AGAPLESION gAG

Integrates planning, reporting and analysis for 100 subsidiaries with a unified solution

Published on 23-Jan-2014

"With the complete suite of IBM Cognos solutions, we certainly have one of the best reporting platforms in the entire healthcare industry." - Sebastian Polag, Head of Commercial Controlling, AGAPLESION

Customer:
AGAPLESION gAG

Industry:
Healthcare

Deployment country:
Germany

Solution:
Cognos Business Intelligence, Cognos Controller, Cognos Disclosure Management, Cognos TM1, Automation, BA - Business Analytics, BA - Business Intelligence, BA - Performance Management, Big Data, Big Data & Analytics

Overview

Based in Frankfurt-on-Main, Germany, AGAPLESION is a healthcare group that was founded in 2002 to strengthen local Christian and social service institutions and make them more sustainable. The group manages more than 100 institutions nationwide, including 29 hospitals with over 6,400 beds, 31 residential care facilities with more than 3,000 inpatients and an additional 800 assisted living apartments, three hospices, 16 medical care centers, seven mobile care units and an academy. AGAPLESION also offers health and medical care training at 16 locations.

Business need:
AGAPLESION gAG wanted to consolidate its health subsidiaries, which number more than 100, as well as unify and optimize their corporate planning and control.

Solution:
IBM® Cognos® solutions enable AGAPLESION to merge all of its business units, and provide them with a centralized, web-based planning, reporting and analysis solution.

Benefits:
The total integration of analysis and consolidation tasks makes this of one of the best reporting solutions in the healthcare industry, boasting high user acceptance and minimal support requirements.

Case Study

To read a German version of this case study, click here.

Based in Frankfurt-on-Main, Germany, AGAPLESION is a healthcare group that was founded in 2002 to strengthen local Christian and social service institutions and make them more sustainable. The group manages more than 100 institutions nationwide, including 29 hospitals with over 6,400 beds, 31 residential care facilities with more than 3,000 inpatients and an additional 800 assisted living apartments, three hospices, 16 medical care centers, seven mobile care units and an academy. AGAPLESION also offers health and medical care training at 16 locations.

More than 19,000 employees provide patient-oriented medicine and care according to recognized quality standards, treating approximately 500,000 patients every year. Annual revenues from all facilities, including the group’s shareholdings, total more than a billion euros.

With this wide range of subsidiaries, maintaining consistent group-wide standards and regulations is of the utmost importance, as this enables AGAPLESION to support strong corporate management based on secure data. The company must also meet ever-growing requirements from supervisory and regulatory authorities concerning the flexibility and transparency of healthcare providers.

Performance figures for proactive group management
Sebastian Polag, Head of Commercial Controlling at AGAPLESION, explains: “We quickly learned that spreadsheet-based reporting, analysis and planning did not make sense for a company of our size. That’s why we built a comprehensive data warehouse with IBM Cognos. This provides us with all the information we need to support standardized enterprise-wide reporting using bidirectional interfaces to our ORBIS information management solution from Agfa HealthCare, along with many other applications.”

Today, AGAPLESION uses IBM Cognos Business Intelligence to create more than 800 monthly reports, which are automatically sent to more than 12,000 recipients as PDF documents.

In addition, the solution provides each employee with web-based access to the extensive range of information contained in the reports. From this web portal, with the help of analytical tools, employees can also get answers to individual questions. A set of differentiated user rights ensures that all employees gain only access to the data they need for their specific roles in the organization.

Streamlined group consolidation
As part of ongoing process improvement efforts, AGAPLESION was looking for a solution to help it consolidate the operations of its subsidiaries and produce regular earnings reports.

Sebastian Polag explains: “We evaluated a few offerings and IBM was able to provide us with the Cognos Controller—a mature solution that was integrated with the wider Cognos platform, to which we were immediately drawn. In addition to the solution’s vast range of functions, it offered straightforward integration with our existing systems, which was particularly important for us.”

