Challenge: Simplify access to business-critical data and optimize processes.
Solution: Pentaho solutions integrate data from multiple sources and enable real-time analytics.
Tens of millions of Canadians rely on Bell Canada for access to mobile and internet services and a feature-rich TV experience. As the country's largest telecoms provider, its customers expect flawless connectivity and seamless service.
Bell Business Markets (BBM) is Canada's leading broadband network and communications services company. Its 4,000 employees provide mid-sized and large businesses and government customers with unrivalled networks and strong expertise. Following a series of acquisitions, BBM Professional Service's day-to-day operations were managed across approximately 20 systems, including SAP, Oracle Project Resource Management, Salesforce and Jaspersoft. With data often trapped within each of these solutions, it was hard to gain comprehensive visibility of the business.
"Bell Canada was founded in 1880 and has undergone constant change and growth. As a result, lots of our data was locked away in legacy systems, which made it hard to consolidate and time-consuming to manage," explains Jude Vanniasinghe, Senior Manager of Business Intelligence at Bell Business Markets Shared Services. "Our challenge was to make BBM data accessible to more than 300 users so they can create meaningful reports to help maximize resources and achieve our business goals."
To unlock better visibility of the business, the team needed to break down silos, optimize processes and simplify reporting. In 2007, BBM Professional Services began evaluating analytics solutions to find a scalable solution to manage its diverse and growing volume of data. "We needed a solution that could automate time-consuming tasks and make data readily available to the rest of the shared services team," adds Vanniasinghe.
In December 2007 BBM Professional Services began a longstanding partnership with Hitachi Vantara and implemented Pentaho Data Integration with Pentaho Data Analytics, part of Hitachi's Lumada portfolio. "The Pentaho solutions give us quick and easy access to data from multiple sources. The automation features mean we can make data available night or day without needing extra staff working around the clock, and the team can self-serve to access the reports they need," comments Vanniasinghe.
Pentaho aggregates 300GB of data into a single platform and makes it available for reporting and analytics in real time. The team can now track revenue and expenses in Pentaho instead of time-consuming spreadsheets, which optimizes capacity management and streamlines operations.
For example, Professional Services tracks billable and non-billable employee activities to support employee utilization and manage costs efficiently for each department within the organization.
"Pentaho helps us make user-friendly reports available for all users – from entry-level roles all the way up to management. This means we have a 360-degree view of data across the whole of our professional services operation," comments Vanniasinghe.
Despite regular reviews of the market, Pentaho continues to be a great fit for BBM. "It's not just the Pentaho solutions that add value to our business – the partnership with Hitachi Vantara has been key as well," says Vanniasinghe. "The team provides great customer service and are always there when we need them. They help to onboard and train our new starters, so everyone is confident pulling their own reports. Hitachi Vantara also listens to our feedback between iterations of the solution – whenever we have a new data challenge, the next version of the tool has addressed it."
The team is currently piloting Pentaho version 9 and is particularly impressed by SAP connectors that enable them to connect directly to SAP data without a third-party app.
With Pentaho automating data integration and facilitating better reporting, the team has seen significant productivity and efficiency gains. For example, with SAP connectors the team has saved an estimated 30 man-hours per month and staff no longer need to work at weekends to ensure data is highly available. "The solutions free the IT team from manual tasks and allow them to focus on more strategic projects," revealed Vanniasinghe.
With better access to reports and richer analysis, Professional Services has also improved operational efficiency and can make smarter business decisions based on facts and forecasting. These efficiency gains also help the organization to keep costs low and maximize resources.
"The simplicity of Pentaho means we don't have to outsource management; we can make changes quickly ourselves and stay agile in responding to changing business needs," confirms Vanniasinghe.
Ultimately, with greater visibility of data fueling more meaningful insights across the organization in terms of employee utilization, resource-capacity management, project-health, and billing, the professional services team can make better, more proactive decisions and safeguard the company's competitive advantage. Hitachi Vantara has shown us that it's a true partner to customers. Pentaho is a great tool that's evolved to meet the challenges of real people," explains Vanniasinghe. "For us, the next step is to explore how the business can do more with IoT, and we know that Pentaho will evolve with us as we expand our capabilities."
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