Following on from my earlier post about who are the ‘Information Management’ winners, it has been announced, (The full press release can be found here), that Specsavers is to make use of the open source BI platform Pentaho. . I will be watching with interest how Specsavers fares, as clearly, they are showing that they treat information and it’s use as a key part of their business strategy.
The drive for Specsavers to use this software as the enterprise BI tool of choice is to consolidate all the existing BI tool-sets, thus reducing the operational costs and pain associated with a multi vendor, overlapping BI application environment. This aim should be top of any organisation’s BI strategy. I’m sure like me you have found that most large companies have at least one copy of each of the main BI market vendor’s software, and generally have no strategy around the consolidation and selection of a single BI platform, or at least a single piece of software to perform a required piece of BI functionality. For example in your own organisation I would be happy to bet that you have Business Objects, Crystal, (also part of SAP BO), Cognos and Microsoft all providing ad-hoc querying and reporting capabilities. If this sounds like your organisation you should look to undertake an assessment of the functional areas of BI that you need/use today and look to map BI software against that. You may find that one vendor provides everything you need, or at least you may find that all your requirements can be met by a few less vendors that you already have. If you are interested I have a BI functional map that you can use, and i’d be happy to discuss with you options to move you forward following your review.
The consolidation of BI onto a single platform will allow Specsavers to adopt a pre-defined template/cookie-cutter approach to the problem of rapidly growing a business in a new geographic area. It will ensure that that each location can be up and running and using the information collected to drive that part of the business, whilst allowing HQ to understand the overall performance and direct resources and help as needed.
I’ve decided to start to track companies who I believe are going to benefit from a focus on information and data as a key corporate asset, as well as capture those companies that have gone out of existent or poorly performing due to a lack of focus on this vital corporate asset. If you would like me to include your company or a company you are tracking/aware of then please let me have the company name and the evidence as to why they will become/already are an information Management leader.