 May 2012
Validated on 15 Jan 2014
"Netezza has become a synonym for performance in Elisa….We have measured improved performance in the range of 200 to 600 times faster for data analysis and 100 times faster for loads, which translates into a potential yearly savings of about 11,000 person-hours." - Tomi Eronen, Lead, Information Services Center of Excellence, Elisa Corporation
BA - Business Intelligence, Big Data & Analytics, Big Data & Analytics: Customers, Smarter Computing, Smarter Planet
As Elisa Corporation expanded its offerings, it sought a deeper understanding of customer needs. However, its existing information services platform could not support the data-intensive analytics required. By deploying the IBM Netezza data warehouse appliance, the company obtained the flexibility and performance required to gain new business insight and drive millions of euros in new revenue.
Elisa Corporationt sought a deeper understanding of customer needs. However, its existing information services platform could not support the data-intensive analytics required.
The company deployed the IBM Netezza data warehouse appliance, which delivered the flexibility and performance required to gain new business insight.
Provides a platform to drive millions of euros in new revenue; supports 200 to 600 times faster data analysis and 100 times faster load performance; delivers direct yearly cost savings of almost EUR800,000 (USD1 million).
When Tomi Eronen joined Finnish telecom provider Elisa Corporation four years ago to manage the company’s Information Services Center of Excellence, the company was on the brink of change.
Elisa was moving from a traditional subscription-based mobile telecommunications provider to an information and communications technology (ICT) company. Its portfolio grew to include a range of digital services—from broadband Internet, to television, to home security services. But to successfully expand its business, marketing and service staff needed a deeper understanding of its customers—who they were, which products they might buy, and whether they were likely to switch to another provider. As Eronen and his team assessed the company’s existing information services platform, they found it wasn’t up to the challenge.
“Our vision is to offer online experiences and productivity, and world-class customer intimacy and operational excellence are critical,” he explains. “We have to understand our customers, and this was very hard to accomplish with our previous infrastructure. Our former system was an Oracle RAC database running on an HP Superdome platform. It was costly and time-consuming to maintain, and inefficient for performing queries and loading large data volumes. Some queries took one to two days to accomplish and we needed a full-time DBA [database administrator] to support the system. It was also time-consuming to pull data together, even on a physical level, which prevented us from delivering new data-intensive services in an agile way and made it difficult to recover from system and load failures.”
Gaining agility in a fast-paced market
As Eronen and his team evaluated solutions, they focused on flexibility, simplicity and manageability. “Typically in the telco environment, the needs of the business are fast-paced, moving subjects,” he says. “We don’t know what someone will ask us to do tomorrow so we need the ability to rapidly respond to changing needs.”
To select the right platform for its organization, Eronen’s team launched a Proof of Concept (POC), comparing data warehouse appliances from five major vendors, including Oracle Exadata (Versions 1 and 2), Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse, the Netezza® data warehouse appliance (now part of IBM), Greenplum (now part of EMC), and Sybase IQ. For the POC, the team used a third-party extract, transform and load (ETL) tool to load 12 TB of data from its mobile billing data warehouse onto each platform. Queries were run using IBM Cognos® Business Intelligence software, which provides the company with real-time, consolidated views of customer service data so it can identify operational trends that improve customer satisfaction and retention.
As Eronen and his staff reviewed the results, they found a clear winner. “The Netezza data warehouse appliance showed tremendous performance advantages over the others and also led in terms of TCO [total cost of ownership],” he says. “What was also remarkable was the ease of use of the Netezza data warehouse appliance. We reserved two days to load the data and ready the system to run queries, and we actually finished after lunch hour on the first day. It was amazing. Some other vendors were still tuning or partitioning their systems on the third and fourth days.”
Saving almost EUR800,000 (USD1 million) a year
Migration to the IBM Netezza data warehouse appliance was completed in just six months and within budget.
"Netezza has become a synonym for performance in Elisa—and this is something you very rarely come across when doing BI-related projects,” says Eronen. “We have measured improved performance in the range of 200 to 600 times faster for data analysis and 100 times faster for loads, which translates into a potential yearly savings of about 11,000 person-hours. We also require only two hours of DBA support each week, a substantial reduction from our previous system. As we ramp down the old Oracle system, we also expect to see a direct yearly cost savings of almost EUR800,000 [USD 1 million].”
Collecting millions of euros in new revenue
Making analytics simpler, faster and more accessible is expected to add millions of euros in revenue to the company’s bottom line. For example, the revenue assurance team can now find inconsistencies between mobile and fixed-line mediation and billing systems to confirm that it is collecting all revenue that is due. The corporate sales team now has a 360-degree view of its customers to identify cross-sell and up-sell opportunities. And the company’s consumer marketing department plans to analyze social network information to determine which customers are “market influencers” and target its outreach accordingly.
“This insight wasn’t available with our previous infrastructure,” says Eronen. “This new 360-degree view of customers enables our business users to see all the contracts, services and products each customer has, combined with their usage patterns and invoices. This knowledge helps us better forecast churn probability and buying recommendations to make offering new products and bundles significantly more efficient.”
He adds, “We can also micro-segment and analyze customers in a way that was not easily possible before. Our next step can be adding customers’ social network activities into the picture and other exciting capabilities that seemed quite far away in the old days. Our expectation is that this insight will help us bank a great deal of new revenue. For example, the potential gain in revenue from social network analysis is EUR3 million to EUR5 million per year alone.”
About IBM Netezza data warehouse appliances
IBM Netezza data warehouse appliances revolutionized data warehousing and advanced analytics by integrating database, server and storage into a single, easy-to-manage appliance that requires minimal set-up and ongoing administration while producing faster and more consistent analytic performance. The IBM Netezza data warehouse appliance family simplifies business analytics dramatically by consolidating all analytic activity in the appliance, right where the data resides, for industry-leading performance. Visit: to see how our family of data warehouse appliances eliminates complexity at every step and helps you drive true business value for your organization. For the latest data warehouse and advanced analytics blogs, videos and more, please visit:
About IBM Data Warehousing and Analytics Solutions
IBM provides the broadest and most comprehensive portfolio of data warehousing, information management and business analytic software, hardware and solutions to help customers maximize the value of their information assets and discover new insights to make better and faster decisions and optimize their business outcomes.
● IBM Netezza® 1000
● IBM Cognos® 8 Business Intelligence
For more information
To learn more about IBM Data Warehousing and Analytics Solutions, please contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner or visit: ibm.com/software/data/netezza
To increase the business value of your IBM data warehouse appliance, participate in an online community. Join the IBM Netezza community at: www.enzeecommunity.com .
For more information about Elisa Corporation, visit: www.elisa.com/en
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