TechD and Cognos TM1 Help a Communications Supplier Make Things Happen

TechD implemented IBM Cognos TM1 across important data functions in the Eastern Division of a major communications supplier. They now have an integrated, high-speed data warehouse for planning, forecasting, and reporting. The upgrade has reduced average speed of report-generation from several hours—sometimes days—to just minutes.

THE CHALLENGE

The organization used an outdated version of Cognos Business Intelligence—along with Cognos Enterprise Planning. These older solutions were inefficient—not suited to the organization’s size and workload. Project planners experienced significant delays running complex reports. Financial analysts did not have enough detailed data available. Even with a small number of users, tasks that should take seconds often took close to an hour. The tools also had cumbersome maintenance requirements.

THE SOLUTION

TechD provided the answer—in the form of IBM Cognos TM1. They installed the software and oversaw migration of existing data. In the process, TechD examined business needs and asked two questions: “What are you doing now?” and “What do you want to do?” Taking current processes as a starting point, we determined planners and analysts wanted to see all data together. Previously, important data were separated by long report-generation times. A workspace dashboard and full data integration now enable personnel to do more in less time, providing enhanced insight as they drill-down into reporting. On the business-intelligence side, the system serves as a checkpoint in planning, budgeting, forecasting, and reporting. It is also used for the run-down of all open projects—thanks to real-time reporting. On the financial side, analysts can now input required changes almost instantly.

THE BENEFITS

Cognos TM1 “fit like a glove” for this application. When TechD deployed it, we added functionality and increased speed. As the organization moves from batch planning and forecasting into real-time, reports are now almost instantaneous. TechD also increased the number of users and included a Microsoft Excel interface. This increased comfort for financial users—including the CFO, who has seen inefficient reporting systems come and go and is skeptical about new solutions. This executive—and other non-technical users—quickly became acquainted with the system’s “drag-and-drop” input and now enjoy faster reporting and detailed analysis.

Our client—one of the nation’s largest communications vendors—is a primary supplier of command and control, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems, and other technology products. They are also a primary contractor for both aerospace systems and national-security solutions, supplying military and commercial end-users.
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