Putting the Fizz into Business Intelligence Analytics

One of Australia’s largest beverage companies originally called upon the Forefront Analytics team to add value to their investment in SAP HANA.

From there, we worked with them to build and deliver their Business Intelligence Analytics strategy, helping them to bridge the gaps between their business customers, project and innovation teams, and the IT support organisation.


Upgrading SAP

The first part of our engagement was to upgrade their SAP Business Objects BI systems to the latest service packs, and perform ongoing report and dashboard development on these systems. Developing reports for their sales, supply chain and finance teams has given them a great return on their SAP HANA investments. The reports and dashboards are able to tap into their live SAP data, meaning they have a real-time vision of their business critical processes and information. The combination of Business Objects and HANA is showing great value to their organisation.

Heading to the cloud

At the same time we’re thinking outside the box, assisting them to plan for their future infrastructure migration to a cloud-based solution. Through our own partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) we’ve already managed to prove that we can future-proof their investments in both Business Objects and HANA by designing a system on AWS that integrates with their on-premise system landscape.

Custom solutions, invaluable insights

 A second case, in which we’ve shown great value-add beyond the original engagement, was our team piloting and then further developing their internal Finance and Executive dashboards. These are not your traditional run-of-the-mill dashboards, but state of the art custom dashboard developments, that use the speed and agility of the AWS cloud, whilst following the latest SAP Fiori design standards. At the same time, we’re using open UI5 development techniques, again ensuring the solution is future proof if, and when they chose to migrate the solution to another SAP or cloud infrastructure solution.

In particular these dashboards have given the business such an accurate and real-time insight into the state of their business, that it’s allowed them to keep the fizz in managing their business processes!

Embedded Knowledge

 Our approach to achieve the best Business Intelligence Analytics results is to embed a team of our specialists within the business. As a consulting organisation, bringing in our own project managers and business analysts has allowed us to properly engage the business and manage their priorities and expectations, unconstrained from the pressures of “business as usual” activity.

By embedding the team and working side-by-side with both the internal business customers and the IT support organization, we’ve been able to fully understand the capabilities, and occasional limitations, of their systems. This has allowed us to manage requirements gathering and design solutions to meet their needs, as well as fit into the existing system landscape. It also means we adhere to their change management processes, which promise them a smooth and managed delivery of their solutions.

Project Methodology

Our preferred methodology has been Agile, wherever possible, to deliver fast, smooth results. We’ve also been using this engagement model for our team to develop our own hybrid project methodology, specifically designed for delivering Business Intelligence Analytics projects. Incorporating the combined project experience of all our team members, our hybrid methodology enables us to engage, build and manage projects even smoother than traditional methodologies such as Agile or Waterfall.

Craig Cauchi