Challenge: Desired ad-hoc reporting, forecasting capabilities and a data integration tool to handle their data from various systems.
Solution: Improved product offering with Pentaho Data Integration and embedding Pentaho Business Analytics.
USU Group, provider of IT Service Management (ITSM) Solutions and Consulting Services Expands Analytics
Founded in 1977, USU Group offers customer application solutions, products and advice for IT and business management solutions, such as Valuemation, a modular and highly integrated suite to support IT service management (ITSM).
Through many years of experience in service management and close contact with customers, USU found that there was a need for a BI solution that addressed the exact ITSM and the specific information needs.
USU Group required an OEM solution that provided data integration and a front-end analysis and reporting tool to serve as the foundation for its ITSM BI offering. The ITSM field required ad-hoc analysis and variable forecasting capabilities, not just static reporting. The high volume of data generated from monitoring of various IT systems required a robust ETL tool.
Through the evaluation process, the team looked at BI solutions from Jaspersoft, Jerdox, Pentaho and Talend. In the end, USU opted for Pentaho; they deliberately picked the open source solution. It is a complete solution from front end, through analysis, reporting and data integration was available. The ability of Pentaho Data Integration addressed their data challenge. Data from their diverse ITSM source systems and the variety of interfaces to present systems played an important role in the decision.
Hitachi Vantara's Pentaho platform collects and analyzes large amounts of IT monitoring data from BMC Atrium, HP Service Manager, IBM Tivoli, Oracle, and other systems. USU Group chose Pentaho Data Integration and their ETL tool. Additionally, Pentaho Business Analytics selected for self-service BI to deliver ad-hoc analysis and reporting.
USU Service Intelligence is the BI solution based on Pentaho Business Analytics. It was created to address specific needs of ITSM. Based on Pentaho Dashboards and Pentaho Analyzer, USU Service Intelligence offers automated and preconfigured role-based dashboards and flexible analysis options for ad hoc evaluations.
With Pentaho Data Integration, all relevant data is automatically pulled from different sources, read, aggregated and stored in one central repository. Metrics are based on best practices from ITIL v3, COBIT and ISO 20000, as well as the long-standing Experience of USU. This all done to ensure all relevant information for ITSM is captured. Possible metrics include "number of created tickets", "response time" or "solution time". Examples of predefined monitoring metrics are, "average solution time (MTTR)" or "error frequency (MTBF).
Thanks to Hitachi Vantara’s solution, USU has dashboards which are customized based on the individual’s role and responsibilities. The dashboards are presented in a FAQ format where they address the most common questions for their given job.
Ad hoc reporting offers non-technical employees the ability to carry out independent analytics. Thanks to Pentaho's user-friendly interface and operability, users do not need database knowledge. The elaborate SQL-like queries required are done in the backend and remain hidden from the user. The end user only has to use the simple drag and drop process to run their own analytics.
Due to the open architecture and standards of Pentaho, USU Service Intelligence can easily integrate into each ITSM application. With the flexible deployment capabilities of Pentaho, USU Service Intelligence is offered through the web and through a mobile offering. Additionally, customer can choose the on-premises or SaaS offering.
By implementing Hitachi Vantara’s big data integration and analytics tools, USU Group now has near real-time analysis. Despite falling into the big data category, IT monitoring requires a near real-time analysis. Pentaho Data Integration and Pentaho Business Analytics were able to deliver these requirements for USU. Tremendous value has been added due in part to the self-service solution. Everybody in the customer’s IT team can easily run their own analysis and reports as they need it and when they need it. The USU Service Intelligence Solution’s accessibility is key as there is web and mobile access. It can be accessed from anywhere on the Internet, as well as through a handy mobile client application. Pentaho enabled USU to make cross-systems analysis and reporting a reality for its customers. Those companies previously had to rely on separate tools.
The Pentaho platform provides USU Group with self-services BI and ad-hoc analysis in real time. The open source model provides low total cost of ownership, high performance and easy integration. Additionally, Hitachi Vantara’s big data integration and analytics solution was chosen as it provides USU with a complete end-end solution.
USU Service Intelligence has been on the market since 2012. They have sold their solution to several major and medium-sized companies, including in the financial sector. The product is continuously developed to consider the latest developments in IT. Most customers already have a BI tool in place, but need a specific analytics solution tailored to their ITSM needs.
Above all, USU customers see two main advantages in the BI solution tailored to ITSM.
The high integrability of the underlying Pentaho architecture means that it is no longer necessary to use an evaluation tool for every system, but that one can control the entire IT with a system-wide dashboard. Secondly, Pentaho's easy-to-manage analytics allow IT departments to pinpoint any errors and problems in IT operations without the need for a reporting officer. This saves time and tickets can be processed faster. This means end customers can provide fundamentally better information about the fulfillment of service levels.
"Pentaho's ability to integrate has helped us provide our customers with a cross-system metrics and analysis tool that helps them to manage their entire IT. With USU Service Intelligence, the analysis is so simple that it can be carried out by any IT department, so that not only can the causes of key deviations be identified efficiently, but the end customer is also in a better position to provide information to give about the fulfillment of service levels." – Peter Stanjeck, Director, USU Group.