BI Competence Center combines expertise
To meet an increased demand for training at individual subsidiaries, AGAPLESION set up a Business Intelligence Competence Center in its central controlling department. The center employs just two specialists yet conducts approximately 150 employee training sessions each year, and offers ongoing support.

The new users are able to apply their skills to evaluate approximately 1.2 TB of information in the group’s central data warehouse and use it for a variety of analytical purposes.

“At AGAPLESION, we always aim to equip our own employees with the necessary know-how when new solutions are implemented,” Sebastian Polag explains. “This gives us more independence in developing new ideas and eliminates the need for expensive consultancy hours.”

Professional business planning
In the past, business planning for many AGAPLESION companies was carried out using spreadsheets—a process that was highly complex, error-prone and inflexible. The company sought a centralized solution, which covered both cost and revenue projections along with investment and maintenance planning.

AGAPLESION subsequently discovered IBM Cognos TM1®—another IBM Cognos solution that could easily be integrated into the organization’s existing system landscape and one that also offered an unprecedented level of insight, thanks to its high-performance in-memory processing.

“IBM Cognos TM1gives us the flexibility that we always wanted,” reports Sebastian Polag. “We now use the software for group-wide liquidity planning.”

Up-to-date reports in perfect format
Previously, period-end closing reports for AGAPLESION’s executives and Board of Directors were supplemented by text notes, statistics and diagrams, and the inclusion of these additional documents required a large amount of manual effort. This presented a significant burden for staff and increased the likelihood of errors, especially when last-minute changes arose.

“We were still looking for a powerful solution for the ‘last mile’ of reporting that could automatically update existing text and graphics with the current data,” explains Sebastian Polag. “By using IBM Cognos Disclosure Management, we can ensure that these reports contain the most up-to-date and accurate information and are perfectly formatted—all in one easy, automated process.

“With the complete suite of IBM Cognos solutions, we certainly have one of the best reporting platforms in the entire healthcare industry. And the small size of our support team reflects both for the quality of our staff and the user-friendliness of the Cognos solutions.”

In the future, AGAPLESION plans to provide all group managing directors with mobile access to their individual dashboards from anywhere and at any time, using a smartphone or tablet device.

“Our managing directors will be able to immediately take action if they spot any undesirable developments,” adds Sebastian Polag. “The IBM Cognos solutions allow us to support strong, KPI-based enterprise management, which helps us to stay ahead of the competition.”

About IBM Business Analytics
IBM Business Analytics software delivers data-driven insights that help organisations work smarter and outperform their peers. This comprehensive portfolio includes solutions for business intelligence, predictive analytics and decision management, performance management, and risk management.

Business Analytics solutions enable companies to identify and visualise trends and patterns in areas, such as customer analytics, that can have a profound effect on business performance. They can compare scenarios, anticipate potential threats and opportunities, better plan, budget and forecast resources, balance risks against expected returns and work to meet regulatory requirements. By making analytics widely available, organisations can align tactical and strategic decision-making to achieve business goals.

For more information
For further information please visit ibm.com/business-analytics

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
Cognos Controller, Cognos TM1, Cognos Business Intelligence, Cognos Disclosure Management, Cognos Query

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2014. IBM Deutschland GmbH, IBM-Allee 1, 71139 Ehningen, Deutschland. ibm.com/de. IBM Österreich, Obere Donaustrasse 95, 1020 Wien. ibm.com/at. IBM Schweiz, Vulkanstrasse 106, 8010 Zürich. ibm.com/ch. Produced in Germany. January 2014. IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Cognos and TM1 are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The performance data and client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. It is the user’s responsibility to evaluate and verify the operation of any other products or programs with IBM products and programs. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided. The client is responsible for ensuring compliance with laws and regulations applicable to it. IBM does not provide legal advice or represent or warrant that its services or products will ensure that the client is in compliance with any law or regulation.