Published on 11-Oct-2010
Validated on 02 Apr 2012
"This IBM Cognos system is a very powerful tool that gives quick and easy business information access to a large number of users. We will eventually have approximately 40,000 people using it, as we continue down the path of adoption and implementation." - John Palermo, Director Global Incentives Business Transformation, IBM FMS
IBM Field Management Systems (FMS)
Computer Services, Professional Services
Business Intelligence, Linux
The IBM® Cognos® solution had a proven track-record in scaling to large numbers of users and the ability to handle volume in disparate data sources.
Provide the organization’s sales force with secure, centralized, efficient Web-based access to critical sales information.
The IBM Cognos 8 BI for Linux® solution on System z® enables a streamlined approach for the IBM sales force of 30,000+ to access critical business information from a single Web portal, when and where they need it.
In the first three months that the IBM Cognos reporting solution was in place, users ran more than 200,000 reports. By five months, that was up to 350,000 reports – a growth rate that validates just how quickly the new solution was integrated into the organization and proves the tremendous business value of IBM Cognos 8 BI.
A simplified user experience with enhanced capability, enabling greater productivity; greater value to the business and to the IT group; a foundation platform for the standardization of BI across IBM.
The IBM® Cognos® solution had a proven track-record in scaling to large numbers of users and the ability to handle volume in disparate data sources
IBM Field Management System / Business Intelligence Competency Center
Interviewee: Marc Benson, IBM
In January of this year, IBM reorganized its CIO Organization . . . And what that created was an opportunity to look across the various business units and functions for overlap and similarities and opportunities for shared competency center models which didn’t exist in the past because it decentralized budgets and staff. . . . we quickly recognized an opportunity to centrally deliver Cognos as a service to any adopter within IBM that wants to leverage it. So, that really was the foundation for creating a Business Intelligence Competency Center (BICC).
And the premise of the Business Intelligence Competency Center is to deliver BI as a service better, faster and cheaper than an individual unit or function would be able to deliver to their end-users on their own.
So we knew that Cognos was our strategic Business Intelligence engine and the platform, after much due diligence, that was selected was zLinux.
Linux offers us capabilities that we don’t have on other platforms. One of those capabilities is virtualization. . . . So, the ability to scale up and scale across when we need to, the ability to partition out components of the machine, if we had used case scenarios which mandated different configurations but still leveraging the same common infrastructure.
FMS is a project that supports our sales team, our client-facing team and it’s a commission’s reporting system that touches about 30,000 sellers across IBM. . . It’s both a large scale Cognos enablement as well as our first production proof point that zLinux is really going to scale to the masses for us.
We want to arm our sellers with as much information as possible pertinent to the client that they can use during the sale cycle process. FMS is really our solution to that by automation much of the sales operation data, aggregation and analysis and putting that in the hands of our sellers in a very self-service delivery platform. We can provide a central data stage as a common service to help cleanse data and prepare the data for the reporting process as opposed to making adopters make their data available for the BI service today.
Potentially data warehousing as a common service on z, again as opposed to he BICC drawing the line at data ownership today and not having that in scope.
support our centralized Cognos software as a service delivery model, we chose the zLinux cloud offering and we have really been able to stand that up very quickly and make it tangible and start boarding applications and immediately realizing in cost savings. . . . Within three months, we have about 25 applications on board and by the end of the year in another couple months, we are going to have 40-plus applications on board.
The demand is high across the enterprise to leverage the common service and each application that we board, the way we look at it is we have displaced or saved an opportunity cost for a unique disparate environment not popping up and being functionally siloed.
One of our foundational business case principles is infrastructure reduction. So there were existing Cognos applications that we were able to migrate onto the common z platforms, saving money in the process
We perceived savings of about $20 million over a five year period. The categories of savings include third-party maintenance fee elimination, third-party license fee elimination, infrastructure reduction, support and operations reduction. So, it’s a big deal, it’s going to be a big cost-saving driver for us.
That all plays into a new management structure around delivering BI to IBM globally as opposed to delivering functional point solutions.
Our vision for this Business Intelligence Center of Competency is to expand beyond the core BI solution delivery component, things like ETL. . . . I think it really does provide us a strong foundation to grow on to bring in some of these services as the BICC model matures.
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
System z, System z: System z running Linux
Cognos 8 Business Intelligence for Linux on System z